Love, Labels, and YA Literature for Queer Kids: Annameekee Hesik and Jeremy Jordan King Sound Off
BY Sunnivie Brydum
October 19 2012 2:00 AM ET
Annameekee Hesik and Jeremy Jordan King probably would have gotten along as kids. Hesik has been obsessed with rainbows since she came out at 15, and a young King’s primary life goal was to become a mermaid. Although the two authors reside on opposite coasts today — Hesik in California and King in New York — both have new young adult books for queer youth hitting bookstores in the next month, and both publish under Bold Strokes Books.
King’s In Stone is his first novel, a fantasy about a 22-year-old recent college grad and his interactions with a stone-faced monster. In Stone kicks off the forthcoming fantasy series Immortal Testimonies and arrives November 2012.
Hesik teaches high school English and mentors new teachers in Santa Cruz, Calif., likely collecting inspiration for the first book in her forthcoming series, The You Know Who Girls. The first installment of that series, The You Know Who Girls: Freshman Year hit bookstores on October 16. In this exclusive conversation, the two authors talk about love, labels, and LGBT literature.
Jeremy Jordan King: OK, Annameekee, we both have young adult titles coming out this fall from Soliloquy, the young adult imprint of Bold Strokes Books. Exciting, right?
Annameekee Hesik: I'm so excited that gay and lesbian presses are seeing the importance of providing novels to YA readers. What makes me doubly excited is that I get to be a part of it.
Hesik: Where did you find good gay lit when you were growing up?
King: Honestly, I didn't read my first gay lit until I was a freshman in college. Back then, I think the age to start reading this kind of literature was older. Now, kids are identifying as LGBT earlier, and eager to start reading about themselves at a younger age.
Hesik: My first lesbian book was something terrible like Lesbians and Homosexuality — a sort of brain study on how lesbians became so lesbian-esque.
King: Ah... cringe. But I'm sure it was super exciting.
Hesik: I bought it at a used bookstore, hid it under my bed for a few weeks and then tried to read it — looking for answers — while in the bath.
Hesik: I got through three pages and realized, "This is so not going to help me get a girlfriend." I tossed it in the garbage because that's where I felt it belonged.
- WATCH: The 12 Gayest Holiday Spectaculars Ever!
- 13 Classic Companies Top HRC's New Corporate Equality Index
- Salvation Army 'Does Not Consider Homosexual Orientation a Sin'
- These Couples Prove Love Is Love
- Op-ed: What I Didn't Learn in Catholic School
- WATCH: We Wish Every Coming Out Got a Hug-a-Thon Like This
- Women New Family Ties: Meredith Baxter Marries Nancy Locke 1 hour 33 min ago
- Travel Spider-Man Will Welcome In 2014 In Times Square 1 hour 42 min ago
- Election Is Marriage Equality Still Politically Dangerous, Even in Mass.? 2 hours 25 min ago
- Entertainment News Tig Notaro Nominated for Best Comedy Album 6:08 PM
- HIV & AIDS Republican Pol: Gays Want Free Medical Care Because of AIDS 6:04 PM
- Parenting Israel Again Deals Gay Couples, Families Legislative Setback 4:10 PM
- Business America's Best Places to Work, According to HRC 3:49 PM