Love, Labels, and YA Literature for Queer Kids: Annameekee Hesik and Jeremy Jordan King Sound Off

In this exclusive author conversation, two out authors with new young adult books reflect on the important queer literature and real-life scenarios that inspired them.



King: So can your book help with getting a girlfriend?

Hesik: Totally! At least, I hope so. Maybe not, but the feedback I'm getting is that Abbey's experiences of coming out and falling for girls is realistic, but not typical; sexy, but also sweet. She's a total dork, so I don't know about the sexy part.

King: But she could get sexy in future installments, right?

Hesik: Oh, Abbey is definitely going to grow up. I mean she's got three more years of high school. A lot can happen in three years.

King: That’s code for sex, right? It’s an interesting challenge for a young adult author to make books appropriate for a traditional YA crowd, but also appealing to everyone.

Hesik: Appropriate — that's going to be tough for me as Abbey gets older. I mean, come on, she's a bona fide "You Know Who Girl" now. But how do I make it "appropriate," yet realistic and not pervy?

King: It’s open for interpretation. A lot of teens are very sex-positive. It’s in their lives so they naturally want to see it reflected in what they read. Basically, let Abbey get some in future books. 

Tags: Books