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You & I - Behind The Story



With only three days to go before You & I launches, I decided to allow folks to gain some insight into what inspired the story, the soundtrack, and some behind the scenes content before the big day. Stay with me over the next couple of days as I reveal content that only you will have access to. I am excited to say I'll have a printed book. Now that is something.

So, to get folks in the mood for the celebration, which is Friday this week, I am sharing with you the official soundtrack from the book. You may know, as it is not a secret, music play's a large part in my creative process. So here are some of the tunes that inspired the tone of my entire book.

You can listen to the playlist here.

Why did I write You & I?

The inspiration for You & I came to me when I first saw the movie Love, Simon. I initially began a story called No Mutuel Friends, but You & I won out, and it became what it did as I wandered into writing it. I loved the anonymity in the movie, so I wanted to recreate the mysteriousness conveyed, but put my own unthought plot twist in You & I because I rarely came across a book that combated disabilities with a gay character being rather close. Some people ask me why both boys are not gay, the answer is simple, I wanted to branch away from LGBTQ, and this is what I am doing. I have found once you write the same thing for long enough, you grow immune to it, and it is no longer interesting if that is the only thing you write. I wanted to have a story with higher stakes, so I have created it with You & I. For some time, I pondered who the hell Sherlock was going to be in my story. Then one evening, while I was cutting peppers for dinner, the idea formed that he'd be a little older than I first imagined but have a disability. In idea seemed amazing to me at the time. I told my boyfriend, he loved it. I told my mother and a few close friends, and the deal was set. In all, I am delighted with how the final book turned out, it struck a chord with many people, and that is what I have taken home from this ordeal. People were moved from what I wrote. I desired to get away from the traditional boy with attractive features. I don't like routine; therefore, I wanted to complicate things.

Who inspired the character of Sherlock, aka Isaac?

Honestly, I assumed myself. I don't tend to write characters resembling who I am as a person, but the personality of Isaac embodied me in a way I never thought it would. The only other character to have a profound effect on me was Sam from EIWT, but the role of Sherlock was different in an interesting way. I am a sarcastic person at heart; I love puns, cheesy pick-up lines that can make you laugh, and I don't take many things in life as seriously as I should. I reckon that is why a little bit of me, rubbed off on the creation of a memorable character since Isaac is a humble guy with a comical snark.


Where and when does You & I take place?

You & I is set in the present day, at the time of writing 2019, in a subregion called Winden in my fictional universe that ties all my stories together. Some liberties were taken on real-world geography. The inspiration was pulled from various regions like Seattle and Washington DC.


What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

Max & Issac have a future; I am writing a second book as of now. I am excited at the future prospect of sharing a sequel. I am to have it finished by Q2 2020. The synopsis is as follows.

School is out for the summer and while Max & Issac are now good friends, they are both navigating two entirely different paths. Max is conflicted about his sexual orientation, his relationship with his father and the commitment he feels toward Issac. Except, Max is not the only one suffering. Issac wishes his dad would give him the freedom he incredibly desires, the chance to show his new friends just how independent he can be, as his growing popularity becomes a problem.

Tell us about the process you endured while writing the book?

As I wrote You & I life for me was pretty hectic; plus I learned never to write to finish a story with a holiday as a deadline. It is incredibly stressful. Alternailvty, when I sat down to write words flowed well. I didn't have to give much thought into why I was writing, but then again I was suffering exhaustively with burnout. I seem to have a knack for pushing myself harder than I can actually take. Somehow when I pass a milestone, I don't take credit. I seem to be too ambitious for frolicking. Despite battling burnout, some insomnia, and a hectic upheaval I managed to write two books, back to back within a six-month window.

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