I have been following Mia Kerick for a while, loving all of her books that I have read thus far. This time around, I had the opportunity to interview her, so that we could get to know a bit more about the woman behind the books. Please enjoy what she has to say and then explore her newest book, The Art of Hero Worship, which I am going to be reading and reviewing quite soon. I’m so excited! There’s also a giveaway at the end for a $15 gift card. Please follow the YA Bound Book Tour for more reviews, excerpts, and so much more!
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How do you capture the voice of the LGBTQ community so well?
That is an interesting question. Sometimes I think I’m doing a good job of capturing my protagonist’s voice. I receive input from LGBTQ readers that says as much. But every once in a while, I write something—usually when I err it is in the choice of a word, not in a character thought, action, or reaction—and I hear from readers about that too. I feel terrible and question myself, but I am drawn to continue and do better. I will say this: I try to put myself into the heart and soul of my characters as I live my daily life, considering his/her/their thoughts and feelings and reactions to everyday things.
Why is it so important that we have these topics in literature these days?
I always write about challenging topics, and as many of them are unrelated to gender and sexual orientation, as are related. I have tackled bullying and alcohol abuse, physical and sexual abuse and religion, and more. People need to read about the tough stuff. Those who are enduring these challenges need to see that they are not alone in their experience. People who are not suffering with these challenges need to gain empathy, and they can only do this through somehow experiencing these trials, even if it through literature.
Tell us about your past published books and/or preview of upcoming titles.
I’d like to mention a book that will be releasing on January 22nd, 2019 called The Princess of Baker Street. It will release with Harmony Ink Press. I’m very excited about this book, but it is quite different from most of my other books. It is a very young YA, the protagonists are in their early teens. Eric is the storyteller—he has a very difficult life with a young mother who neglects him. As the story progresses, he ends up living on his own with little food in a ramshackle cottage. His best friend throughout childhood, is named Joey, and was assigned male at birth. The neighborhood kids call her, lovingly, the princess of Baker Street until they hit middle school and the label “princess” turns into a slur. We see Joey’s struggle through Eric’s eyes. I am extremely proud of this novel.
What is your writing process?
It starts with a character I conceive of when I see a certain someone on the street or at a restaurant or as I listen to a song that touches me, and then I create his/her/their story. I jot down notes about the story whenever and wherever they come to me. I don’t write the outline until I’m several chapters into the actual writing of the story and I know the characters better. My outline is rough and is subject to change. And then I fill it all in, like paint on a rough sketch, going over and over and over it until I’m satisfied.
What was your inspiration behind writing this particular book or any other titles in your catalog?
The Art of Hero Worship was inspired by the Liam character. Burly, strong, and tough-looking on the outside (kind of the badass urban lumberjack look) with a heart of gold.
How does your current career influence your writing?
I am an at-home mother and raising my children—seeing their struggles as well as their joys—has inspired me to gain human empathy. I think this is the most important aspect of me as a writer. I can feel my characters’ joy and pain enough to express it in writing.
Thank you so much for your time and for the gift of your books!
The Art of Hero Worship
by Mia Kerick
Genre: NA Contemporary Fiction – LGBTQ
Release Date: October 29th 2018
Saving the one who once saved me.
College junior Liam Norcross is a hero. He willingly, even eagerly, risks his life to save a stranger as a murderous, deranged shooter moves methodically through the darkened theater on the Batcheldor College campus, randomly killing innocent men, women, and children.
The stranger he saves is college freshman Jason Tripp. Jase loses everything in the shooting: his girlfriend, who dies on the floor beside him, and his grip on emotional security. He struggles to regain a sense of safety in the world, finally leaving college to seek refuge in his hometown.
An inexplicable bond forms between the two men in the chaos and horror of the theater, and Liam fights to bring Jase back to the world he ran away from. When Jase returns to school, they’re drawn together as soulmates, and soon Liam and Jase fall into a turbulent romantic relationship. However, the rocky path to love cannot be smoothed until Jase rescues his hero in return by delving into his shady past and solving the mystery of Liam’s compulsion to be everybody’s savior.
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—a daughter in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son off to Syracuse. She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-four years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on emotional growth in turbulent relationships. As she has a great affinity for the tortured hero, there is, at minimum, one in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to her wonderful publishers for providing alternate places to stash her stories.
Her books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly First Place Award for Cultural Diversity, a Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly First Place Award for YA Fiction, among others.
Mia is a Progressive, a little bit too obsessed by politics, and cheers for each and every victory in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Contact Mia at email@example.com. Visit her at www.miakerickYA.com for updates on what is going on in Mia’s world, rants, music, parties, and pictures, and maybe even a little bit of inspiration.