It’s Spotlight Time!
All month long we’re going to be chatting with a few of the awesome authors
behind the middle grade anthology:
THIS IS OUR RAINBOW
A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive athletic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true–but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend’s mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A trans girl empowers her online bestie to come out.
From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQIA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories from authors including: Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Katherine Locke, Mariama J. Lockington, Nicole Melleby, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aisa Salazar, and AJ Sass.
Today we’re chatting with one of the contributing authors, Eric Bell!
This is Eric. Everyone say, “Hi, Eric!”
Welcome to Kick-butt Kidlit, Eric! Tell us about yourself!
Eric Bell (that’s me!) is the author of ALAN COLE IS NOT A COWARD (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2017) and ALAN COLE DOESN’T DANCE (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2018), two middle grade novels about a gay seventh grade boy dealing with bullies, crushes, the power of art, and coming out. The first book was nominated to the Rainbow Book List for GLBTQ Books for Children and Teens. The books have also been translated into multiple languages. I am a teacher of writing classes, a virtual workshop leader, a freelance editor and writing coach, and an employee at a library. I live and write in Pennsylvania.
What was the inspiration behind your contribution to THIS IS OUR RAINBOW?
I wanted to tell a somewhat funny story that put an interesting spin on the “coming out narrative.” Sometimes people accidentally out themselves – but what if we could undo that and try again? What if we kept making that same mistake in different ways? And what if, in the end, it turns out to not be a mistake at all?
What’s your favourite line from your story in THIS IS OUR RAINBOW?
The ending. You’ll have to read the story to find out what it is!
What are you currently reading?
I just finished the first DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, which I’d somehow managed to go without reading before. Now I’m excited for the animated movie adaptation.
What’s your best piece of kick-butt advice?
Go easy on yourself. One of the themes of my story is that, even when it’s “the right time,” it’s okay to go at your own pace. As somebody who deals with mental health struggles every day, I’ve had to learn that it’s okay to go slow sometimes, to take time away, and to find strength in knowing your limits. You are still valuable – but don’t forget to value yourself.
Easy to forget, but SO important to remember!
Thank you so much for joining us, Eric!
Kick-butt Kidlit friends, make sure you check out THIS IS OUR RAINBOW!
It hits shelves on October 19th!
Click here to enter to win a copy of THIS IS OUR RAINBOW!
Contest ends Friday, October 29th at 11:59 pm EST
(There will be more opportunities to enter the giveaway with each spotlight post
so keep entering the draw!)
Thanks for reading!
The next KBKL Spotlight on This Is Our Rainbow post features: Marieke Nijkamp!