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, Alex Gino!
This is Alex. Everyone say, “Hi, Alex!”
Welcome to Kick-butt Kidlit, Alex! Tell us about yourself!
Hi! I’m Alex Gino, middle grade author of MELISSA (a.k.a. GEORGE); YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING, JILLY P!; and RICK. I love glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the complexity of being alive. I grew up on Staten Island, NY, and after thirteen years in Oakland, CA, recently moved back to New York State to live in the Hudson Valley. I’m excited to have a place to write surrounded by peaceful green space – there’s even a pond outside my window!
What was the inspiration behind your contribution to THIS IS OUR RAINBOW?
My story is about kitten adoption after the loss of an older cat. I have two wonderful black cats, named Thunder and Lightning, who I got after my dear kitty Scout passed away, It was a big decision to get new furballs, and an emotional process. There are a lot of stories about pet death out there, but I wanted to look at another part of the circle: deciding to let another animal fill that hole, both in your heart and in your lap.
What’s your favourite line from your story in THIS IS OUR RAINBOW?
Oooh, tough question, but I think I have to go with this exchange:
“The truest and most important things are sometimes also very silly.”
“Exactly like kittens.”
What are you currently reading?
I just had the pleasure of reading Ann Clare LeZotte’s SET ME FREE, the superb follow up to the Schneider Award-winning SHOW ME A SIGN. SET ME FREE continues Mary’s story of a wonderful young Deaf person in the early 1800s coming into her power. She comes from a signing community, and is thrust into helping a Deaf girl who is surrounded by people who don’t sign and who is struggling to communicate. LeZotte’s writing is so genuine and thoughtful, and meaningfully incorporates the stories of Black and Indigenous people in her tale about a young white girl. It’s not out until next spring, but you can read SHOW ME A SIGN now to be ready – it’s an engaging adventure worth at least half a dozen gasps.
What’s your best piece of kick-butt advice?
Take breaks! Whether it’s schoolwork or activism or dealing with family or coming out or whatever it is that’s on your plate – you can’t be at full-steam all the time. Your body, mind, heart, and soul need time to recover from whatever hard work you’re undertaking in this world. Find places you can let down your guard – whether it’s a close friend, a family member, a group, a hotline, a journal, or some other outlet, make sure you have a place to come back to where you can feel at ease and not take on anything more than being kind to yourself for a little bit.
Yes, yes, yes! Always.
Thank you so much for joining us, Alex!
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: Lisa Jenn Bigelow!
Don’t forget to check out our previous posts featuring: