The secret came out a few years ago: Parker Knight is gay. Now Parker is sixteen, and everyone has either embraced it, does not care, or has forgotten—everyone except for Dylan Baker. He is determined to make Parker’s life miserable. Parker really thought killing himself would make everything better. If he was dead, he would not have to get kicked around by Dylan and his friends anymore. He would be free. Now, after a failed suicide attempt, Parker just wants to get through the last few months of tenth grade and stay as far away from Dylan as possible. What’s worse is Parker is secretly in love with his best friend, Liam Eriksson. But luckily, Liam doesn’t know this. Parker does not want to risk losing the friendship by telling him his true feelings. But as a tragedy overshadows his already complicated life, Parker soon discovers that the truth has a habit of surfacing in unexpected ways. Parker is the poignant story of one boy’s struggle for acceptance as he reaches out for hope, life, forgiveness and Liam.
Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what do you listen to?
I have to listen to anything without lyrics so I don’t get distracted so I listen to a lot of Icelandic music, like Sigur Rós. It’s very ethereal and it’s easier to write when you’re listening to a language you don’t speak.
Do you have any suggestions for upcoming writers?
Write everything down. Every little idea, thought, phrase. I either save it on my phone or on Word for later, even if I don’t know what I’m going to use it for.
What is it you like to do when you are not reading/writing?
Probably a strange answer, but I like working at my current job. I think it’s good for my writing, being around other workers and customers, listening to their stories and getting an idea of what people are really like. I find it inspiring. I have little ideas stashed away from working there that I intend to use someday.
Is there an author/authors that have inspired you?
I never really had a favorite author growing up. I kind of just read random book after the other and didn’t stick to one single author, but I love John Grisham, and David Levithan. I think they’re both incredible storytellers. Boy Meets Boy was one of the first LGBTQ books I ever read.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had my dreams set on being a famous singer in a band. But after writing Parker, I decided it wasn’t meant to be and forged a new goal. Always just wanted to write though.
How do you/would you react to a bad review of your book?
I think you just have to take it in stride. Not everyone in the world is going to like you. There’re going to be people who don’t connect with Parker or with my writing. I don’t take it personally.