Author Spotlight: Sloan Johnson featuring her newest novel Teach Me @authorsloanjTeach Me by Sloan Johnson
on Nov. 25th, 2014
Genres: M/M
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Two words stripped Austin Pritchard of the privileged life he’s used to. The moment he uttered the words, “I’m gay,” he realized there is no such thing as unconditional love. Now, he’s gone from traveling the world with his family to living on the streets trying to figure out how he’s going to stay in school.

A chance opportunity changes everything. Austin impresses the foreman and lands a job, but even more, he catches the eye of David Becker, who is determined to teach him that true love doesn’t come with strings.

The only thing David had as a child was love. His family struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. That has driven him to stay focused on his goals; become a tenured professor at a university and save enough money to build a home of his own. It’s not until he sees an insecure college student working on his new house that he realizes that he hasn’t planned on someone to share his life with. He’s about to learn that everything he’s already accomplished is nothing compared to the task of making Austin see that he is worthy of love.


TBA: “Hi, Sloan. Thanks so much for talking to me today about your new book. I just finished it and I really loved it. What inspired you to write an M/M book?”
Sloan: “It actually started with another story that’ll come out next year. There will be times when I’ll hear something and think it’d make a great story. In this case, as I thought about it, I saw it as two men rather than a man and a woman, so I went with it. During the process of writing that book, I found myself much more comfortable with my writing and loved the different scenarios afforded to me through writing m/m. Of course, it also helps that it’s my favorite genre to read.”

TBA: “Who was your inspiration for David and Austin?”
Sloan: “State Street, the area where much of the book is set, is home to a lot of homeless men. One day, I was walking down the street with my family and the idea started to grow. I spent some time working on a food cart down there years ago and got to be friends with many of the homeless men who just wanted to make it from day to day.”

TBA: “The story touches on a young man coming out and the devastating way some parents handle it. Was that hard for you to write?”
Sloan: “It really was. While I’m not blind to the fact that there are so many families out there who react this way, I know it happens every day. It was hard, first of all, because I hate thinking that there are young men and women whose families can turn their back on them so quickly, but also because I felt I needed to do the situation justice. I wanted it to feel real.”

TBA: “I think you did a really great job. I know not everyone has a great support when coming out. Keeping it spoiler free, what can you say to the readers about the age difference in Austin and David?”
Sloan: “It’s life. Yes, there is an age difference, but when you meet someone and have that chemistry with them, it just doesn’t matter. And in this case, I think both of them had something to learn from the other.”

TBA: “To someone that hasn't read a Gay Romance, say one of your readers of your other books, what is something you could tell them to persuade them to try Teach Me.”
Sloan: “A love story is a love story. The key is to not think about what is beneath a character’s clothes and try to appreciate the story. If you pick it up and still feel it’s not for you, that’s perfectly okay, but give it a chance.”

TBA: “So, about you. Here comes the fun part. Tell us something about yourself that we may not know?”

Sloan: “I always hate these questions, lol. I can talk about my characters all day, but when it’s time to think and talk about myself, I freeze!

Okay, so something people may not know about me…

I played violin for 8 years when I was younger and have recently started playing again, at my daughter’s request.”

TBA: “That's awesome! Is music something you love?”
Sloan: “Absolutely! It’s rare that there isn’t music playing in some way in our house. Whether it’s streaming through the computer while I write or having a dance party with the kids after dinner, we’re all big into music.”

TBA: “Is there a playlist for Teach Me?”
Sloan: “There isn’t yet, but I am working on one. Sometimes, I build one as I’m working with the songs that inspire me for that book, but other times I have a writing playlist of music that has a heavy beat and forces me out of my head while I work.”

TBA: “Favorite Color?”
Sloan: “Purple”

TBA: “Favorite food?”
Sloan: “Pizza”

TBA: “Agree. I don't think I've ever had a bad pizza. Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
Sloan: “Thank you! Seriously, I know it sounds simple, but I can’t begin to explain how much everyone’s support has meant to me this year. It’s been a big transition time for me, and knowing that people are willing to put up with delays, genre changes and everything else completely amazes me!”

 


review

“Austin, we need to talk.” When used in that order, I’m pretty sure those are the four worst words in the English language.

I know in our lifetime, we’ve all heard those four words. This book was very powerful in the way it tells the story of a young man coming into his own as an adult, and also the way he struggles with his reality, He’s gay. Not everyone has a family that understands that term. Austin is one of the unfortunate ones and to see his struggle with life, broke my heart.

Austin is stronger than he appears, yet he is still a fragile, beaten soul. The pressures young people face are hard enough, add what he had to deal with regarding his family and it’s enough to make any human break. I think that’s what I liked about him the most. As fragile as he was in this point in his life, he fought to be who he was. I really enjoyed watching his story unravel and see the man that he became.

David was my favorite from the beginning. I liked his personality, his strength and the tenderness that he showed. He had it rough at one point in his life and you can see how that only made him the strong, confident man that he is now.

Overall, I think for a debut M/M book, Sloan did a great job at keeping the POV’s very different. I didn’t need to look at the chapter heading to know who was telling the story. Also, I loved how the author wrote the story, The way it’s written really tells a lot of what is inside the characters head. It was a great story of coming of age and discovering love for the first time.

jen

About Sloan Johnson

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.

About Sloan Johnson

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.

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