Chris will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.
Interview Between Justin and Liam from Fearless
“This is such a bad idea.”
“No, it’s going to be fun!”
I rolled my eyes at Liam. Of course he thought an interview was a great idea. He’s gotten it into his head that I can be some sort of role model for young gay athletes everywhere. So now I have all these questions I have to fill out for this website that promotes gay visibility in youth sports.
“I still think you should let me do a photo spread to send in with the questions.”
“That’s not gonna happen. Seriously.”
“But all the gay dudes will love the sight of you in a Speedo. I bet you’d be an instant Facebook celebrity.”
“’Cause, really, that’s so me.”
“Oh, fine, I’ll just create a fanpage for you.”
It was just the sort of thing he would do, too. And the more I argued, the more determined he would get. “So, what’s the first question?”
Liam looked down at the laptop. He’d agreed to help me not come off as a total jerkwad loserface. Basically, he was going to translate my answers into things people wanted to hear.
“’What made you want to join the swim team?’”
“Well, ‘want’ is too strong of a word, for starters. I was sort of forced to by this bossy pain in my ass who likes to make me do things I don’t want to do.”
“I know that guy!” Liam said with a grin. “Okay, so I’ll type, ‘Ever since I was little, two things drove me: a love for water and a need for excellence.’”
“That’s not even remotely what I said.”
“Hey, if I’m going to be your publicist, you’re going to have to trust me.”
“I’m not a Lifetime movie special.”
“Fine, how about ‘This amazing friend whom I admire and respect—‘”
“How about ‘this obnoxious lunatic I know.’”
Liam laughed. “You wouldn’t bad-mouth me in front of all your legions of fans, would you?”
I rolled my eyes. “Let’s go on to the next question.”
“’How did your coming out process go?’”
Liam wasn’t smirking anymore. He’d been through it with me. I plucked an errant thread from the pillow I was laying on. “It was fantastic. I got a parade and a street named after me.”
“How are things going with your mom, anyway?”
“She keeps leaving these pamphlets around for me to find. They’re all for these camps that can ‘fix’ me or whatever. I keep throwing them out. It’s basically guerilla warfare between us.”
“Damn, I thought she’d turned a corner.”
“It’s a process.
“Hmm, let’s go back to that question later. Here’s something fun. ‘Marry, bury or bang.’”
“Very funny. No way are they asking me that question.”
“Sure they are.” Liam showed me the laptop screen by way of proof. “So, your choices are Edward Cullen, Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. And no, we’re not skipping this question.”
“Fine. Uh, bury Edward, which I guess is kind of redundant. Mary Harry—”
“Hah! I knew I could get you to like Harry Potter.”
“It’s less of a Harry thing and more of a Dan Radcliffe thing.”
“Fair enough. So poor Percy just gets a one night stand?”
“Well, Logan Lerman is cute and all, but Dan has that British accent.”
“Oh, you like the accent thing? I’ll be sure to tell your boyfriend.”
“He doesn’t need an accent to be sexy.”
Liam’s eyes glinted and he got that self-satisfied smile on his face like my happiness was entirely his own doing. And since that was basically true, I didn’t fight him on it.
“Oh, here’s a good one. ‘Who do you consider to be your own role model?’ That’s easy. Kanoa—”
“You,” I told him, refusing to look at him.
Liam was quiet for a moment. He was always cool about not making fun of me for my feelings for him. Sure, he was straight and had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend, but I still cared more about him than either of us wanted to talk about.
“Thanks,” he said, his tone subdued. “Next question, ‘how has your coming out impacted your relationships with your teammates?’ Well, Jimmy has been hitting on you.”
“He has not,” I objected.
“Well, he’s been about twenty-percent less douchey, so that counts as flirting.”
“Stop it.” Liam gave me an innocent look which I didn’t buy for a second. “Things have been okay. Jon seems to be a little weird now and Marcus has made a few jackass comments, but it doesn’t seem to be too big of a deal.”
“Hmm, I’ll put ‘the overwhelming support of my teammates has moved me deep in my soul.’”
“Will you knock it off? No one talks like that.”
“You’re no fun.”
“We knew that already.”
Liam threw an empty water bottle at me, which went wide and bounced off a ratty stuffed animal on the nightstand. He was about to say something, probably make some comment about me saying negative crap about myself, but he was interrupted by a scratch at the door. Sully nosed his way inside and somehow managed to look casually excited. It was an expression that said, “If you wanted to take me for a walk, that would be okay with me.”
“Hmm, time for a break,” I said as Liam hugged his other best friend.
“Is that right? Are you ready for walk-ums? Is Suwy weady for walk-ums?”
I swear, there is nothing cuter than him making baby talk at his dog. I got up and grabbed the leash and the Frisbee. Sully’s tail wagged fitfully at the sign that we had gotten the hint.
“Okay, but seriously, you wouldn’t even want to bang Edward Cullen?” Liam asked me as we headed for the door.
“The vampire thing just doesn’t work for me. Now, if it was that werewolf guy….”
At fifteen, Justin is already a cynic. He’s experienced too many betrayals, too many disappointments. He doesn’t want to be involved in anything. He doesn’t want to be popular. He doesn’t even want friends anymore, since they only ever let you down. He just wants to get through high school and the best way he can come up with to accomplish that goal is to simply be invisible.
His self-imposed exile from high school life is threatened when Liam, the scary stoner, reaches out to him. What starts out as a strange and unsettling encounter with the unnerving, pot-smoking teenager evolves into the sort of friendship that changes the course of a person’s life.
But as Liam drags the reluctant Justin out of his shell, Liam’s own secret is revealed.
Fearless is the story of the myriad shades of love, how to find one’s courage and the transformative power of friendship.
“If I was just going to ask some dude out, like, just out of the blue—which I totally am not—it wouldn’t be Jimmy.”
“Ah ha!” he crowed. “So, who’s the lucky dude who has your eye?”
I wasn’t sure he could be trusted with my crush, but I supposed I had to stop thinking that way about everything. “This guy in my science class, Zach.”
“Ew, gross.” Snyder was a mouth-breathing Neanderthal who was always picking his nose in class—when he wasn’t scratching his crotch. “I have better taste than that, come on!”
“Then which Zach is it? I can name like five—no, six—guys with that name.”
Liam’s eyes lit up. “A senior! Wow, you really do go all out with a crush.”
My cheeks were burning. “He’s just this really fantastic guy—like, a really nice person, you know?”
“And the fact that he’s smoking hot doesn’t have anything to do with it?”
I fidgeted. “You think he’s hot too?”
“Dude, the guy is so good looking even straight guys want to do him.”
I snorted laughter. “You’re awful.”
“So ask him out.”
“Okay, no. I prefer admiring from afar—really far.”
Liam elbowed me. “Homecoming isn’t far off. You should ask him.”
He said it in this sing-song voice that didn’t make the idea sound any smarter. “For one, he’s a senior and I’m a freshman,” I said, ticking the irrefutable points off on my fingers. “For two, he’s so far out of my league that I don’t have the slightest chance. For three, if I tried, I’d have some kind of seizure and die. And fourth, oh yeah, he’s straight.”
Liam grinned at me. “One, two and especially three are lame. I’m throwing them out. So, let’s talk about four. How do you know he’s straight?”
About the Author
I’ve been writing since I was fifteen, not that those stories will ever be allowed out of the dark hole I buried them in. I focused primarily on the Fantasy genre for the first two decades, occasionally diverting into modern fiction. In 2010, I embarked in a self-publishing career, focusing on the young adult novel genre. When I’m not writing, I am contributing to TheBacklot.com, a gay entertainment website.