Today is the release day of How We Began, an anthology of LGBTQ+ young adult and new adult romance stories, including stories from Alexis Hall, Delphine Dryden, Vanessa North, Amy Jo Cousins, Annabeth Albert, Geonn Cannon, and edited by Edie Danford. All proceeds from this anthology will go to support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
From the Blurb:
How does love begin?
A glance, a gesture, an unexpected offer of help from a stranger…or from a good friend. A smile across a counter at a coffee shop or video store. A secret revealed in a song from another place and time. Or in a love ballad crooned at a high school dance.
In this anthology of never-before-published sweet LGBTQ+ stories, six authors explore the beginnings of love between young and new adult couples. All proceeds will support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
Vanessa North, author of How We Began story “A Song for Sweater-boy”, is here to tell us a little about why this anthology matters to queer kids, and to her.
When I was a teenager, my parents would drop me off at the library, and I would spend hours combing the young adult section for something new, something different, something I hadn’t read before. I immersed myself in fiction in order to find something larger than life in my small town—and I found it over and over again with science fiction, fantasy, and romance.
I needed that big picture of worlds beyond our own, those windows into things I had never experienced—and believe me at fifteen, romance seemed even more strange to me than the strangest of science fiction.
One day, I picked up a book of one-act plays written by teenagers—like me! I brought it home and curled up to read it, drawn in by the snappy dialogue that sounded so much like people I knew. Looking back, I’m sure the writing was all probably pretty naïve—but what the hell, so was I. These stories were full of life—pain balanced with joy, exuberance with frailty.
One of the plays was a coming out story, and the final stage direction was a kiss.
I was stunned—beyond stunned. This other kid, this playwright, somehow had spoken directly into my sexual confusion and my loneliness and said “hey, we get to be in these stories too.”
I didn’t have words like bisexual, pansexual, queer. I didn’t know back then that I needed them. I did know I needed stories.
The How We Began anthology is for queer kids—and it’s also for queer kids. All proceeds from sales of this anthology support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.
When Audra North approached me about writing a story for this anthology, I remembered what it felt like to be fifteen, standing at the library desk, renewing that book of one-act plays for the second or third time, not ready to give it up yet—and I said yes.
Thank you, Vanessa!
About the Author:
Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.