Author Interview with Suki Fleet.
Hi Suki! Welcome to Smoocher's Voice. Thank you for joining us today.
Hi Cam, thank you for having me! J
You've recently published your first book through Harmony Ink, called This is Not a Love Story. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little about the book?
Thanks J Well, despite what the title says, it is a love story, a love story about two homeless teenagers and their struggle to stay together and find a way off the streets. My intention was for readers to see and feel everything through Romeo’s eyes, all the good and all the bad.
Why did you decide to write lgbt Ya? And why about Homeless youth?
Well, I guess with this story I didn’t consciously set out to write YA, it just kind of happened that these characters were young. A week before I discovered Harmony Ink and submitted this story, I wasn’t actually aware there was a market for YA LGBT stories at all outside of mainstream presses.
I’ve written M/M romance for a number of years, mostly NA romance. But this story was inspired by a homeless kid I saw crying in an alleyway in the town that I live in. People were stepping over him and ignoring him as though he wasn’t there. It broke my heart and it still breaks my heart to know that there are other kids out there in the same situation. I wanted to write a happy ending for them, an ending where they have a choice, because being on the streets takes away every choice but the most basic ones.
One of your characters also has a disability, not being able to speak. Was it more difficult to write a character with this sort of disability?
Romeo came into my head fully formed. I never plan or do character charts, most of the time characters come to me as if they are real, three dimensional people that I can imagine meeting and conversing with, so being mute is just the way he is.
Some characters are more difficult to write and it’s harder to hear their voice than others (and this is something I’m not sure I’ll ever really know the reason for) but Romeo has perhaps been the easiest character I’ve ever written. It was everything that happened to him that was hard (emotionally anyway) to write.
What sort of research went into preparing to write this book?
I didn’t have to do a lot of research. My location was one I was very familiar with as I lived in London for a number of years. And the struggles of someone who has nothing was also something I could relate to.
The plight of homeless teens has always been something which I’m deeply affected by.
What's coming next? What are you putting out next?
I have a contemporary M/M novella called Skeleton coming out with Dreamspinner in Oct/Nov. That one is a lot sweeter and not so dark.
And I have just finished a spin off to this story (about one of the secondary characters, Crash, entitled Wild Summer).
Where can readers purchase your books or find you on social media?
Cam: I also want to mention that in addition to the titles that Suki mentioned above she also has a recent release as part of the M/M groups Don’t Read in the Closet Event: Love’s Landscapes. The story is a free read called Metronomy and can be found here:
Thank you very much for Joining us Suki!
When fifteen-year-old Romeo's mother leaves one day and doesn't return, he finds himself homeless and trying to survive on the streets. Mute and terrified, his silence makes him vulnerable, and one night he is beaten by a gang of other kids, only to be rescued by a boy who pledges to take care of him.
Julian is barely two years older than Romeo. A runaway from an abusive home, he has had to make some difficult choices and sells himself on the street to survive. Taking care of Romeo changes him, gives him a purpose in life, gives him hope, and he tries to be strong and keep his troubles with drugs behind him. But living as they do is slowly destroying him, and he begins to doubt he can be strong enough.
This is the story of their struggle to find a way off the streets and stay together at all costs. But when events threaten to tear them apart, it is Romeo who must find the strength within himself to help Julian (and not let their love story turn into a Shakespearean tragedy)