Saturday, February 7, 2015

Saturday Author Spotlight: John Goode #Interview & #Giveaway

Tales of Foster High is a series that if you've read you've had every emotion lit on fire. If you haven't than I highly suggest today you start. I remember my friend hounding me to read it. "You have to" over and over. I said, "Okay, I'll get the first book." Well, I didn't stop until there were no more left to read. Absolutely outstanding. One of the best series I have EVER read!

Let's take a look at the first few books in this series:

Kyle has worked hard at being the invisible student, toiling through high school in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Brad is the baseball star at Foster High. Both boys are damaged in ways that the rest of the world can’t see. When they bond over a night of history tutoring, Kyle thinks that maybe his life has taken a turn for the not-so-lonely.

He finds out quickly that the promise of fairy-tale love is a lie when you’re gay and falling for one of the most popular boys in school, and if being different is a sin in high school, then being gay is the biggest sin of all. Now Kyle and Brad need to come to an understanding amidst the scrutiny of their peers or their fledgling relationship will crash and burn before it ever gets off the ground.

Not too long ago, Brad Greymark outed himself to his high school and the rest of the town of Foster, Texas, with a fairly obvious public display of affection. Now what? Brad had thought being Foster’s favorite son wasn’t that important, but when it comes time to choose between high school fame and Kyle, the boy he might just be falling for? It’s not an easy decision, knowing his heart may break either way.

Tales of Foster High - Sequel to The End of the Beginning

Kyle Stilleno used to be the invisible student. Brad Graymark used to be the baseball star.

Then they fell in love and Brad outed them both with a spectacular public display of affection, and now everything is different.

After spending a few days lying low, Kyle and Brad are going back to school. It's time to face the music and see how Foster High deals with their growing romance. But the school's reaction-and the staff's hostility-are not what they expected. Everyone they know seems to be allied against them.

Isn't there anyone they can count on to defend their happiness?

Here is the list of the Tales of Foster High books:Tales of Foster High on Goodreads 

I have a wonderful interview with John Goode and after I'll tell you all about the giveaway:

 This first question is actually from a friend and fellow fan: You're author bio on GR is genius. What made you go that route?
What made me go with that bio? Because the books aren't about me, they are about the books. I don't think what my life is really like matter sin the long run because it is the books and their message I want highlighted. And, who doesn't like funny? I think it gives them a taste of the insanity to come if they read one of my books.

 Tales of Foster High *sigh* The serious impacted me. How close is this series to your own experiences?
I get asked this and I hate to tell people none of it. I grew up in the Bay Area, was widely accepted as bi in high school, never got bullied or teased for being gay. But these events, these feelings, they are universal. Everyone, gay, straight, ugly, pretty, fat, everyone, they go through them. That is what John Hughes taught us, we can be a multitude of things on the outside but we are all only one thing on the inside. Scared.

 Having experienced the loss of a very close friend myself in high school I related a great deal to End of Innocence. You talk a lot at the end of your books about your life. You open up to us in ways many authors don't but for people who haven't experienced these books yet can you tell us why that book in the series was so vital?
Because in the real world people die. And in the real world an overwhelming number of gay kids kill themselves. I wanted to show how truly horrible that is to the people around them. What happened in the book didn't need to happen for that character to find happiness and I wanted to show that. I wanted to show kids out there who are thinking about it, look at the pain and suffering you can cause for nothing. You can make it through this, it does get better, Just hold on one more day. Just tough it out 24 more hours. Nothing in the world is as bad as we imagine it. I promise you, we can all get through it.

 I live in Connecticut and two years ago, 10 minutes from Sandy Hook Elementary School. It was one of the scariest days of my life. You address that as well. A very controversial area, what made you choose to add that to your series?
Well a few things. One, how badly it seems to be handled in the media. Every single time the shooter must be a monster because of what they did and it came out of nowhere. One, the person who did it was sick and did evil things, yes, but a monster? None of us are monsters. And if we are we aren't born that way. For people to say things like that come out of nowhere just shows how little attention kids like that get and why they do the things they do. I wrote that book for the kids who are thinking about it. Again, there is another way and it doesn't always have to go down like every single television show portrays it. You can literally just put the gun down and walk away. You don't have to kill anyone and you don't have to die. I am in no way making excuses for the actions of people, instead I am trying to warn them off before they get there. Before they do something like that, they are human beings in pain and maybe if we can just reach out to them before they get to that point, then we don't have to watch another group of kids kill another group of kids and shake our heads wondering what went wrong.

 This series should be a bible for young adults, and parents. Schools should make it readily available. What is your highest hope with this series? What do you hope the LGBT community, kids, parents, everyone takes from it?
I hope they read it and see, if only for a second, what it is like to be gay and abused. For one glimmering moment to understand what it is like to be hated and shunned for simply being you. People think being picked on for being fat or unpopular is bad but those are things you can change. Things you can modify with time and effort. Being hated for being gay is like being hated for being left handed. You will never change and spend your entire life wondering why it matters so much to other people. So if these books can get people to understand how stupid bigotry is, then I have done my job.

 I have to ask, a little... okay more for myself lol... Where do we go after 151 Days? It felt like the end.
It is the end in many ways. It is the end of Foster High School but not of Brad and Kyle. Kyle said it best in his graduation speech, They are going to go out to the world and take these stories of what happened to them and they are going to tell others and it is going to slowly change the world. What's next? Kyle and Brad move to California and try to be grown ups. But as anyone who has been there before knows, it is never that easy. The next book, When I Grow Up coming out this summer, is about that time after high school where you are assumed to know what you are supposed to do. You're a grown up now, in college, now go. The story telling changes, the focus of it is more about them but there are a lot of old friends back to help out.

 How do you map out such an intricate, and emotional series?
At the end. You have to know where you are going before you plan a trip and I knew that scene, with them at the city limits forever. That one moment, Brad and Kyle were here, that is the entire series wrapped up in one sentence. Once you have your ending you backtrack and find out the best way to get there. Also a lot of help from beta readers.

 Outside of Tales of Foster High, is there anything else in the works for you?
Well I have a fantasy series called Lords of Arcadia, three book so far the fourth on the way. Going the Distance is the story of Danny, the gay basketball player introduced in 151 Days and I have a short story called Last Dance with Mary Jane coming out soon which has a paranormal flavor to it.

Can you tell some of us what YOUR favorite books are?
Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

 Where can your fans find you? Twitter, FB, website etc...?
Twitter is @fosterhigh, facebook is and email is
And now for the giveaway. John will give ONE person their choice of any of the Tales of Foster High books (Ebook) So if you haven't had a chance to start this is a great chance. If you started but haven't gotten to get one, well, here's your chance for that too! 
Contest will run until February 13th! Winner will be notified via email so check your spam. 
I want to thank John for being here today and for his generosity to all of us with this giveaway and for his talent.
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  1. I enjoy reading LGBT high school stories :)

  2. Everybody keeps on telling me I need to read this series, and I believe them. I just need more hours in my days or days in my weeks...

  3. I went to a very large high school and freaking hated every minute of it!

  4. high school was good i moved from a different state and was new

  5. I was the overweight kid. I moved to a new town and new school in ninth grade. It took a year before I had an people I called friend. After I made my friends it was a lot easier.

  6. I went to a big HS and looking back I don't remember anything bad other than the usual boyfriend drama. I was a marching band and AV geek so those are my best memories. I get to sit back and watch my daughter go to HS now and it doesn't seem much different.

  7. Not so good at first, I loved to learn and study and spent most of my time in the library or with a few chosen friends. I much preferred going to college, I think I might have been a bit too grown up for high school :) thank you for the giveaway