YA Authors James Brandon and Bill Konigsberg are in conversation with YouTuber Tiernan Bertrand-Essington. Scroll through for photos.
James Brandon is an author, actor, producer, and LGBTQ2+ community activist who co-founded the I AM Love Campaign and currently serves on the Powwow Steering Committee for Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS) in San Francisco. Ziggy, Stardust & Me is his debut novel.
About ZIGGY, STARDUST & ME: 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, is alone aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla. In his imagination his hero, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, and dead relatives guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In this alternate reality Jonathan can be a completely normal boy– not a boy who likes other boys. Then he meets Web. who is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.
Bill Konigsberg is the author of four YA novels, with a fifth on the way. His 2008 debut, won the Lambda Literary Award. Openly Straight won the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor. The Porcupine of Truth won the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Stonewall Book Award. Honestly Ben, the sequel to Openly Straight, was released in 2017 and received three starred reviews. He lives with his husband, Chuck, and their two Australian Labradoodles, Mabel and Buford, in Arizona.
About THE MUSIC OF WHAT HAPPENS: It is summer in Phoenix, and seventeen-year-old Maximo offers to help a Jordan, a fellow student in high school, with the food truck that belonged to Jordan’s deceased father, and which may be the only thing standing between homelessness for Jordan and his mom; the boys are strongly attracted to each other, but as their romance develops it is threatened by the secrets they are hiding–and by the racism and homophobia of those around them.
Tiernan Bertrand-Essington is an actor, writer, director, musician, and bookish human from the Midwest who has found his way to Los Angeles. He grew up with a deep love for queer stories and LGBTQ+ activism, and is committed to bringing honest queer stories to the world. In 2011, on a mission to share his love of storytelling and his own work, Tiernan started the YouTube channel TheBookTuber, where he has interviewed dozens of New York Times Bestselling authors including Rick Riordan, David Levithan, and Marie Lu for an audience of over 41,000 subscribers.