Sophie Gonzales, author of Only Mostly Devastated, answers our #ReadwithPride celebration Q&A!
Find out more about our #ReadwithPride summer celebrations here.
Tell us, what is your book/series about in one sentence?
An homage to Grease, about two guys who meet and fall for each other over summer then collide again at school – only to realise one of them is out, and one isn’t.
Can you tell us a bit more about why you decided to write the book/series?
With Only Mostly Devastated, I wanted to lean into the cliché, the tropey, the sappy and the predictable – as all of these things became “predictable and overdone” because they were done a million times . . . starring a cast of cishet white teens. But I don’t think something can be overdone until everyone’s had a chance to see themselves in that story. I especially wanted to lean into queer joy, and centre on a main character who had already come out—because queer people’s stories don’t end when they come out.
What are some of the LGBTQ+ themes and issues you explore in your book/series?
Only Mostly Devastated looks at relationships where one partner is closeted and one isn’t, and the difficulties navigating that. It explores microaggressions, and how they can damage relationships and confidence. It looks at queer friendships, and in-community support and solidarity between mlm and wlw characters. It explores internalised biphobia, and how sometimes members of the queer community feel as though they’re “representing” their whole community, and people will judge their community by their behaviour. And it also highlights queer joy, and romance, and there is an emphasis on happy endings!
What is your favourite LGBTQ+ book and why?
We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson, because of its many layers, beautiful characters, and compelling writing. I think it’ll have a spot on my “favourites of all time” list until I die!
What plans do you have to celebrate PRIDE this year? Any virtual events you’re attending that you can recommend?
This year, I chose to celebrate PRIDE by pre-ordering, buying and reading books by Black, queer authors. I’m very excited for Cinderella is Dead to arrive soon, and You Should See Me in a Crown is next on my reading list! Black Lives Matter, and PRIDE was an excellent excuse to splurge a little (RIP my bank account!) on books that centre Black queer stories and joy!