Author Name: Jude Sierra
Book Name: What It Takes
Release Date: January 14, 2016
Pages or Words: 274 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27829994-what-it-takes
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Art: Nelli I
Cover Design: C.B. Messer
The connection was instantaneous.
Mere moments after Milo Graham’s family relocates to Cape Cod, he meets Andrew Witherell—launching a lifelong friendship built on a foundation of deep bonds, secret forts, and plans for the future. When Milo is called home from college to attend his domineering father’s funeral, he and Andrew finally act on their mutual attraction. But doubtful of his worth, Milo severs all ties with his childhood friend. Years later, the men find themselves home again, and their long-held feelings will not be denied. But will they have what it takes to find lasting love?
IP Web Store: store.interludepress.com
Apple iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/what-it-takes/id1059511076?mt=11
All Romance eBooks: (Pending, will send to you tomorrow)
Andrew gladly lets Milo drive his car; he hates driving, especially when he can play radio DJ and watch the scenery go by. He looks at Milo: the way the fading light before dusk changes the tone of his skin; the way the muscles of his arms stand out and his lips curl as he sings along, awfully, to the radio. Milo smiles at him and Andrew flashes a brief one back, wonders how obvious he’s being, and looks back out the window at the slipping sand that spills onto the road and the ramshackle businesses along the road.
“So what got this bee in your bonnet?” he asks suddenly.
Milo shrugs. “You sound like my grandma.”
“Awesome; I like her. Let’s focus.”
“So… okay.” Milo clears his throat and his fingers tighten on the wheel. “I um, think I have something to tell you. But I’m—”
“Is everything okay?” Andrew interrupts, scanning his memory for any signs of additional distress Milo might have displayed in the last few months.
“Yeah. Well. I mean, um… whatever. But I—”
“What? You’re worrying me.”
Milo sighs and pulls into the parking lot of a restaurant with a giant crab on the roof. “I can’t do this and drive.”
“Okay,” Andrew says slowly, then unbuckles his belt and turns to face him. Milo’s face is a little drawn.
“So, I think I might be gay,” Milo blurts. “I mean, I know. I know I am.”
There’s a full minute of silence in the car while Andrew tries to work the words out. Static screeches in his ears, fleetingly numbing his reaction. Focus. He has a few seconds to control his face, to tamp down that sprout of irrational hope seeding despite the chaos, and be ultimately supportive.
“Um.” Andrew licks his lips and tries to pull himself together. That seedling wants to grow into something bigger, and he can’t let it. He looks at Milo’s face, which has morphed into something more vulnerable and worried. Hope is a hollow bell in his chest, ringing loud and dissonant; he wants to vibrate out of his skin with the inappropriateness of his own reactions. This is about Milo, not him. “You aren’t worried that I’m mad or something, are you?” he manages to say.
“I don’t know. Um, your face is doing… a thing,” Milo replies.
Reflexively Andrew puts his hands to his cheeks. His fingers are cold. Okay, so he definitely doesn’t have his face under control. “No, I… wasn’t expecting it, that’s all.” Andrew’s brain, sometimes faster than his mouth, is careening backward. “Maybe I should have had a clue.”
“Well, for starters, you kissed me back.”
Jude Sierra began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv.” She first began writing poetry as a child in her home country of Brazil, and is still a student of the form.
As a sucker for happy endings and well-written emotional arcs and characters, Jude is an unapologetic bookaholic. She finds bookstores and libraries unbearably sexy and, to her husband’s dismay, is attempting to create her own in their living room. She is a writer of many things that hope to find their way out of the sanctuary of her hard drive and many that have found a home in the fanfiction community.
She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Writing and Rhetoric and managing a home filled with her husband, two young sons, and two cats. Her first novel, Hush, was published in 2015 by Interlude Press.
Twitter: @JudeSierra on
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Jude Sierra, author of What it Takes
Hi Jude, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thank you for having me!
Why do you write?
I started writing when I was a kid, and just never stopped. I think I write for a few reasons – first, that I love words. I love how you can shape things and create pictures and worlds. But also, writing is catharsis and escape. As a teenager, reading and writing saved me. Creating fictional lives for other people and reading other people’s stories created a safe place where I could escape my home life, which was very difficult. Through writing, as an adult, I’ve found a way to work through a lot of things I’ve gone through in my life. But also, in writing I can make happy endings. I can watch characters grow and fall in love.
Which of your books was the most difficult to write?
Gosh every book feels like the hardest to write when I’m in it! I think afterwards I end up with some sort of process amnesia where the whole thing felt so much easier than the one I’m working on. I think that the book I’m working on might honestly be the hardest though. There are so many elements to what I’m trying to do that are out of my comfort zone. I’ve had to do a lot more research, talked to more people, and challenged myself to do new things. I’m changing the way I structure things as well.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Andrew has just the most incredible capacity to love. He has a special, innate quality – I drew the inspiration for that from my Tio John, who just…he was the kind of man who exuded love in a special way, it shined from him. He was a flawed person just like the rest of us, but he was also very, very special. Andrew is like that.
Milo is crazy, wicked smart. Everyone knows he’s smart and his parents, especially his father, expect a lot from him. But he never really lets anyone know just how smart he is; it’s not that he keeps it a secret so much as that the expectations placed on him at home hold him back because they create so much self-doubt and chip away at his self-esteem and belief in himself.
How much research do you do for your books?
For Hush, I would say a general amount? It helped that I got to invent a University of my own for that. And it wasn’t inside the city, which also helped, because I’ve never been to Chicago. For What it Takes, I did location research for the Cape, Brandeis and University of Southern California. The most research I did was for understanding what kind of LGBT community they would have at USC for Milo. When I discovered their Pride Floor I was so excited. I had some nice communication with the RA who works on that floor. My current project, Idlewild, has been really research heavy. Still is.
Who designs your covers?
We have great art directors here at Interlude. RJ Shephard was the art director for Hush and CB Messner, our current art director, took the lead for What it Takes.
21-Jan: Molly Lolly, MM Good Book Reviews
Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press web store gift card + WIT ebook; plus 5 eBook editions of WIT