Saturday, December 17, 2022

Interview With Author T.H. Forest


1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book? I began writing during the pandemic, as a way to stay sane. I took a class called “Novel Essentials: Narrative Perspective” at the amazing Grub Street Press in Boston. The instructor gave us several examples of different styles of narration and one was the opening pages of The Catcher in the Rye, a book I hadn’t read since high school and I was instantly inspired. I spent a month or so tossing ideas around in my head. Robby came to me (like a fever dream) after a conversation I had with a relative over Thanksgiving dinner, and I wrote the book in two months.  

2. What is it about and who is it for? Twinkies & Beefcake is a coming-of-age story about Robby, a teenager who finds that love isn’t at all what he hoped it would be after falling hard for a man nearly twice his age. After Vas dumps him, Robby is forced to contend with the trauma of his adolescence so that he can find, and be with, his soulmate. Striving for happiness, inner-peace, and true love, Robby must decide if his sins can ever be overcome. Twinkies & Beefcake is a story for all kinds of people over the age of 18. While it is story about a gay man, it is entirely relatable for anyone who has had their heart broken, who has had to overcome any type of struggle in order to achieve peace and balance, or to find love.  

3. What takeaways might the reader will be left with after reading it? That the human experience is singular, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. That we are all flawed, but that our flaws don’t need to define us, and that when you recognize the flaws in yourself, you can forgive others for theirs.  

4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? Robby is a “twink” and Vas is a buff gym-head. I came up with the title somewhat as a joke initially, until realizing, rather quickly, that it’s actually perfect, and sums up the light-hearted depth of the book. The cover is a young man with angel wings. I use a bit of angel imagery throughout the book. Vas has a tattoo of St Michael on the back of his neck, the archangel who led an army against Lucifer and banished him from heaven. I find that Lucifer is a woefully misunderstood and misrepresented and misinterpreted character in literature, not unlike Robby. I knew I wanted hidden images within the feathers, that tease of elements of the story, and the young man was inspired by the cover for Troye Sivan’s album “Bloom.” That album, as well as his more recent “In a Dream,” really inspired me when I was writing.  

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Write as often as you can. Like learning a sport, or exercising a muscle, you get better the more you do it. T&B is the 7th book I’ve written (the others have not been published), and I feel as though it is my best.  Also, read a lot, and from different styles and genres.  

6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? I don’t know too much about trends in literature, except that LGBTQ stories are finally getting their due. As far as the industry and trends are concerned, sadly they are too focused on known entities, and have really gotten away from fostering new voices.  

7. What challenges did you overcome to write this book? Finding the time to write was a challenge, as I work full-time, and I got used to operating on very little sleep, often waking at 3am to crank out several pages on my laptop, while my husband slept next to me with a pillow over his head. Writing the book was a breeze, making edits was the chore.  

8. How would you describe your writing style? This book is written in the framed, stylized first-person narrative, with a fluid stream of consciousness at times. I followed literary rules, and broke them at times.          

9. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? My book speaks to all kinds of people, and is a guaranteed page-turner (Robby is someone you just have to find out what he’s going to do next). It’s funny, and gritty, and frivolous, with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep a reader on their toes. It’s the perfect holiday gift, and beach read. There is plenty for book clubs to sink their teeth into, and enough for the individual reader to parse on their own.  

About The Author: TH Forest is the pen name of a writer who lives in Massachusetts with her husband, sons, dogs, cats, bird, fish, and two wild turkeys that breeze through the yard named Matt & Ollie. She works in higher education and began writing during the pandemic when she came to the end of the internet, and Netflix. For more information, find him on twitter @THForest6.

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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.2 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past decade, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, NewsdayThe Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:

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