If you're interested in transgender representation in theater, then check out "Act Cool" by Tobly McSmith.

What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?

Without question, my second book would be about theater. I’ve been writing parody musicals with my best friend for 15 years and love the entire process of putting on live theater. I wanted to write a story about theater, acting, New York, and fame, but also deal with tougher stuff like transgender representation in theater and unaccepting parents. Everything I love about theater is in ACT COOL.

What does "Reading with Pride" mean to you?

I grew up in Texas during the 90s, so not only did I not see my story (or anything close to it) in books, but it might also not be safe to read an LGBTQ+ book in public. There’s been so much progress in my lifetime and reading with pride is seeing characters you relate to in books and reading those books safely in any space.

Why do you feel representation of a variety of people is so important when it comes to writing books and characters?

More stories out in the world with characters of trans and nonbinary experience mean more chances for a book to get in the hands of someone that needs that story.

Which character did you relate to the most and why?

The main character, August Greene, but I’m not an actor. I don’t like to be on stage. I relate to his drive and persistence to follow his dreams.  And how he finds who he is through pursuing his dreams.

What can fans expect from your book?

Fans can expect an inspiring story about a transgender guy going after his dreams. They should get ready for drama both on stage and off. Everyone will root for August Greene on his journey. They will love the resilience of August and the love from his found family.  

What's up next for you in the bookish world?

I’m busy working on my third YA novel! It’s set in Austin, Texas and that’s all I’m telling for now!

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