Coming out is tough for some people. Therefore, if you're interested in books about characters coming out for the sake of love, then check out "An Unexpected Kind of Love" by Hayden Stone.
What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
"An Unexpected Kind of Love" was sparked by a love of 90s Hugh Grant films like Notting Hill, and 80s John Hughes films with cheery appeal like The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Some Kind of Wonderful. There’s something timeless, light, and very appealing to me about those story worlds. Then I thought — cool vibes, but make it queer. The novel was also inspired by a summer when I was caught in a heatwave in London that I couldn’t escape one summer, and that made an impression.
What does "Reading with Pride" mean to you?
“Reading with Pride” means reading LGBT and queer books. I love reading queer romance, which makes me so happy. I want to see queer characters who get to have their happily ever afters in romances. To me, it means reading works by queer authors and queer themes in any and all genres. There’s always so much to learn and inspire by reading broadly. I want to see all of the queer stories out there.
Why do you feel representation of a variety of people is so important when it comes to writing books and characters?
I love seeing a diversity of characters in their identities, sexualities, cultural backgrounds, and abilities — and their intersectionality. The world is a diverse place and I believe stories should reflect that world around us. Personally, I want to see more queer characters and experiences in the mainstream, as well as other underrepresented characters and stories, in adult fiction, as well as in young adult fiction, which is leading the way in diversity in my opinion. I’m seeing it more and more in adult fiction across genre, and it’s very exciting to me.
Which character did you relate to the most and why?
Between my two lead characters: Aubrey, a serious introvert, and Blake, an extrovert of the first order, I have to say I’m more like Aubrey. I’m more introverted and I also have loads of books. I definitely prefer staying out of the limelight to finding myself in it.
What can fans expect from your book?
There’s a shy, quirky London bookseller who crashes quite literally into an American C-list actor. What follows is a light-hearted romp through a sultry London heatwave where opposites attract, and where my main character Aubrey Barnes has to decide whether he might take a chance at coming out of his defensive shell for love. Read for some fun and escape, and shenanigans around London!
What's up next for you in the bookish world?
I have a second stand-alone book in the same London neighborhood coming out later this fall — stay tuned for more news! You can sign up for my newsletter at haydenstonebooks.com or follow me on Twitter @writerhayden or Instagram @haydenstoneauthor for updates.