Monday, July 25, 2022

Jason June Interview - Out of the Blue

Photo Content from Jason June

Jason June has planned to be a merperson ever since he first saw The Little Mermaid and strongly identified with King Triton’s daughters. While he waits for his fin to appear, Jason June writes young adult works full of queer joy and love and lust and magic. He is the author of Jay’s Gay Agenda, and can be found on social media below.


When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
It was way back in first grade, when I would copy out word for word my favorite movies. The movie that sparked it all was Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, and in writing out the words, it hit me that words are the driving force of stories. From that point on I knew I wanted to tell stories for a living.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
It is so hard to pick just one book! But a book that I can’t stop thinking about regularly is Jonny Garza Villa’s Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun. Jonny just so perfectly captures the highs and lows of coming out for the first time, and I can’t recommend it enough. As for fave book outside my genre, I’m not much of a sci-fi writer, but the book series that made me completely obsessed with reading is the Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate. Group of teens who can turn into animals to battle evil space slugs? I’m in!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
It really really really warms my heart whenever a reader takes the time to send me a note or DM to tell me they really connected with one of my books. With Out of the Blue, I’ve been getting the most soul-enriching notes from people who felt seen by the way Crest views gender, and that really makes my little femme heart soar.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
I think The Hunger Games. Those books are just so well-written, have such a great hook and still dive into really thought-provoking themes. Not to mention the world-building is phenomenal!

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Daydreaming about what it would be like to have a fin.

Can you tell us when you started OUT OF THE BLUE, how that came about?
I started OOTB way back in 2016, and I wrote it as this literary drama! If you’ve read my work, you know I am not a literary writer AT ALL, so it wasn’t until 2020 that I scrapped everything I’d written before and started from scratch leaning into my bubbly, fast-paced, rom-com-loving-ness, and the book we see today finally swam out of my head. I’m a firm believer in doing things outside of your comfort zone, but that initial dive into this story (where one of the merfolk died tragically) just wasn’t the zone I should have ventured into!

  • 1. This book started as a single POV, literary drama where two merfolk came onshore and one of them died! Eek!
  • 2. In the first draft of the rom-com version, Crest worked at a dog-grooming business run by a very Lisa Vanderpump-esque reality star.
  • 3. Even though I’ve been connected to LA for over a decade, I can never not say “the PCH” (Angelenos always simply call the Pacific Coast Highway “PCH” without a “the”, e.g. “I took PCH to Malibu”) and had to have those pesky “the”s removed pre-publication.
  • 4. The reason merfolk have eight magical capabilities is because there are eight phases of the moon, and the moon plays a big role in their powers.
  • 5. Many people have picked up on the line where Crest says that most magical creatures that humans are familiar with are real, and I would love to write a companion rom-com following another magical species. I just need to think of a story first!
  • 6. Elder Kelp’s name is pronounced like the sound of kelp stalks swishing up against each other in a kelp forest.
  • 7. The version of Sean on the cover looks EXACTLY like I pictured him, and I think the cover illustrator, Ricardo Bessa, literally jumped inside my mind.
  • 8. A sizeable chunk of people seem to think my first novel, Jay’s Gay Agenda, is autobiographical, and I’m offended they don’t assume that about my merperson novel.
  • 9. Crest’s favorite land animal is a cow.
  • 10. Merfolk have a lifespan of roughly one hundred years.
What is the first job you have had?
Selling jeans at Buckle.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
My little Pomeranian, Pom Brokaw, and how I need to take him out to pee.

First Love?
Heath Ledger.

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Jennifer Garner. I just love her whole body of work, and I really appreciate how she exudes so much kindness in the world.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?
A life-size wax figure of the Pope tucked away in a closet, whose head would snap over and look at you when you opened the closet door.

Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the monthlong sojourn on land all teen merfolk must undergo. The rules are simple: Help a human within one moon cycle and return to Pacifica to become an Elder--or fail and remain stuck on land forever. Crest is eager to get their Journey over and done with: after all, humans are disgusting. They've pollluted the planet so much that there's a floating island of trash that's literally the size of a country.

In Los Angeles with a human body and a new name, Crest meets Sean, a human lifeguard whose boyfriend has recently dumped him. Crest agrees to help Sean make his ex jealous and win him back. But as the two spend more time together and Crest's pespective on humans begins to change, they'll soon be torn between two worlds. And fake dating just might lead to real feelings...

This instant New York Times bestselling novel from Jason June dives into the many definitions of the world home and shows how love can help us find the truest versions of ourselves.

You can purchase Out of the Blue at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JASON JUNE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Out of the Blue by Jason June.

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