Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Kosoko Jackson Interview - A Dash of Salt and Pepper

Photo Content from Kosoko Jackson

Kosoko Jackson is a vocal champion of diversity in YA literature, the author of YA novels featuring African American queer protagonists, and a sensitivity reader for Big Five Publishers. Some of his favorite authors are Courtney Summers, Jen DeLuca, Adib Khorram, Casey McQuiston, Ian McEwan, Alex London, Andi Christopher, Dhonielle Clayton, Ryan LaSalla, Denise Williams, and Natalie Parker.

Professionally, is a digital media specialist, focusing on digital storytelling, email, social and SMS marketing, and a freelance political journalist. Occasionally, his personal essays and short stories have been featured on Medium, Thought Catalog,

When not writing YA novels that champion holistic representation of black queer youth across genres, he can be found obsessing over movies, drinking his (umpteenth) London Fog, or spending far too much time on Twitter. His YA debut, YESTERDAY IS HISTORY, will come out in 2021, published by SourceBooks Fire and his adult #OwnVoices queer Romcom, I’M SO (NOT) OVER YOU will come out in 2022, by Berkley Romance.


Greatest thing you learned at school.
Good question! Perfection is the enemy of the good 9 times out of 10.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I started writing when I was 6 years old, but didn’t seriously want to be published until 2013. I was at a low point in my life and knew that books were my love. I did a lot of research to see how to get here and wrote a lot of bad books, but I love all of them.

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?
Atonement. The book made me want to be a writer. I loved the prose, the unreliable narrator, the flawed characters, the historical references…I still love that book. Outside of romance books, I also really love Hacienda by Isabel CaƱas and Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. These gothic vibes are something I hope to write someday.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
When my debut rom-com, I’m So Not Over You, came out, a book seller told me an older Black man came in, saw the book, and said they had never seen someone who looked like them on the cover of a romance. I love knowing my books help people see themselves more often than not.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
The Portrait of Dorian Grey, hands down.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Food research! I was really trying to balance how much or how little to put into the book. It lead me watching and trying a lot of recipes and forgetting to write!

  • Xavier went through many name changes before I settled on Xavier. I was binge watching X men when I rewrote it. PS: Xavier would be team Magneto.
  • Logan was always always modeled after Milo Ventimiglia. Milo, if you read this, I love you.
  • Anne is a direct copy of Anne of Green Gables, one of my favorite books growing up.
  • Mya, Xavier’s best friend, was loosely based off of my best friend in college, Camille.
  • Harper’s Cove is basically Stars Hollow.
  • I went to Maine for a week to research this book–and ate a lot of seafood.
  • The original ending, no spoilers, was VERY different. When you read it, picture the exact opposite.
  • The Devil Wears Prada is a paid actor in this book.
  • Like every rom-com of mine, there is a singing scene. This one is a sea shanty!
  • Xavier’s mother is directly based off of mine.
What is the first job you have had?
Heathfood store associate.

Best date you've ever had?
Stargazing in a golf course we snuck into.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
If my puppy, Artemis, going to piss on the floor.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Flying to Dublin to visit my best friend and having the best spring break trip ever.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Working for Rock The Vote during the 2016 election.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love with a guarantee of heart break.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
“I don’t want to go for this jog today, but I have to, ugh.”

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
The TikTok I just watched to be honest!

First Love?
A boy named Benjamin!

Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
Being chased by a witch who ate me by inhaling me into her nose.

What event in your life would make a good movie?
High school trip to Mexico where I had my first kiss.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
Organ theft.

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Madame Curie because she changed the world scientifically and politically and sociologically in ways we could never have expected.

Sometimes two cooks in the kitchen are better than one in this swoony romantic comedy from the author of I'm So (Not) Over You.

Xavier Reynolds is doing less than stellar. He just got dumped, was passed over for a prestigious fellowship, and to top it all off he's right back home in Harper's Cove, Maine (population: 9,000). The last thing he wants to do is to work as a prep chef in the kitchen of the hip new restaurant in town, The Wharf. Especially since the hot, single-father chef who owns it can't delegate to save his life.

Logan O'Hare doesn't understand Xavier or why every word out of his mouth is dipped in sarcasm. Unfortunately, he has no choice but to hire him--he needs more help in the kitchen and his tween daughter, Anne, can only mince so many onions. It might be a recipe for disaster, but Logan doesn't have many options besides Xavier.

Stuck between a stove and a hot place, Logan and Xavier discover an unexpected connection. But when the heat between them threatens to top the Scoville scale, they'll have to decide if they can make their relationship work or if life has seasoned them too differently.

You can purchase A Dash of Salt and Pepper at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.