Blog Tour, Interview & Giveaway: Camp by L.C. Rosen
Camp by L.C. Rosen releases this Tuesday, the 26th, and I am thrilled to be a part of this blog tour, to get the chance to chat with L.C. about his newest book and writing! Check out the interview below and be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Camp!
Campon May 26, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, GLBTQIA+
Amazon, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Book Depository
From the author of the acclaimed Jack of Hearts (and other parts) comes a sweet and sharp screwball comedy that critiques the culture of toxic masculinity within the queer community.
Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It's where he met his best friends. It's where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it's where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim - who's only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.
This year, though, it's going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as 'Del' - buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he's determined to get Hudson to fall for him.
But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn't know who he truly is?
Click here to register for free to attend the virtual launch event!
CAMP has been optioned by HBO Max to be turned into a feature film for the streaming service. Academy Award winner Dan Jinks (American Beauty, Milk) will produce through his Dan Jinks Company, and Kit Williamson (creator, director, and star of the Emmy-nominated series EastSiders) will write the screenplay. Read more on Deadline.
1. What research or use personal experience did you use to help create the setting?
The setting is 100% based on the summer camp I went to as a kid (and later worked at for a few years). I had to move some stuff around, and I got rid of “boys hill” (the cabins were separated by gender, so there was boys hill and girls hill, but I just put everyone on girls hill), but when I picture Camp Outland in my mind, it’s my old summer camp. Just nicer, cause that place was kinda rough. The characters are all from my mind, though, no one is based on anyone. Summer camp is where I experienced the most homophobia growing up, so it was fun to take the space back and make it SUPERQUEER.
2. Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) was a unique and important story. What was it like writing Camp vs. Jack?
Well, Jack was a sex-ed thriller, and Camp is a romantic comedy, so the tone had to be different in a lot of ways. Both are funny (I hope), but Camp has a lightness to it, and an innocence, which Jack does not. I really wanted Camp is be more commercial, more accessible, so I approached some of the same themes, but with a different attitude. I think Camp has more forgiveness in it. And while Jack has a lot of love for queer kids, Camp has a lot of love for queer kids and queer community. It’s about how queer families take care of each other in a space that is theirs, even if the straight world still exists outside. Jack is more about being in that outside.
3. Both Jack & Camp address issues of toxic masculinity within the LGBTQ+ community, what advice would your characters give to people who face it IRL?
It’s interesting – Jack absolutely deals with toxic masculinity within the queer community, but only in passing. Jack is really more about being queer in a world where the straight community is telling you what that means. But in Camp, it’s about other queer people telling you how to be queer. And part of that is absolutely toxic masculinity. And I think the advice my characters would give changes over the course of the book, so I’m just going to give my advice, which is that there’s no right way to be queer. Whether as in Jack, you feel like straight people are telling you what your queerness means, or as in Camp, where it feels like your queerness is ranked or valued differently by what kind of queer you are, people who make you feel that aren’t in charge. There is no one in charge of queerness. Be the version of you that feels right. And sure, try on different versions if you want to – that’s part of coming out and growing up. But take the parts of those identities you like the most, the ones that make you feel genuinely proud of who you are not because someone else is nodding approvingly, or telling you you’re doing queer right, but because it just clicks inside you.
4. If you could pair the characters in Camp, with characters from another YA book, what book would you pick and why?
Pair, like, they could all hang out? I think they’d have a great time doing some cross-camp bunk wars with the kids from Julian Winters’ Running with Lions. That would be a great crossover – putting that soccer camp across the river from Camp Outland and having them canoe across in the night to TP each others bunks or throw parties or make out a little.
(OMG yes – this is perfect!!!)
5. What books are you reading and loving and want everyone else to read?
There’s a lot of great reading out there right now! Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy’s sequel to Once and Future, The Sword in the Stars is amazing and if you haven’t read those yet, please get on it. Superqueer space Camelot. I feel like those three words should sell anyone on it. And Adam Sass has an amazing book coming out soon called Surrender Your Sons, which actually pairs really well with Camp in that it is also about a queer summer camp and internalized self-hate – but it’s a much much darker adventure novel, a very queer version of those YA adventure books with the kid who’d get lost in the jungle studying some lost civilization, but here the lost civilization he’s studying is the history of self-hate young queer people are taught. And I just finished Brandy Colbert’s The Only Black Girls in Town, which was a beautiful beautiful MG about growing up and finding yourself, but finding yourself through relationships to other people. Really wonderful.
Win (1) of (2) copies of CAMP by Lev A. C. Rosen (US Only)a Rafflecopter giveaway
There is also a separate giveaway taking place on Instagram!