Steven Salvatore is the author of the novel AND THEY LIVED…
TBF: Why did you write your new book? What was your inspiration? Where did the idea start?
SS: I wrote And They Lived… in order to heal my 18-year-old self and give myself the happily ever after I didn’t get at that age when I fell in love with a boy for the first time. Chase is everything I wish I could have been, and Jack is the boy I fell in love with, but better because he stays around and learns to love Chase out loud, even if it takes him some time. I was always in love with the idea of love, and Disney fairytale movies were my emotional support system growing up, but I never saw myself in those stories, as much as I loved them. So I wanted to write a contemporary, realistic, but romantic and hyper-realized queer love story with an original fairytale woven into the narrative that tackles real issues that gay folks face — from sex to body dysmorphia — so that queer readers could see themselves reflected on the page.
TBF: What’s the last book you read, loved, and can’t stop recommending? Why is it so good?
SS: Jason June’s Out of the Blue was pure joy. I laughed, I cheered, I cried — and I haven’t cried at a book in a really long time, but it just made me feel so seen and valid. I’m a sucker for a well-crafted romcom. I will sing the praises of this brilliant book for years. Equal parts romantic, joy, and camp, this book had me splashing in my Big Gay Feelings from start to poignant finish.
TBF: What’s the first book you remember reading? Who gave it to you?
SS: The first book I remember reading was Dr. Seuss’ Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo, which I still use and reference as an important tool to teach consequences and ripple effects in writing classes. I remember my parents reading it to me as a child, and it became a lifelong favorite.
Catch Steven Salvatore on Saturday, November 5 at the YA HQ Tent from 11:15 -12:00 at the 2022 Texas Book Festival!