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Our author interview this month is with debut author, Ryan Love. Born and raised in the island town of Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, Ryan is a journalist who has written for publications including the Independent, the Telegraph, Attitude, Radio Times and Yahoo. Arthur and Teddy Are Coming Out is his debut novel and we were thrilled when he agreed to answer some of our questions about his book, about his writing and what he’s reading at the moment. We have to admit that we are so excited about this book that we included it in our post about books to look forward to in 2023! 

You can get your own copy of Arthur and Teddy are Coming Out here!

Arthur and Teddy Are Coming Out is a gorgeous tale of two men becoming comfortable with who they are at two very different points in their lives; Arthur Edwards is 79-years-old and his grandson Teddy is 21-year-old. Arthur is ready to come out to his family but Teddy isn’t. How did you decide to use such an original dual narrative for the story?

I really wanted to showcase Arthur’s story and not just have him as a secondary character to Teddy. Using the dual narrative really gave me the chance to share their two unique coming out experiences, but also to highlight their bond, personalities and approach to situations at such different stages of their respective lives. Coming out is such a unique experience for every person, but seeing it through two sets of eyes within one family at the same time felt like a really exciting opportunity for the story.

The relationship between grandfather and grandson is interesting and unique, keeping the reader engaged with two wildly different viewpoints and experiences. How did you get the voice of each character right?

It was surprisingly easy for me to find Arthur’s voice. I’ve spent a lot of my life around older people, so really just channelled them when writing. Arthur has such a big heart, it’s been damaged over the years, but he never lets that get in the way of the love he has for life or the people he cherishes the most. That made finding his voice even easier. Teddy was more difficult as he is struggling with his position in the family while understanding who he is as a person. He’s a bit of an old soul having spent so much time around his Grandparents, so he’s definitely not your typical 21-year-old. I took some of my own experiences and personality and really tried to find a voice that really showed a young man who was struggling, but really trying his best to be everything to everyone.

Is there a book you’re always recommending to readers?

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haigh is a book that found its way into my hands at a time when I needed it most. Weirdly, I’m someone who is usually quite hesitant to recommend things to people in case they don’t like them, but I really think this book is something anyone of any age, in any situation in life, can pick up and take something valuable away from.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it?

Becoming Ted by Matt Cain is my current read. I knew immediately that I was going to fall in love with this book. It’s filled with the most lovely characters and showcases friendships we all want to have. At the same time, it doesn’t shy away from exploring heavier themes and reminding us about the rights we might sometimes take for granted these days. 

Is there a book you think deserves to be more widely read?

Julietta Henderson’s ​​The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman. This book is a gem. Julietta’s story of family and friends stayed with me long after I finished it. You’ll laugh, cry and laugh some more. This is a book you want to pick up in tough times. I don’t miss a chance to recommend it to anybody who’ll listen! 

What’s the most important thing someone needs to write well?

Two years ago I would probably have given a different answer, but right now I would say patience and a willingness to learn. You have to be prepared to get it wrong, to stress out over it, to read it back and absolutely hate it. You’ll feel every emotion trying to get those words out of you, but being patient and trusting yourself will help you get there. I put a lot of pressure on myself and would constantly overthink every single paragraph. It wasn’t until I started to let go of that, that I was able to get what I wanted to say written down. Once that first draft was done, then the hard work starts! Nothing is perfect on the first go, not even the second or third, but if you’re willing to give it time, to learn from others and work at what you have written, you’ll get there. 

Are you currently working on anything or is that all hush-hush?

I’m currently working on my second novel. I can’t say too much about it yet, but I’m really excited to be diving into new characters who I hope people will take to their hearts. 

You can get your own copy of Arthur and Teddy are Coming Out here!

Enjoyed this? Read some of our other author interviews!