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Pride Never Ends

Tiny Ghost Press Newsletter 2.0, Issue #5, July 4, 2024



Hello, Tiny Ghosts!

As July dawns, we find ourselves reflecting on the vibrant, transformative journey that was Pride Month. Pride is a time to shine a light on the LGBTQ+ community: It’s struggles, which are seemingly more prevalent than ever, but also to shout about our triumphs, and it serves as a powerful reminder of why we do what we do. Our mission at Tiny Ghost Press is to uplift queer voices in YA fiction, providing a platform for stories that resonate with authenticity, courage, and hope. This June, we were thrilled to see our authors and readers engage with these narratives in profound and meaningful ways, especially around the release of our latest book, Trailer Park Prince.

We had the pleasure of interviewing the author of Trailer Park Prince, Andre L. Bradley, which you can read below.


While Pride Month may be over, our commitment to championing queer voices is unwavering. We have been busy behind the scenes, and have a slate of new releases lined up that promise to keep the spirit of Pride alive all year round. Here is a small glimpse of our latest acquisition, In Between The Walls by Caspian Faye -

After relocating with his recently divorced dad to a town that feels like a million miles away from his home state, star athlete James Thorne feels like his life is falling apart. That starts to change when he discovers his house is haunted by Nathaniel, a cute transgender ghost from the 1700’s. As their connection deepens, and romance blossoms, a dark entity rears its head, threatening to destroy them and everything in its path. To defeat it, the pair enlists the help of James’ witch best friend and together, armed with salt and optimism, they are all that stands between the destructive entity and the rest of the world.


With gay and trans rep, we’re so excited to bring this ghoulish fast-paced haunted house mystery/romance to you.


In Between The Walls is slated for publication in October of 2025. Stay tuned for more details including the cover reveal and where you can snag a copy of this phantasmal queer romance.


To our readers, writers, and supporters: thank you for making Pride Month at Tiny Ghost Press so special. Your passion and support fuel our mission and remind us daily of the power of storytelling in fostering empathy, understanding, and love.

Let’s carry the pride and joy of June into every month, celebrating the beautiful spectrum of queer experiences through the pages of our books.


As always, stay scary!


Reuben


Tiny Ghost Author Deep Dive


We're asking our authors some probing questions to get to know them a little better!

This week get to know Andre L. Bradley author of Trailer Park Prince!



TGP: Hi Andre, could you introduce yourself and your Tiny Ghost book?

Andre: Andre here! I am Andre L. Bradley, born in West Virginia and raised in Georgia. Trailer Park Prince is my first published novel! It’s a story of brotherhood, survival, love, and family set in the American South, which was changed by the arrival of humanoid aliens with superpowers. It’s based on a true story. (Sorry, that was a bad joke.)


TGP: Where can our readers find you for more? (Socials)

Andre: Website: andrelbradley.com if you want to know more about my writing.

Twitter/X: @drebrad if you want to see me try to be funny.

Instagram: @billysgoatgruff if you want to see what I’m up to.


TGP: What is your favorite scary movie?

Andre: The Orphanage. Hands down. To this day, the phrase “Uno, dos, tres, toca la pared” haunts me. Then, too, there’s Candyman. Spooky stuff, I tell you. But why are we just talking about movies? Have you seen The Haunting of Bly Manor? It’s one of my favorite scary shows.


TGP: What was your publishing journey like?

Andre: I think my start was much like most authors. I wrote a good story, had some folks read it, made the story better, and set out to find an agent. The first agent who responded to me (who ultimately didn’t represent me) was the first person in the industry to tell me I was a good writer, and that gave me the strength to push through. She and I went through several rounds of morphing this story until it became clear we didn’t have a 100% shared vision of what Trailer Park Prince should be. It was a tough, humbling process, and I was only too thrilled when Tiny Ghost Press responded to my query. After the most exciting and pleasant conversation with the TGP editor, I knew it was the best fit. My book had found a home. What I didn’t know was that the hard work wasn’t over, but the TGP team was very pleasant to work with every step of the way.


TGP: When did you first have the idea for Trailer Park Prince?

Andre: I started this story while working in Afghanistan. I wanted to create a world entirely different from what I was experiencing at the time, one where people could fly away and escape their reality. From that, Trailer Park Prince was born. Every night after a twelve-hour shift, I’d sit at the local coffee shop and pound out one word after the other until the sweat dripping from my arms threatened the safety of my laptop.


TGP: As spoiler-free as possible, what is your favorite part of the book?

Andre: My favorite part of the book has to be the first day of school. At this point of the story, we know so much about everyone, but their true selves begin to show. Everything changes, and I love it.


TGP: What’s your favorite line from your book?

I think I have two favorite lines. I share them without context, but I hope they convey the seriousness and the humor in the book.

1. [The dead girl’s] lips had turned a purplish brown like two earthworms resting atop clotted cream.

2. “You couldn’t fly to NYC if you had a cape around your neck and a jet engine strapped to your ass. Where would you get the energy?”


TGP: Do you have any moments or experiences in your life that inspired a part of your book?

Andre: I went into this story wondering, “Hmm, how much of myself can I put into a story about superpowered beings struggling for survival?” As it turns out, the answer was loud and resounding: a lot! At least two scenes in the book are snatched directly from my personal life. I’ll let the readers guess what scenes they are.

How has your life changed since becoming a writer and getting published?

Have you seen Mean Girls the Musical, particularly the scene in which they introduce Regina George? Well, my life hasn’t changed like that! I’m not a “massive deal,” and people don’t scurry when I walk into a room. But my friends and family are very proud of me, and I’m getting opportunities to speak, present, and share in a way that has never happened before.


TGP: When did you realize you wanted to become a writer, and what were some of the books that made you want to become a writer?

Andre: This is telling, but I was a huge Murder, She Wrote fan in middle school. It’s how I fell in love with mysteries, and it’s why I wrote my first short story. I think the book I read that made me want to write was Eragon, or rather, watching Ed Speleers in the Eragon movie THEN reading the book. The only thing missing was the gay storyline. And black folks. That was missing in a lot of books at the time. I knew even from a young age I’d want my stories to be as representative as possible.


TGP: What are some things that inspire your writing?

Andre: I want to tell fantasy stories that reflect real life as much as possible. Even mages have daddy issues. And can’t a witch feel overburdened by the need to provide for her family? I like to take the parts of life that we all have in common and give it a little twist. Typically, I turn to my family and ask, “What’s wrong with us this week?” Some of those specks of reality become the finer points of what I’m writing or plan to write.


TGP: Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

Andre: I typically begin with the struggle I want to show and try to find the best people to live it. In Trailer Park Prince, I wanted to explore the notion of how two people can live the same experience and turn out so differently. What parts of themselves might distort their viewing lens? After I have the struggle and the characters, I find somewhere to put them, give them a few things to do, spell every word incorrectly, and apologize profusely to my editor.


TGP: What’s your favorite spot to write, and do you have a go-to writing snack?

Andre: My favorite spot to write is in this bookstore called Politics & Prose. I lived across the street from their Connecticut Ave. (Washington, D.C.) location for years, and I’d sit in their downstairs cafe, sipping on a London Fog and putting my characters in peril. My favorite snack when writing Trailer Park Prince was sour cream and onion potato chips (crisps, in the UK?). I’m from a small town in Georgia where they grow onions, and the smell of those chips kept me grounded in the story’s setting.


TGP: As someone who’s lived all over the world where has been your favorite place to hang your hat?

Andre: I have the fondest memories of my time in Monterey, California. I was a young man studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute, and my closest friends now are folks I met there. That’s been some twenty years ago or so. Mexico City was probably the most enriching for Trailer Park Prince. Hardly anyone spoke English, and the culture was so different. I kept thinking, “This is what Kaydans must feel like.


TGP: Have your characters’ experiences in Trailer Park Prince mirrored any of your own real-life experiences?

Andre: I think every character in Trailer Park Prince shares an experience I’ve had. Some of those experiences haven’t been so pleasant, but I’m open to talking about them with anyone who asks.


TGP: Which power of the Kaydans would you want in real life?

Andre: If I had any Kaydan power, it would be their ability to create portals. I love to travel, but I don’t like traveling. I don’t know, though. Kaydans have some cool powers, not all of which have been revealed in their experiences shown in Trailer Park Prince. I’ll caveat my answer by saying that creating portals is my desired power for now.


TGP: Do you have any tips for fighting writer’s block and what do you do when you’re stumped?

Andre: This is what I do to help me avoid/conquer writer’s block: I never end a writing session with a full thought written. When I see time is almost up, I finish a sentence and then write a few points about what should come next. When I resume writing, I get a chance to review my thoughts, decide if they make sense, and start typing. If I find myself blocked, I assess where all my characters are (physically and developmentally), see where I need them to be within 2-3 chapters, measure the distance, and ponder what needs to happen to get them there. It sounds pretty cheesy, but it works for me.


TGP: What’s your favorite genre to read, watch, and write about?

Andre: I’m always drawn to fantasy, be it adult or YA. In YA, it feels like there so many paths a young person can take. The sky is the limit. There’s so much room to break good or bad. It’s also pretty annoying, too. It’s like, “You’re only 17! What can be so serious!?” And then I write something “so serious” and see how it works out.


TGP: What do you look for in a book you read (or any media you consume) and how do you bring those elements into your writing?

Andre: When I engage with books/shows/movies, I tend to look for–first and foremost–a gay storyline. It’s 2024; everybody’s queer. Get with it. I don’t care if it’s a period piece about Betsy Ross sewing the American flag. There’d better be a drag queen throwing shade about the exposed stitching. After that, I look for relatable characters who make rational choices and still find themselves not getting what they want. I try to find new ways to get this element across.


TGP: What in your mind makes a good book?

Andre: A good book makes me look forward to hearing what everyone has to say. Game of Thrones was great at that. Try to find a favorite POV. I dare you. Everyone had such great perspectives. And if it's a story with one POV, the MC has to be especially likable.


TGP: Who is your favorite character that you’ve written so far?

Andre: My favorite character in Trailer Park Prince is Taavi. There. I said it! But my favorite character of my own creation is Coy Callum, who stars in the book I’m currently writing.


TGP: Who would you fan-cast to play some of the characters in your book(s)?

Andre: I would cast a teenage Nicholas L. Ashe to play Noan/Jormon; Jordan Elsass as Taavi; Lyric Ross as Phae; and Dirk…haven’t got a clue.


TGP: The writing world can be impossibly hard to break into for queer people and people of color let alone a queer POC. Do you have any advice for queer BIPOC authors trying to get their stories out there?

Andre: I think BIPOC authors already know it's a struggle, which helps when the rejection comes. You have to keep trying. I remember what it felt like when one agent after the next rejected Trailer Park Prince with the line, “This is great, but…it’s a ‘no’ for me.” At first, it stung, but then I thought about it like this: Imagine stepping into a bustling barbershop or hair salon, eager to have your BIPOC hair styled in the most popular spot in town. As you enter, you're immediately aware of a disconnect: none of the patrons nor the stylists share your appearance. Approaching the stylist with hope, you express your need for a hairdo. They respond with courtesy and admiration for your hair but gently admit they might not be a good fit for handling your specific hair type. You’d probably turn in leave, right? Go to a place where they can treat your BIPOC hair with the care and understanding it deserves? That’s what it took for me to learn that not every agent can see the value of what you bring or know how to enhance your work as best as possible. If they tell you “not a match” in a rejection letter, believe them. It’s not that you’re a bad writer. Sometimes, it’s simply a bad fit.





Culture We've Enjoyed This Month!


A monthly breakdown of the culture the Tiny Ghost Team has been enjoying and inspired by this month.


Books: Fairy Tale by Stephen King

The Temperature of You and Me by Brian Zepka

Guapa Saleem by Haddad

Taproot by Keezy Young

Sentence To Prism by Alan Dean Foster

The Shadow Cabinet by Juno Dawson


TV: Dead Boy Detectives

Bridgerton Season 3

The Bear

Gilmore Girls

The Acolyte


Film: The Idea of You

Gladiator

Inside Out 2


Music: Radical Optimism - Dua Lipa

Brat - Charli xcx







Your Burning Questions Answered!


Each week we'll answer one of your burning questions. Whether you want to know a little more about how we work as a publisher, the books we publish, or just want to know when your favorite werewolves are returning, we've got you covered.


Q: How do you find cover artists and illustrators for your work as a new writer?


A: At Tiny Ghost Press we firmly believe that using AI to make things easier is not the future. We believe that authentic art by way of collaborating with artists is the best way to go when creating the covers for our books. As a result we invest a lot of time in looking for and working with artists in order to capture and bring to life the tone of the manuscripts we are working on, which means hours of scrolling Instagram, looking at existing covers and finding the artist who worked on them, and researching illustrators on portfolio sites. The best advice we can give is to reach out to artists you admire online. There will be people of varying price ranges and a savvy artist may well see the opportunity to do other covers for you in the future, should this book be a success! Good luck, and get out there!


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