It Always Ends In Tears of Joy And Love

Vincent Traughber Meis Author Interview

Colton’s Terrible Wonderful Year follows a black teen on a quest to meet his surrogate mom where he falls in love, almost loses one of his dads, confronts a racist cousin, and learns about love. What were some sources that informed the development of this novel?

I like to center my novels in a historic time with all the surrounding sociological issues. This story is set during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. But a number of other events were happening in 2020, including the rise of Black Lives Matter awareness which affects the main character, Colton, in a very personal way. It was also a time of political upheaval due to the upcoming election, issues that tore apart various members of Colton’s family. And then, like in many of my books, a nod to foreign travel with the family trip to Thailand confirms my belief that travel broadens one’s mind.

Colton’s character felt authentic. Was there anything about his character that you pulled from your own life?

As a part-time stepdad to a young man of mixed race, I drew from that experience. My real-life situation is much different from the one in the book, but being married to a Black man has made me imagine what it would be like if we had had a son through a surrogate mom and raised together. Some people have questioned how an older white cisgender gay male can write the story of a young Black apparently straight male. As writers we are observers, and I have had the great fortune of being surrounded by African-American family members, the two women of color who are the moms of my stepson, as well as a diverse community of different ethnicities and people on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

What scene in the book was the most emotionally impactful to you?

In the latter part of Chapter Fourteen, Colton’s dad, Augie, is saying goodnight, and Colton begs to hear the story of his birth one more time, how Colton was taken from his birth mother’s arms and placed in the arms of his two dads. It is an emotional scene with both humor and tenderness, a bonding story that Colton never tires of hearing and Augie never tire of telling. And it always ends in tears of joy and love.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m almost finished with a sequel to my novel, The Mayor of Oak Street. The main part of the story takes place about 40 years after the end of that novel, but there are flashbacks throughout the book that pick up with the budding relationship between Nathan and Nick when Nathen is in his early twenties. It recounts the stories of love and traumatic loss in Nathan’s life and his surviving the AIDS pandemic. At sixty, it seems he is given one last chance at love that he’s sure he doesn’t deserve. Will he take it? The working title is Memories: Love Lurks and Pounces.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Colton is on a quest to meet his surrogate mom who might help him navigate being a Black teenager in today’s America. The woman who gave birth to him is Black. His dads are not. His diverse community of family and friends includes lots of LGBTQ+ people, though his first love is a girl of mixed race like him.

Colton’s dads reluctantly introduce him to his birth mother, but she doesn’t turn out to be person he hoped for. On his journey of falling in love, nearly losing one of his dads, and confronting a racist cousin, he learns about love, non-traditional families, community, and what is important in life. The biggest challenge of all is something he discovers about his birth, causing friction with his dads. But like every difficulty in his life, the love of his dads ultimately carries him along and lifts him up.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 18, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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