Our Own Imperfect Journeys

Jobert E. Abueva Author Interview

Boy Wander: A Coming of Age Memoir is your story about growing up in a difficult childhood home and struggling with your own identity through your teen years and into adulthood. Why was it important to share your story?

Confronting tumultuous and sometimes shameful aspects of my adolescence has been cathartic if not therapeutic. And to do so through writing enabled me to delve deeper into my thoughts and feelings at specific moments which in turn have shed light on how I turned out to be the person I am today. I also wanted to memorialize a blessed upbringing thanks to loving parents who gave their children the gift of growing up in different cultures. To this day, stories abound of young people’s struggles to come to grips with their true selves. Perhaps my path could help someone and their loved ones navigate such terrain.   

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

Keeping secrets is a part of how we operate as humans even at an early age. I had been carrying so many of them for such a long time. Reliving my anguish of desiring what seemed taboo whilst not wanting to disappoint those around me proved to be some of the more challenging aspects of this narrative. My goal with Boy Wander was to be completely honest with readers.    

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

My father said to keep a journal throughout college and even later as I embarked on my global marketing career. I was not disciplined about making entries though there was an undeniable energy whenever I scribed how my day went and what I felt. It undoubtedly fueled wanting to tell my story when I was ready to do so. I dedicated Boy Wander to my father (and mother). It’s sort of the journal he was hoping I would have, at least the first of three I believe I have in me.        

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

We’ve all wandered within our own imperfect journeys. Every one of them unique. Each of them matters.   

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Boy Wonder by Day. Boy Toy by Night.

A child TV personality from a prominent Filipino family and the son of an accomplished academic, Jobert Abueva was a high achiever at his all-boys Catholic international school in Tokyo, Japan. Whatever Jobert did, he had to be the best, racking up achievements. He was a favorite among his fellow students, who elected him three times to the Student Council as class president, vice president, and president. Jobert was a triple all-star winner on the brain bowl interschool academic competition, debate, and speech teams, as well as a varsity track hero. He wrote for the school newspaper and yearbook and performed in school plays. A golden boy who could do no wrong. But Jobert had a secret nobody could know. After school, he led a clandestine existence turning tricks with foreign male guests at Tokyo’s world-renowned Imperial Hotel. So it’s not surprising that he had to be the best and was handsomely paid for it. More exciting and better pay than waiting tables. A BMOC (Big Man on Campus), he juggled dual identities of boy wonder and boy toy, sure that if exposed, he would be shunned by his friends and devastate all who groomed him for greatness.

Boy Wander is an intimate coming-of-age portrait of the author’s sexuality as seen through the eyes of a child of the 1960s and 70s and a teenager before the advent of AIDS and finally as a young man arriving in America. From Manila, Kathmandu, Bangkok, and Tokyo to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, the author navigates denial and acceptance, erotic and unconditional love, transience, and transnationalism. Even as the world has become more accepting over the decades, this book’s present-day relevance provides inspiration to those struggling to reconcile family values and societal expectations with being true to themselves.

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 May 20, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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