Author Deborah Crossland warns that if you check out "The Quiet Part Out Loud," you're going to need a lot of tissues for this love story.
What was your inspiration behind your most recent book?
A couple years ago, a song called “If the World Was Ending” by JP Saxe and Julia Michaels seemed to be playing every time I opened Spotify, which, during lockdown, was all the time. The song is about a couple who’d broken up but obviously still loved each other. After a small earthquake, they muse that if a major disaster struck, they would spend their last days together. The actual line is, “If the world was ending, you’d come over right?” I was obsessed with this idea that two people, who loved each other so intensely, couldn’t get out of their own way long enough to be happy.
What does "Reading Rainbow" mean to you?
To me, “Reading Rainbow” means inclusive story telling so that everyone has the opportunity to “see themselves” in a book. We may all live differently, but we all love the same, and all love stories deserve to be represented. It’s the only way true equity can even begin.
Why do you feel representation of a variety of people is so important when it comes to writing books?
Everyone deserves to see characters reflect themselves in stories. We all know that reading increases empathy in the reader. That’s because every book gives us a different perspective on how to view the world and the people in it. In The Quiet Part Out Loud, I tried to build a world that was full of all sorts of different people from different cultures and backgrounds (as much as I can from my perspective) because that’s who lives in our world. As a mythologist, I’ve read lots of stories and myths from a lot of different cultures, and I’m better for it. There are so many myths that not only feature LGBTQ characters, but celebrate them! One of my favorites is about Tiresias and how he gets himself entangled in a bet between Zeus and Hera.
Tell us a little more about the book and why you decided to write it.
During the lockdown, I was writing my dissertation for my Ph.D. in mythological studies with an emphasis in depth psychology, so I was reading a lot about C. G. Jung’s shadow archetype theory. Plus, the song, “If The World Was Ending,” reminded me of Orpheus and Eurydice’s story where Orpheus journeys all the way into the underworld to retrieve Eurydice after she dies. But their story focuses more on Orpheus’ journey to the Underworld and not why he loved her so much. Moreover, their story stops when he loses her at the cave’s threshold. I wanted more! I wanted to know what happened after he emerges into the sunlight. Grief doesn’t just stop. Somehow all of it became enmeshed and my story was born. Because I wouldn’t stop talking about the premise, my critique partner dared me to put my dissertation aside and write what we were calling “the earthquake book,” and I did. Now here we are.
What can fans expect from your book?
Alfie’s POV looks back on his and Mia’s epic small town romance. Mia’s POV will take readers across a devastated San Francisco as she searches for her lost love. If readers cry half as much as I did while writing this book, they’ll need lots of tissues!
What's up next for you in the bookish world?
If readers keep reading them, I’d love to write more myth-inspired romances! I’m currently working on a Psyche and Eros inspired story that’s already stolen my heart.