Book Reviews

As Far As You’ll Take Me: an interview with Phil Stamper

Hello fellow book lovers, nerds, worms, dragons! You pick you level of obsession over books! I am so happy to write this blog and to let you know more about Phil Stamper and his new upcoming book!

My first encounter with Phil was through social media! I saw him commenting about people asking if his YA was “clean” or not! I understand the frustration behind the question! At that moment, I discover his incredible debut The Gravity of Us! I run a small book club at work, so I brought it to the group, and I advised them to try it out because I did and loved it!

I listened to this book using my Audible Account, and I enjoyed it a lot! Micheal Crouch is such a good narrator! Check the review here.

My second encounter with Phil was when I saw him, again, on Twitter and where he was open for interviews, so I dived into this adventure! He was incredibly nice enough to allow me to be part of this campaign even though we are a small blog! – I honestly enjoy and appreciate it a lot when authors want to be part of the community and acknowledge your presence in social media. –

Description: Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to start his new life–where he’s no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents’ disapproval.From the outside, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn’t even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home? (This title will be released on February 9, 2021.)

Interview

How much do you put of yourself in your books? Like is there something that happens in your books that you can say “this is me. That happened to me!”

I took a lot of inspiration from my own life while writing As Far As You’ll Take Me, which is why it’s such a personal story to me. As a queer teen, I always felt like I needed to escape my conservative rural village, and I was able to do that in college, studying music, falling into a group of wonderful and accepting friends who became family

But even though I could finally be myself for the first time, I really had to come to terms with my anxiety, I fell in love with the wrong guys, and I struggled with a ton of body image issues. I lived in London for a while, which is what inspired the setting. So, putting all of that together, I was able to fictionalize a lot of my own experiences and bring them into the dazzling environment in London and across various European travels. 

Where do you get inspiration for your characters?? Are there any person that can read your books and say “hey! This is me!”

In As Far As You’ll Take Me, I did base some of the characters around real people, which is something I rarely do. But it was such a personal story to me, that I felt most comfortable showing these friendships and relationships by basing the characters off those I knew. Of course, they’re all fictional characters at the end of the day, but it was fun to fold in some of my experiences and my friends’ character traits into the story. 

I have thought on writing a story of what I would have liked my Uni days or high school days to be… is this your case? Is there anything in your books that you would have liked to happen to you?

Not really. I’m happy with how my life turned out, even if my teen years were a mess, and I think it’s very easy to get trapped in the “What ifs” of life when you do that. When I write a part of myself into a book, it’s more to explore my own experiences and put it on the page for other teens to see themselves in, and less to live vicariously through my characters.

That said, I do have some projects coming up in the next few years that cover themes of acceptance in rural communities, which is something I never experienced as a kid, but it’s something I’m really excited to explore more.


The creative process for authors has always being a mystery for me. I enjoyed imagining the settings, the characters, the events! I love to bring those stories to life in my head, but I never wondered how much of an author is in their books. There are so many kids out there that need to be represented in what they read and on the media to understand that they are fine, they are not alone, and that everything is possible! 

About Phil Stamper: Phil Stamper grew up in a rural village near Dayton, Ohio. He has a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Publishing with Creative Writing. And, unsurprisingly, a lot of student debt. He works for a major book publisher in New York City and lives in Brooklyn with his husband and their dog. His bestselling novel The Gravity of Us came out in early 2020, and his sophomore novel As Far As You’ll Take Me comes out in early 2021. Follow him now!

Website – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram


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