Author Interview, Book Review & GIVEAWAY: Dan Skinner

Posted: September 20, 2013 by sidlove in 4.5 Star Reviews, Author Interview, Book Reviews, Danielle's Reviews
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As told to Danielle…

Hey Dan I’m so pleased and honored to have you here at the Blog of Sid Love 🙂

Smooch! Glad to be had. Lol.

First of all, can you tell us something about yourself?

I’m the one the extraterrestrials abducted and threw back, and as the spaceship doors were closing you could hear them scream: “and for God’s sake, clean the probe!” English translation: I’m a photographer/author located in the mid-west. I specialize in m/m photography

People might know you as an amazing cover artist. How come you decided to write a full novel ?

I had come to a point in my life where I thought it was essential to tell a mainstream gay love story; something that people who weren’t gay could read and still identify with because of the universal components of the romance.

Searching the net I saw you wrote a novella in 2008 called Cover Boy which got very different kind of reviews.  Why did it take you over 5 years to write this new book?

I was very busy with the photography end of my business, but I saw that we were making enormous strides toward equality and I wanted to pen something that people of every generation could read and understand that love chooses; we don’t, no matter the gender or persuasion.

Some people call your book “Memorizing You” your debut novel why ?

I consider it a debut novel because it has all the essential elements of a full novel with complete characters with full storylines, as opposed to the novella which, to me, is a longer short story. In a full novel you have the time to really convey details of everyone’s personalities and lives. You become more involved with the intricacies of the plot because of this.

Can you tell us something about Memorizing you and how it came to exist?

Memorizing You is an old-fashioned love story in the same vein as every love story that came before it. But with two boys. It’s about friendship that becomes something more. It slowly unveils flowering love into full bloom. There is nothing more life-altering than that moment you realize you suddenly care for someone so deeply that they have changed the meaning and course of your life. From Romeo and Juliet, to Wuthering Heights, to the Harlequins we have been served the hetero version. I wanted to add to message with a serious gay version. This is truly about love. It’s not an erotic novel. I couldn’t do that and aim for a mainstream, and in particular, YA audience. But I, also, did not want you to walk away from this book unaffected. Love is important. It is meant to be felt.

Are there any parts of the main characters (Ryan and Dave) or even significant characters Connor and Rosemary based on you or on your life?

A lot of people have asked me that, but none are based on me. There are scenes that have happened to me that I included such as the opening scene about the hand and the bike ride. That was how I was “awakened”. It is a true story in its entirety.

The ratings are through the roof and this is kind of a stereotypical question but could you ever have imagined that it would be received so well?

I actually expected the opposite and was prepared for that because it is a simple love story. Every time I read a review now I am just so completely happy that people got what I was doing with this.

Now that we know a bit about Memorizing You and how it’s doing and how it came to exist, how about telling us a little more about the man behind the author? Who is Dan Skinner?

A simple, quiet guy. I love my work. I really can’t expand on that. It sums it up pretty good.

Can you tell me what you like to do when you have free time?

I rarely have spare time, but when I do I now run and workout. Really got into running because it helps me think

Hope it’s okay if a shoot you some quick questions about some of your favorites 🙂 ?

Favorite food?

Sloppy Joes.

Favorite clothes?

Ones that don’t off.

Favorite movie?

Hard to pick one. I’m a Stanley Kubrick kook. I’ve studied his films to learn my art.

Favorite book?

A Separate Peace

Favorite author?

Many, many,many. But right now I’m consuming everything Lee Child. Reading all the Jack Reacher novels.

Favorite actor or actress?

Helen Mirren

Favorite song?

Forever Young (any artist. One Direction just did a version that’s very nice.)

Favorite color?

Blue

Favorite flower?

Orchid… because they have to be nurtured.

Favorite season?

The ones in between really hot and really cold. lol

What I would like to ask you at the end of this interview is this. Is there something coming regarding Memorizing You like a short follow up on it? Or is there anything new from you in the works?

Everyone has asked if there will be a sequel. There will not be. The ending was written so that every individual reader could imagine their own. I have two other works that are already written but I am slowly proofing them. I’m a perfectionist

Is there anything left you would like to share with your readers ? 🙂

Yes. A lot of reviews for my book people have said that they were emotionally affected by it. That was what I wanted because I wanted people to feel how REAL the love was between these boys. But that has scared off some people from buying and reading the book. They have actually used those words, and I have sat back with my mouth open at the response. This is a love story..not a horror story. There is nothing to be afraid of when you actually CARE about the characters. That, in my estimation, is the whole point of reading! Give it a chance.. the reward is.. you will believe!

I would like to thank you so much for doing this interview and visiting our blog. I wish you good luck on all your upcoming projects.

Smooch again. My pleasure

Thanks again. 🙂

Dani (elle)

=============================================

Memorizing YouBLURB: Two highschool boys from different walks of life: Ryan, a handsome athlete, and David, an average joe from a blue collar family, discover their desires, stealing their kisses under the cover of an old oak at night. Their love begins a secret life, hidden from their families, friends, and classmates. As their passion grows, so does the danger of their discovery. Their only hope is to create a separate world where every kiss is a treasure and every moment… memorable.

First love. Secret love. Unforgettable love

REVIEW:

Fascinating…intriguing…special…unique…different…

Just a few words that come to mind when I read this book. I have trouble in how to comprehend it all. How do I  put into words the impact this novel has on its reader? How to give it a place inside so to speak.

What I want to feel is hope and everlasting love; a love so strong it survives anything and everything. What I’m scared of feeling is hopelessness, anger, and loneliness.

This book is more than just a novel. It’s a journey. It’s a reflection on life, it is making history and telling a life’s tale with words.

Still, how to put it in words for a review is difficult, as I  have the strong belief that whoever reads this novel will see it in a completely different way.  It is that personal for everyone who decides to pick it up.

I noticed that although I wanted to get started, on the other hand I was frightened to do so. Slightly being affected by the all attention and the rating of this book will do that to someone I guess. After having spoken to the fantastic Dan Skinner,  found myself even more drawn in.

From the moment I started to read it absorbed me. It wouldn’t let me go, it was so different. As I said before, it’s a life tale with all the ups and down in it. I refuse to go into details because as I said, in my honest opinion I strongly believe you as a reader will read your own interpretation in this story.

For me the hardest part in this story was the ending was it a Happy-For-Now or was it just a small promise? I cannot deny that I prefer a Happily-Ever-After but in this story the HFN seems to fit. Though dare I say that I hope the author will write a little follow up on their progress or should it just be left as it is?

I do want to offer this. It is unique to quote one of the words I started this review with.

DANIELLE’S RATING:  [4.75 stars!!]

In addition to participating in this interview Dan kindly offered to do a give-away of his bestselling novel “Memorizing you”.If you would like a chance to win leave a comment and tell us why you really want to read this book 🙂

Good luck  Dani (elle) 🙂

Comments
  1. jenf27 says:

    Why do I really want to read this book?
    #1 The heartfelt testimonials (reviews) on Goodreads.
    #2 I love coming of age stories.
    #3 Several reviews mention the story takes plan in the late ’60s, which is a period in history that I find interesting.

    Thanks for the giveaway and congrats on all the wonderful reviews!

  2. Allison says:

    I want to read this book because I don’t read much YA, Mr. Skinner is a new author to me, and I have read many wonderful reviews. Thank you for the interview and for the giveaway.

  3. I don’t want to be entered in the giveaway as I already own and have read the book. I just wanted to say that if you only read one book this year “Memorizing You” should be that book. It is quite simply one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read. And I applaud Dan for opting NOT to do a sequel. I think it ended perfectly… I wanted to “write” my own ending to the story as I think everyone should. It was simply breathtaking.

  4. DebraG says:

    I have read only good things about the story. I would love to see if I agree.

  5. Urbanista says:

    I love a good love story, and one that tells the story in a unique way, yet one that anyone can relate to.

  6. Lisa says:

    I have read so many heartfelt comments and reviews about this one. Sounds like the kind of love story that I would truly enjoy. Congrats to Dan and thanks for the giveaway.

  7. H.B. says:

    I love a good YA novel. It’s fun to see what unfolds with first loves (since it’s different for everyone) and there’s always some kind of experience that the reader can relate to.

  8. I like the sounds of the blurb and I love reading love stories. I definitely want to give this book a try. Thank you for sharing and the giveaway!

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