Photo by Ryan Jerome @ryan_jerome Grooming by Brenda Ferrell @b_readybeauty Writing by Perana Srikantappa @prerana_srikantappa
Robbie Couch is here to make us believe in our teenage dream. Through many of his novels including the newest one “If I See You Again Tomorrow”, set to release in 2023, the writer is reassuring to the queer community that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Some stories inspired from his own life, and some fictional, stay tuned to see how Robbie makes us all fall in love through his words.
How has your personal life influenced you to write books ?
As a kid, I loved getting swept away in stories in order to escape my reality. I think that’s something many closeted queer kids can relate to. Books, movies, and TV became therapeutic. And as I grew older and discovered I could be the one creating the stories, not just consuming them, it was over! I knew I wanted to be a writ- er.
Which character do you relate to the most ?
This is a tough question! A couple years ago, I would have said Sky Baker, the protagonist of my debut. But more recently, I’ve felt really connected to Clark Huckleton, the lead in my book coming out in a few months, If I See You Again Tomorrow. He battles loneliness while navigating the disorienting emotions that come with falling for someone—and falling hard. I didn’t realize how much of myself I wrote into his character until the book was complete.
Why do you feel gay representation is important in novels ?
As a marginalized person, being able to see yourself in the culture around you helps to validate your lived experience and imagine a future for yourself. Books can be such a critical way for young LGBTQ+ people to feel seen and know they belong. Young-adult literature has come a long way in becoming more inclusive, but there’s still progress to be had—especially when it comes to telling stories that center BIPOC and transgender characters.
Can you name a few authors you looked up to the most growing up ?
I remember getting lost in the Animorphs series by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant, and eating up a bunch of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps too. I used to worship She Who Must Not Be Named of Harry Potter before she started using her platform to peddle a bunch of harmful garbage. What a disappointment, honestly. But I think I have to credit Patrick Dennis, who wrote Auntie Mame in 1954, with sparking my love of storytelling. It was the first book I couldn’t put down!
Who has been your biggest supporter in your journey ?
This is difficult to answer! So many people have championed my books. I just started seeing readers dress up as my characters for Halloween, which has totally blown my mind! But if I had to choose just one person, it would have to be my sister. She’s always begging me for an advance copy whenever a new book is about to come out, encouraging her friends and colleagues to support my work, and giving me words of encouragement when I need it most. She’s the best.
What’s next for you ? Do you have any new releases in store for us ?
Yes! My latest book is a speculative romance called If I See You Again Tomorrow. It follows a lonely teen who falls in love while he’s trapped in a time loop. I’ve gotten some early feedback from readers who’ve loved it, which is beyond thrilling because it’s my favorite of my first three books! It comes out in a few months but is available for preorder now. You can find the link on my social accounts!
Do you think pink is masculine or feminine ?
Neither! I think we have an addiction to needlessly gender everything. That’s just silly. Pink is pink. Anyone can rock and relish in it, regardless of who they are or how they identify!