It’s June and that means it’s time for another year of Pride Month spotlights! I’m so excited to spotlight Blaine for the Win by Robbie Couch and share the interview with the author!
Welcome Robbie! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Hi! Thanks for having me! I’m Robbie, a gay guy originally from Michigan who somehow found himself in Los Angeles writing books for LGBTQ+ teens. I love what I do. I eat up stories and pasta like there’s no tomorrow.
How would you describe Blaine for the Win in one sentence?
High School junior Blaine Bowers has to decide if changing just about everything about himself is worth winning back the love of his life.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Blaine for the Win?
Blaine Bowers is an imaginative high school junior and muralist who is head over heels for his senior boyfriend, Joey Oliver. But getting dumped on his one-year anniversary for not being the type of “serious guy” Joey claims to need in a relationship pushes Blaine into an identity tailspin. Blaine decides to run for senior class president as Joey’s successor to prove his serious guy chops—but at what cost to Blaine, his mental health, and his future?
What representation will readers find in Blaine for the Win?
Blaine, the main character, is a white gay teen. His best friend, Trish, is a Black queer girl. Danny, a classmate in student council who befriends Blaine, is Vietnamese-American and bisexual.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I always know before I start writing! I’m a big planner, so I need to have the entire story outlined before I dive into drafting mode.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
There’s a student council election debate scene that is tense, emotional, and serves as a pivotal point in Blaine’s trajectory in winning—or losing—the race. It was a hoot to write.
What is something readers will find in Blaine for the Win that they may not realize based on the synopsis?
The importance of addressing and prioritizing your mental health—as well as the mental health of your loved ones—plays a major role in shaping many of the characters and their journeys.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from Blaine for the Win?
There’s a lot of queer teen joy in Blaine for the Win. I hope readers—particularly young LGBTQ+ ones—can lose themselves in a lighthearted rom-com that affirms who they are and why they matter.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Blaine for the Win?
Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown. It’s the book that the film Legally Blonde was based on, and Blaine for the Win was inspired by the movie!
Camp by Lev AC Rosen. Lev is a terrific writer and storyteller, and many readers have pointed out the fun similarities between Blaine for the Win and Camp (although there are many differences too!).
I just started If You Change Your Mind by Robby Weber and it’s so fun. My bet is that there’s probably significant overlap in readers who’d love both!
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
My next book after Blaine FTW, If I See You Again Tomorrow, is a speculative, queer YA romance that comes out in 2023! It’s an infinite time loop story, where the main character, Clark, can’t stop reliving the same day and needs to figure out how to escape. I’m in the middle of editing the book now and am ridiculously stoked for readers to get their hands on it.
ABOUT THE BOOK
After being dumped so his boyfriend can pursue more “serious” guys, a teen boy decides to prove he can be serious, too, by running for senior class president in this joyful romp from the author of The Sky Blues.
High school junior Blaine Bowers has it all—the perfect boyfriend, a pretty sweet gig as a muralist for local Windy City businesses, a loving family, and awesome, talented friends. And he is absolutely, 100% positive that aforementioned perfect boyfriend—senior student council president and Mr. Popular of Wicker West High School, Joey—is going to invite Blaine to spend spring break with his family in beautiful, sunny Cabo San Lucas.
Except Joey breaks up with him instead. In public. On their one-year anniversary.
Because, according to Joey, Blaine is too goofy, too flighty, too…unserious. And if Joey wants to go far in life, he needs to start dating more serious guys. Guys like Zach Chesterton.
Determined to prove that Blaine can be what Joey wants, Blaine decides to enter the running to become his successor (and beat out Joey’s new boyfriend, Zach) as senior student council president.
But is he willing to sacrifice everything he loves about himself to do it?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robbie Couch is a Los Angeles-based writer who spends his time eating noodles, scrolling on his phone, and explaining to confused strangers that his last name is pronounced “like a sofa.” He is the author of The Sky Blues, Blaine for the Win, and If I See You Again Tomorrow. Follow him on Twitter, if you dare: @Robbie_Couch.