It’s June and that means it’s time for another year of Pride Month spotlights! I’m so excited to spotlight Forward March by Skye Quinlan and share the interview with the author!
Welcome Skye! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Thank you for having me! I am Skye Quinlan, and I am the author of gloriously queer YA novels! My debut, Forward March, came out in March from Page Street Kids.
How would you describe Forward March in one sentence?
Forward March is ridiculously queer with messy teenage band geeks who absolutely cannot get their crap together.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Forward March?
Sure! Harper McKinley is Forward March’s leading lady, and her life kind of sucks. Her father is a senator running for president, and her mother is the dean of her boarding school. She’s a die-hard band geek who takes her role as section leader way too seriously, and she absolutely does not like girls. She thinks. Then enter Margot Blanchard, Forward March’s love interest. She’s an out and proud lesbian that likes drums, combat boots, and Emily Prentiss from Criminal Minds.
What representation will readers find in Forward March?
I don’t think there’s a single character in Forward March who isn’t queer. There is asexual, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, non-binary, and neurodivergent rep.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I used to just let my characters choose their own paths, but now I have to write a synopsis and stick to it so I can actually meet my deadlines.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
My favorite scene is probably when Harper comes out to Margot as asexual. It’s extremely personal for me because it’s very similar and reminiscent to how I came out to my wife as asexual back when we first started dating. Margot shared my wife’s reaction and response, and I love that I was able to portray positive ace rep on the page.
What is something readers will find in Forward March that they may not realize based on the synopsis?
It’s not as politically-driven or catfishy as the synopsis makes it seem! Those elements are there, but they’re only smaller parts of the plot.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from Forward March?
That it’s okay to be yourself because the people who truly love you will still love you no matter what your sexual orientation or gender identity is. Also, for my and Harper’s fellow asexual band geeks, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are not broken. F*ck anyone who ever tells you otherwise.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Forward March?
Like Other Girls by Britta Lundin, It Sounds Like This by Anna Meriano, and She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen.
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
Hopefully I’ll get to sell a few more books! I’m working on two, currently, but I don’t think I’m allowed to share much more than that since they’re still just WIPs. But I will say that one is a contemporary fantasy, and I’m really excited about it!
ABOUT THE BOOK
What’s worse? Someone using your face for catfishing or realizing you actually do have a crush on the catfished girl?
Harper “Band Geek” McKinley just wants to make it through her senior year of marching band—and her Republican father’s presidential campaign. That was a tall order to start, but everything was going well enough until someone made a fake gay dating profile posing as Harper. The real Harper can’t afford for anyone to find out about the Tinder profile for three very important reasons:
1. Her mom is the school dean and dating profiles for students are strictly forbidden.
2. Harper doesn’t even know if she likes anyone like that—let alone if she likes other girls.
3. If this secret gets out, her father could lose the election, one she’s not sure she even wants him to win.
But upon meeting Margot Blanchard, the drumline leader who swiped right, Harper thinks it might be worth the trouble to let Margot get to know the real her.
With her dad’s campaign on the line, Harper’s relationship with her family at stake, and no idea who made that fake dating profile, Harper has to decide what’s more important to her: living her truth or becoming the First Daughter of America.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Skye Quinlan (she/her) was born in California during an earthquake and raised in the Midwest, where cornstalks outnumber people. She studied physical and cultural anthropology at Oregon State University, with a focus on ancient civilizations and a minor in creative writing. Forward March (Page Street Kids, February 1st, 2022) is her debut novel. When she’s not writing, you can catch her at the nearest metaphysics or craft store, dressed up in cosplay at the nearest convention, or ruining antique furniture with epoxy resin and paint. Skye still lives in the Midwest with her wife, their two dogs, several lizards, a snake, and the occasional little human (their niece). She is represented by Moe Ferrara at BookEnds Literary Agency.