Please say hello to Alex Whitehall as we're kicking off the virtual tour for
When Jay heads to the university’s learning center for help with his math class, he doesn’t expect his tutor to be tall, dark, and handsome. But Roswell is all that and more, and their instant connection over cult movies, books, and TV shows quickly evolves into dating.
That’s when things get tricky.
Roswell might claim he doesn’t have issues with Jay being trans, but when he’s constantly insisting they “take it slow,” Jay’s not so sure. He’s been hurt before, and he's not going to let it happen again.
But then Roswell reveals that he, too, has a few secrets under his skin.
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Hello, everybody! I’m Alex Whitehall, and I’m here today touring for my New Adult story, Second Skin, which is about Jay and Roswell, who are on a journey of love, acceptance, and self-discovery.
Recs and Wrecks in My Geeky World
You may not know this about me, but I’m a bit of a geek. I’m not nearly as impressive as some other people, but if you get me going on the right topic, I’ll probably go on too long. I’ve never considered myself hard-core geek, but I’ve written fanfic, I’ve cosplayed, and I spend my evenings watching anime with my friends. Oh! Except those evenings when I’m participating in tabletop role-playing.
Knowing that, the characters in Second Skin are going to make a lot more sense! That said, I’ve tried to make the geekery in Second Skin a spice, not the meat of the meal. I’ve dropped Easter eggs for my geeky brethren, and I’ve referenced both popular and lesser known fandoms. But I’ll let you find those on your own.
To give you an idea of where some of my inspirations came from for the book, and for Roswell’s and Jay’s own interests, I thought I’d list five favorites. They may not necessarily be the top five in each category, but they’re high on the list. And to counter that, I also wanted to list five wrecks--things that just didn’t work.
Most of what I’ve listed here is anime, because that’s a huge chunk of my entertainment consumption, but also because I don’t want to recommend things like Daredevil and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. You’ve already heard of those (most likely)!
This is the show that really introduced me and kept me interested in anime (Pokemon, Digimon, and Sailor Moon never really had me looking for more). While it’s not perfect, there’s still a lot to love, and it aged pretty well (regarding animation, acting, and humor/plot).
Free! / Free! Eternal Summer
While the visuals rely heavily on high school boys stripping to their skintight swim trunks (and highlighting their impressive muscles), the plot is so much more. The first season focuses on friendship, while the second is a heavy-hitting look at the progression from high school to the rest of life. This show is so much more than what it first seems to be.
This anime is a meditation on various things, with life lessons occurring in odd and unexpected ways. But the episodes aren’t preachy. They’re just mellow stories that this wandering man experiences. It’s definitely not for everyone , but it has amazing visuals and is very low key for those who like that sort of thing. I find it relaxing and soothing. Some people like to fall asleep to it. Each to their own.
Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend of Korra
There are positives and negatives to both series of this animated show, and they are very different in theme, plot, and feel. The first series is aimed for a younger audience, although it still covers serious topics. It’s definitely worth checking out, and if you have young ones (aged 7 and older), you can watch this with them.
Tiger & Bunny
Superheroes on a reality TV show. That’s really all you need to know. This is bright and exciting without letting plot or character development fall through the cracks. If you like superheroes, you’ll probably like this. (And if you like this/superheroes, also check out Cari Z’s Panopolis book series.)
Other recommendations: Towanoquon , Love Stage!, Ouran High School Host Club, Wandering Son
Wrecks: Five Worst Viewing Experiences
I’m lucky in that much of my entertainment is filtered through my friends, so I haven’t hit too many shows that have made me want to pull my intestines out through my eye sockets. But here are some that were really close.
Ugly Yet Beautiful World
I mention this anime in Second Skin, and it’s probably top of my list because the first few episodes open with a fair amount of potential. Then the series drives itself into a headlong crash in order to make this a high school romance. I think I spent $10 on this 12-episode show and it felt like I spent too much. That’s how disappointing it was.
I realize lots of people enjoy this show, but I really couldn’t stand it. My friends tell me I would have liked it more later, but I just couldn’t. Nope. A large part of my issues deal with not liking the character who gets the most screentime in the beginning, but there was so much I was ambivalent about this show, that it just wasn’t worth my time.
Boondock Saints II
This is another one where the dashed hopes make something that might have been mediocre into something awful. There are good parts about this movie, but the vast majority is a betrayal to the first movie. In a homophobic reaction to the first movie’s fandom, director Troy Duffy made sure it was chock-full of slurs and no-homos. (And incidentally, he added homoerotic undertones to different characters.) I hate this all the more because I loved the first movie so much.
The Last Airbender (movie)
Above I say how good the Avatar: The Last Airbender series is. You would think with such good original content, focusing on humor, diversity, and character development, that a movie should be able to handle that easily. Instead, Shyamalan ruined everything. Everything. The acting was wooden, the visuals laughable, the plot a watered-down version of the original, and the characters flat. You can go here for a full review of everything it ruined: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSu0HeRnG18
I know for some this anime is a guilty pleasure, but for me it had too many WTFs to put up with. The visuals are great, but the story is rushed, the characters one dimensional, and at one point a character gets meningitis and while in the hospital hugs and kisses someone on the forehead. While not as contagious as the common cold, meningitis is pretty serious, and the disregard of this (among the many other failings) drove me nuts.
So that’s what I’ve got to share.
See things you love? See things you’re going to fight me on? Have a recommendation after seeing my list? Tell me about it! I love recommendations <3
More about Alex:
If there are two types of people in the world, Alex Whitehall probably isn't one of them, despite being a person. Their favorite pastimes include reading, horseback riding, sleeping, watching geek-tastic television, knitting, eating, and running. And wasting time on the internet. And spending glorious evenings laughing with friends.
While Alex prefers sleeping over doing anything else (except maybe eating), sometimes they emerge from the cave to be social and to hunt for food at the local market. They can be found blogging, reading, and tending after their aloe plants.
Connect with Alex:
To celebrate the release of Second Skin, Alex is giving away $25 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.