I was able to chat with Hanna Nowinski this week to ask her about her debut novel, Meg & Linus. This book has been on my radar for a long time, ever since I heard it was about nerdy LGBTQIA+ characters. I can’t wait to read it! Check out my interview with Hanna below.
Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult
Can friendship, Star Trek, drama club, and a whole lot of coffee get two nerdy best friends through the beginning of their senior year of high school?
Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. It’s not always easy to be the nerdy lesbian or gay kid in a suburban town. But they have each other. And a few Star Trek boxed sets. They’re pretty happy.
But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn’t quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . . .
From crowdsourced young adult imprint Swoon Reads comes Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, a fun friendship story about two quirky teens who must learn to get out of their comfort zones and take risks—even if that means joining the drama club, making new friends, and learning how to stand on your own.
1. Describe your book in 5 words
Nerdy friends help each other.
2. What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from your book?
Friends have each other’s backs and that’s important. But you can’t use supporting someone else as an excuse to ignore your own problems, and you can’t force your help on anyone. Help your friends, but be aware of what they need from you. And let them help you in return.
3. What’s your favorite book (or a book you’d recommend to others)?
My favorite book of all time is “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. The writing is absolutely beautiful and the characters are so easy to fall in love with. Many things are addressed in it, but what gets me every time is how well it describes the process of growing up and settling into who you are. I’ve read it so many times and listened to the audiobook even more times. Everyone should read it.
4. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently in between books, but the last thing I’ve read was “Hero” by Perry Moore. Also definitely a book I recommend. It has superheroes and an LGBT main character (plus a love story for that character). And it’s just a great book!
5. What books have influenced you as a writer?
Anything with strong characters. Especially when you start out as a writer, you get caught up in plot so easily your characters end up being a little flat. So I always try to to keep in mind all the books I love that have well-rounded characters. That includes a lot of books from my childhood such as everything by Astrid Lindgren, most of all Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, which I read over and over as a kid. It’s one of the books that made me want to be a writer in the first place. When I was much older I discovered the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke, which has incredible characters and taught me a lot about what a character should have in order for readers to connect with them. Aristotle and Dante by Benjamin Alire Sáenz definitely influenced me, too, in that way.
6. Can you share with us anything about what you’re working on now?
I have one project I can’t really talk about, but I also have two others I’m working on that are in very early stages of development. One is a steampunk thing that involves cyborgs and two girls falling in love, the other one is centered around two guys on rivaling sports teams. I can’t quite decide which one I want to work on first because I’m very excited about both of them. Let’s hope I can work out the plots for both so I can actually write them.
Hanna Nowinski is a language enthusiast and trained translator for German and English who lives in the middle of nowhere, Germany. She has wanted to be a writer since she learned that books were made by real people. As a kid, she made up her own bedtime stories, mostly sending her stuffed animals on adventures around the world. She loves books, music, coffee, and getting way too emotionally invested in TV shows. Meg & Linus is her debut novel.
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Print copy of Meg & Linus