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Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.
Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.
Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | BARNES & NOBLE
ITUNES | KOBO | SCRIBED | SMASHWORDS
~Guest Post~Heidi Cullinan~
No Graphic Sex But Still Steamy, A Writer’s Guide
Antisocial is a new adult gay and asexual romance set in a fictional college in upstate New York between a one-percenter fraternity boy and a highly antisocial artist. One encounter with Xander Fairchild’s artwork is enough to turn Skylar Stone’s carefully orchestrated life upside down, unlacing his secrets and inviting him into a secret anime-soaked world with a new set of friends. I was lucky enough to have two editors on this novel, and both of them insisted it was my best work to date. And one of them, who especially loves my erotic, dirty work, made this remark, (which I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember the exact language she used): “I’m not sure how this book, which has your lowest heat content ever, is your most erotic book to date, but that’s what’s happening here.”
She’s not the only one to make that comment. Popular remarks upon reading Antisocial are “oh my God, the hand-holding scene in the car.” Or, “The body-painting scene was so hot!” Or I get general garbled consonants and bubbled euphoria, readers loving the romanticism but also the deep sensuality. They might remark on one of the kisses (there are two), but they’re more likely to talk about the hands, or the paintbrushes. Or the general feeling. The senses that became evoked by experiencing a novel which, yes, is entirely without traditional erotic content.
I will confess when I first realized I was writing an asexual hero (it wasn’t something I consciously set out to do) I had a moment of pause, unsure of how to proceed. I was even more frustrated when I attempted to alleviate my ignorance by research—the sheer dearth of information on gray sexuality is staggering. I was able to gather information through interviews and listening and reading online forums, but I disliked how much it was a separate world. Why was it such a separate world, I kept wondering? It wasn’t as if people who identified on the graysexual spectrum were congregating in some separate space in real life—not because they needed to, and I was dubious it was because they wanted things organized this way. And the more I learned, the more this separation seemed completely ridiculous.
We speak so much about “love is love” in the queer community, but we are definitely not drawing in all the aspects of the rainbow as much as we could, and we aren’t allowing for this spectrum, this community whose rainbow is a spectrum of gray. I didn’t simply find it easy to write an asexual romance; I found it refreshing and helpful in getting me to reexamining what “erotic” and “sensual” truly mean and how I can play with the terms in my work. I will absolutely be walking down this path of sensuality again in another novel.
Antisocial may contain only two kisses and no traditional sexual content, but it’s by no means a sweet romance. It’s a tale of a grumpy, shy gay boy and a charming, determined asexual hero who needs the help of a community to step out of the life his father has built for him and into the one he hasn’t yet gotten the courage to dream for himself. It’s the story of two young men who discover their first romance together and find ways to connect that suit them and only them—the world and its expectations be damned.
I hope you give Antisocial a try. To entice you, here’s a little teaser. Thanks for having me here today, and I hope I see you all again very soon!
~About the Author~
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys playing with new recipes, reading romance and manga, playing with her cats, and watching too much anime. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com
~Praise for Heidi Cullinan~
- Heartwarming and achingly beautiful —USA Today
- Emotionally heartwrenching…with self-deprecating humor. — Romantic Times
- Cullinan balances … love-conquers-all romance in a context full of real contemporary challenges. — Publisher’s Weekly
- I fell in love with the sheer beauty of the writing. — Dear Author
- Cullinan reached inside and pulled out ALL the feelings: fear, guilt, sadness, anticipation, happiness, love, lust, bitterness, loneliness, togetherness, and coming of age. — The Book Pushers
Antisocial Blog Tour Prize Pack
Paperback copy of Antisocial, 11×17 cover art poster, 7 gods phone strap, Fudo Myoo figure
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