You know whenever you read a book and it feels like it's written just for you or about you? That's what Burnouts, Geeks, and Jesus Freaks: a love story by Karen Gordon was for me. It was so relatable. I felt like Karen was writing about my teenage years!
Burnouts, Geeks, and Jesus Freaks:
a love story
by Karen Gordon
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
They’re burnouts - a little short on parents, money and plans for the future, but they’ve got each other and a whole lot of fun. With a world of crazy at home, Carrie Gould needs them to keep her sanity. To stay in their world she needs to keep dating the guy with the party house, which would be fine, if she hadn’t fallen in love with someone else. He’s such a geek. Ben Gorman is obsessive, smart, strong-willed and on the fast track to his dream of becoming an Army Ranger. He’s also the only geek with a girl. Joelle Welker is perfect for him; a self-proclaimed Jesus freak, who is dedicated to her beliefs and to building a future with Ben. But those plans don’t include his neighbor, Carrie, or Ben’s dedication to her. Their friendship started by chance. Their love started with trust.
This is a sweet, silly smart-sexy story of first love and first lovers.
2. If you could choose any TV show to promote your book on, which would you choose?
It’s an old one, but “My So Called Life” would be a great fit. It was a fun, realistic look at high school life that went beyond stereotypes.
3. Which chapter of Burnouts, Geeks, and Jesus Freaks was your favorite to write?
I’d have to say Chapter 12, where Ben is kidnapped. I love the dialogue and dynamic of the group. It highlights the social differences between the groups. The burnouts don’t even feel the need to participate in career day and don’t dream any bigger than making wallets in a factory. But it’s not a sad scene. It’s a group of kids enjoying their life for what it is in the present.
4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Marry rich and create a support group of other writers. So far Alex Stargazer and I have started our own gang of writers. (We’re still working on a gang sign.) It is so important to have people to reach out to who understand the business and the frustrations. Friends and family may get tired of you talking shop all the time.
5. If you were to write a book about your own life, what would its title be?
I’d have to steal this one. Fantastic title by Haven Kimmel, “She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana” (Of course mine would have to be from St. Charles, Missouri.) Getting out of a rut can be so hard and the first step can look deceptively simple.
6. Which author do you secretly (or not so secretly) wish was your best friend?
He started out as a writer then moved over to Hollywood, but I would have to say Cameron Crowe. His dialogue in “Say Anything” and “Jerry McGuire” was brilliant. I love that he wrote “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (the book) because he saw interesting characters in the mundane world of suburban California.
7. Where did the inspiration for your character names come from?
Carrie has always been a fav name of mine since “Sex and the City.” Ben just struck me as a solid, classic name for a solid guy. MG (Mary Grace) is a nod to my Catholic school days where we had like 7 Mary-somethings in a class of 27. Steve is from a guy I knew in high school who was very laid back and funny (and often higher than a kite). They are everyday names that make them more relatable.
--I totally thought of Carrie from SATC the entire time I was reading this!
8. I feel like Burnouts, Geeks, and Jesus Freaks (especially the character of Carrie!) mirrored a lot of my experiences in high school. How much of the story was based on your own life and experiences?
My friends and I are all pleading the 5th. I did run in a group of four girls who laughed their way through high school and I can’t remember ever finishing my lunch because of them, but none of the characters is us exactly. The party at Chuck’s house was probably the closest to a typical night for us, but that’s a conglomeration of so many nights put together. I love that so many people relate to the story and I was able to tap into some universal feelings and events. That is a fantastic feeling for a writer.
9. If you could be a super hero and one of your characters from Burnouts, Geeks, and Jesus Freaks got to be your sidekick, who would you pick? Why?
It would have to be MG. Her ability to stir up trouble and create fun out of nothing is definitely a super ability worth having around.
10. Lastly, what's up next for you? Any projects we should be looking out for?
I am currently writing chapter 9 of the sequel, “Popstars, Friends and Lovers.” It’s MG and Steve’s story and it is a romance, but again, it’s offbeat. It doesn’t follow the typical formula which only makes sense for these two characters. MG is way out it left field compared to typical romance heroines and Steve may qualify as the most laid-back romance hero of all times, but it’s a passionate, loving, fun story. I gave myself a due date of October, 2014, but I might finish before then so I can keep my membership in Neurotic Overachievers Anonymous.