Today, Nearsighted welcomes bestselling author of contemporary gay fiction Brandon Shire. The award-winning writer will answer questions about the non profits his book sales support and give a quick glimpse into his next literary project.
Belo Cipriani: What made you want to start donating part of your book sales to LGBT youth?
Brandon Shire: I wanted to give something back to the LGBT community and realized that the best way to make an impact was to help those organizations helping the most vulnerable in our community, homeless LGBT kids. Estimates place almost 350,000 homeless LGBT kids on the street, but under 1,000 safe beds nationwide. This is insanity. While you’re reading this, check the temperature outside. Right now there’s a 14-year-old gay kid shivering in the cold just because he’s gay. No other reason. How much more impetus do we need to know that this reality has to change?
Belo: Which agency or agencies do you work with?
Belo: What made you pick these particular agencies to work with?
Brandon: We did a lot of research before we chose, but the commitment I saw with these two organizations and the zealousness of the two founders, Rick Westbrook and James Robertson respectively, made the choice easy. Both of them have made a substantial impact with the organizations they created and it’s something I am very happy to donate to.
Belo: Do you use any special program to help you track the money you are donating? For example, an application tool through Amazon or other venders?
Brandon: We’ve run various charity drives through different fundraising services, like Razoo, and fans have aided the organizations through promotions and drives they set up in our Goodreads group, but most of the time we donate directly through PayPal, so we know that the funds go directly to the charities without any fees taken out. J, my biz partner, keeps the records.
Belo: Are all of your books donating to non profits?
Brandon: Yes, 10% of the sales of all my books are donated.
Belo: Will you continue to donate to non profits with future books?
Brandon: That’s a commitment we made from the start. Anything I publish in the future will also have a portion of the proceeds donated to LGBT youth charities.
Belo: What is your next book about?
Brandon: I’m taking a break right now. I have several works in progress, but nothing will be forthcoming until well into next year. The next book will look at a relationship between two gay musicians in Croatia. I’m also developing a story about a same-sex attraction with a youth who is also dealing with an N-Parent* and all the complications those two factors hold when combined. (*Narcissistic Personality Disorder)
Award-winning writer Brandon Shire is a distinct voice in contemporary gay fiction. A Buddhist and a gay parent, Mr. Shire has been writing for 15 years and has only recently begun to publish his work. Genres include contemporary gay fiction, m/m romance, horror, and science fiction. You can find him at brandonshire.com.
Who is Belo Cipriani?
Belo Cipriani is the Writer-in-Residence at Holy Names University, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the author of Blind: A Memoir. You are invited to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.