Author Interview: Chip Pons – Chip is a debut author and I’m so glad he joined me to chat about his novel, You & I, Rewritten. This post may contain links to purchase books & you can read our affiliate disclosure here.
Chip Pons grew up in a small lake town in Northern Michigan before eventually traveling the world as a photojournalist in the U.S. Air Force – where he met and worked alongside his husband and better half.
He currently lives in Washington, D.C. and works as a Public Affairs professional for the federal government.
When he is not writing, he can be found awkwardly dancing to Taylor Swift albums, playing with Margot, his miniature schnauzer, and snacking, like all the time.
Not to jinx it or anything, but the stars seem to finally be aligning for Will Cowen. After accepting a dream promotion at one of New York City’s most renowned publishing houses and moving in with his oldest friend, he’s ready to dive headfirst into this new chapter and take the literary world by storm – that is, until he crosses paths with Graham Austin.
No matter how hard he tries, he can’t help but put the wrong foot forward in front of the all-business and inconveniently gorgeous heir to the publishing empire.
So, when a heartbreakingly beautiful manuscript lands on his desk, Will seizes the opportunity for a win. Could this prized new author be his big break or, his downfall?
Will’s confidence and hope for his professional future is obliterated when the author ghosts him at an important publishing event. Fueled by insecurity and an open bar, he finds himself in need of comfort, which comes from the least likely person, the normally cold and distant Graham. This small glimpse behind Graham’s icy exterior is the spark that sweeps these two up in an epic and unforeseen romance.
As his author’s manuscript begins to take shape, the words that initially brought them together become more and more tangled, making it painfully obvious to Will that despite your best efforts, there is truly no hiding from the past.
But can it be rewritten?
Author Interview: Chip Pons
Chip, I’m so excited to talk with you about your debut novel, You & I, Rewritten, which hits shelves August 23rd, 2022.
Thank you, Sarah – I’m so incredibly honored you asked!
Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind You & I, Rewritten?
Of course – I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write a gay love story that celebrated queer love and didn’t revolve around coming out to be the central conflict of the story. The ending snapped into focus really quicky as I was thinking about these characters and from there, everything just kind of fell into place. While You & I, Rewritten is a work of fiction, I inadvertently inserted so much of my own personal life into its pages. From meeting and falling in love with my husband in the workplace to unresolved issues from my childhood, little bits of the most important points in my life became pivotal moments for these characters.
You & I, Rewritten sounds like an enemies to lovers, workplace romance. Can you tell readers what other tropes to expect?Honestly, I’d say it’s less enemies to lovers and more of a grumpy-sunshine vibe! Will and Graham have such opposite personalities when we are first introduced to them but as they get to know one another more, I think they are far more alike than either of them initially realized! When I started writing their love story, I knew I wanted the conflict to exist outside of the relationship, but we get some great Okay…what the heck is this guy’s problem?? moments in the beginning of the story that makes for some interesting and tension-filled banter!
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Author Interview: Chip Pons: Let’s Chat About Writing
I can’t wait to read your book! I’d love to know if you’re a plotter or a pantser. What seems to work best for your writing?
I can’t wait for you to read it! Umm…honestly? I think I’m a chaotic combination of the two? I physically cannot write in chronological order or in a way that would make sense to a reader, so I end up starting with a pretty fleshed out outline and then randomly picking moments to write. Usually, I’ll be stuck in my own head forever, so I have one of my friends and closest confidants (Hi Chels!) pick the prompt for me so it feels more like an assignment with a due date. That may seem weird – but it’s really helped me one, be more accountable with my writing and two, it provides “instant” reader feedback for what works and what doesn’t!
Once I have all of these moments drafted, I compile them all and see where any gaps are!
While we’re on the subject of writing, do you have any favorite snacks, music or rituals for your writing? For instance, are you blasting music or need complete silence?
I’m a huge snacker but weirdly, I haven’t snacked on anything while writing! I’m a little shocked and probably need to change that! I always know that it’s writing time when I light a candle and play some Taylor Swift – specifically, folklore and evermore.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
I never feel like I’m in a position to give advice but I will pass on a piece of advice that my amazing friend Ashley Winstead gave to me in a moment of self-doubt: Just remember that you contain endless wells, more than you’ll ever be able to exhaust.
I struggled, and still do, with insecurity and feeling like I didn’t have anything of value to add to the incredible book community. Imposter syndrome is real! And even though I always try to be as open as possible, I really forced myself to be my most vulnerable with this book and I think that made all the difference. Being vulnerable has allowed me to connect with readers in a way that I never imagined possible so when those feelings of self-doubt and insecurity creep in, as they always will, I try to remember that those moments of connection are the reason why I set out to do this in the first place.
Can you expand on your decision to self-publish and why that was the best choice for you and your manuscript?
I think it’s important to note that I personally don’t view self-publishing as a backup plan to traditional publishing. I have seen a lot of conversations online – and I get asked this often – that pits self-publishing and traditional publishing against one another. Each route takes an exhaustive amount of work and both come with their own unique set of stressors and challenges. Some of my favorite books of all time are self-published so I hope we can move on from the narrative that self-publishing isn’t as desirable as traditional publishing…they are just different!
For me, self-publishing seemed to be my path from the very beginning because one, I didn’t see a space for a book like mine in traditional publishing and two, after writing the book, querying and the work involved into obtaining representation and an offer seemed like another full-time job! I poured my whole heart into this book and I wanted it out into the world…waiting around in limbo seemed torturous! I love the control and freedom that self-publishing grants me…from cover design and social media planning to giveaways and timelines, it has become a puzzle and game of sorts for me! Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly stressful and time-consuming, but I genuinely am having a blast with each stage of the process!
Reading Recs & Fancasting
What started your foray into reading and loving the romance genre?
I think I’ve always just gravitated toward emotional and romantic stories. I love many genres but there’s something so universal about love and romance that has my heart forever! Colleen Hoover is an author who I not only admire but was someone who really catapulted me into a romance fan for life. She writes with such passion and has a deep understanding of love and pain and human connection. If I can evoke one-one hundredth of the emotion on my readers as she does, I will be a happy camper!
I can’t wait to read You & I, Rewritten this summer. What are some romances on your TBR and/or must read romances?
Oh my goodness, there are SO MANY! Every Summer After by Carley Fortune, In The Weeds by B.K. Borison, The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas and Everything For You by Chloe Liese are some perfect summer/fall reads on my immediate TBR that I cannot wait to dive into!
As far as MUST-READ romances, Without You by Marley Valentine, Seven Days in June by Tia Williams, The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas, Slammed by Colleen Hoover, Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun.
I always love talking about TV and movies. If you were to cast an adaptation for You & I, Rewritten, do you have anyone in mind for your characters?
I do…I definitely saw Stephen Tracey as Will Cowen and Justin Baldoni as Graham Austin while I was writing!
What are you hoping readers get / understand or feel when they read You & I, Rewritten?
Pain, heartache, regret, joy and love…these are all moments and emotions in life that may shape who we are but don’t have the power to singularly define us. Everyone has things in their past that has gotten them to where they are today but try to remember they may also be dealing with things they don’t necessarily share with the world.
Find your people, love them with everything that you have and be kind to yourself as you face whatever is heavy on your heart.
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me, Chip! How can readers best connect with you?
Thank YOU for allowing me to ramble on! I am always available via Instagram at @booksovrbros! Message me and let’s chat about books, tacos, Taylor Swift or whatever!
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