Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Virtual Book Tours + #Giveaway: The Signs We Missed by Lena S. May @Lena_S_May @GoddessFish

The Signs We Missed

by Lena S. May

GENRE: LGBTQIA+ Contempoerary Fiction


Thrown out by his mother, 17-year-old Luke hopes to overcome his narcotic addiction and depression by changing his surroundings. At his new school, he quickly becomes friends with Sean, but finding that his developing feelings aren’t returned, Luke retreats into old habits. Determined to hide his self-injurious behavior and an advancing eating disorder, he soon risks much more than a broken heart.

When Sean meets Luke, the last thing on his mind is falling in love with a boy. Grappling with his own conflicting emotions and trying to keep them from his suspicious girlfriend, he brushes off Luke’s strange behavior. But when Luke suddenly cuts him off, Sean is forced to confront the truth and take action to save his best friend.

Purchase The Signs We Missed on Amazon


It's my fault.

I'm not sure how yet, but it's what the white blank hospital room walls keep hammering into my head as the pungent, antiseptic smell makes my eyes water when all I'm trying to do is keep my composure.

My fault.

It's what they're all trying to say – the half-dead, bled-out body of the boy lying in the bed beside me, his fingers slowly losing their grip on mine, the over-worked and under-paid nurse already rushing down the corridor, the non-specialist assistant doctor, paying half his attention to the arrhythmically beeping monitor, the other half to fumbling his phone to mute.

And then there's my brother, leaning against the wall in the corner, his crystal blue eyes asking not what I've done but when I'd planned on telling him that I was gay – which I'm really not. When I don't react, he looks down to the face resting on the pillow next to my elbow, and I do, too: empty whiteness staring back. I'm beginning to think it's burning into my retina, sucking every last speck of color out of the sky as I finally raise my glance to the window. I can't let myself get lost in the void that is now his face if I want to clear my head, but there isn't a single cloud drifting by to take hold of my attention, not a single leaf left in the trees, no bird, not even a gust of wind. It's just me and my trembling heart and my racing thoughts, and yet, my loneliness is nothing in the face of what I now know he has been going through.

Interview with Lena S. May

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    The topics that The Signs We Missed deals with are very close to my heart. Luke, the main character, struggles with an eating disorder and depression, both of which I have experienced myself as a teenager. He is also addicted to narcotics, something I have witnessed first-hand in a close family member when I was little.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My main goal with this book is to let readers who struggle with the same or similar situations as my main characters know that they are not alone and that it is always okay to seek help when you need it. I also hope that readers who have not experienced mental illness themselves might take away a better understanding for it.

    And the general message for everyone, I guess, is to look out for one another and be kind to yourself and your loved ones. Most of us, if not all, have gone through hard times to arrive where we are today. I feel like The Signs We Missed is a good reminder of that.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    The hardest part of writing this book was figuring out how to get the main characters’ stories in order. They have been in my head for a very long time and I have written a lot about them before starting the novel – in no particular order, so I had to sort out how all those bits and pieces can fit together.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    My favorite thing about writing The Signs We Missed is that I am very lucky to have amazing people in my life who supported not only my own journey, but my characters’ journey as well. Their feedback and comments as they read whatever I was ready to show them really saved my motivation a couple of times. I think that every reader has a unique experience reading the same book, so learning how other people feel about what I have written is an invaluable insight – and it’s also a lot of fun.

    Were there alternate endings you considered?

    No, in fact – during the approximately ten years I spent writing about these characters, I never had any other ending in mind, which is probably owed to the fact that I didn’t know how the book would end until I wrote those last few pages. The Signs We Missed has 21 chapters in total, and everything from chapter 18 on only came together in the last two or three weeks of writing the first actually novel-worthy draft.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    Unfortunately, I can’t. The Signs We Missed is based so much on personal experience that the only research I actually did was online. My sister, who is a social worker, helped me out with some legalities concerning Luke’s living situation, but I obviously didn’t meet her while doing research. I’m very grateful that I can rely on her expertise, though!

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    I usually enjoy reading either psychological thrillers (Gillian Flynn and Megan Miranda are definitely among my favorite authors) or heartbreaking romance à la Call Me by Your Name. When I’m too stressed for that or not feeling well, I enjoy contemporary fiction with a little comedy and I’m also into medieval literature as well as retellings about King Arthur.



Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Sherry said...

Really nice cover and excerpt, looking forward to reading this!

marisela zuniga said...

I enjoy reading thrillers too

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