‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2016 With Simon Curtis

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Simon Curtis

Simon Curtis was born in Michigan and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was diagnosed with leukemia at age ten and began performing in musical theater and opera that same year. He was the happiest bald, chemotherapy-addled cancer patient ever seen on the stage. At eighteen, he moved to Los Angeles. After various roles on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, Simon left acting to pursue music, releasing his first album, 8bit Heart, as a free download, followed by his second album, RA, which landed at number twenty on Billboard’s Dance & Electronic Albums chart. Simon continues to write and release music as an independent recording artist, and he looks forward to his new chapter as an author. Above all else, he strives to inspire hope in young people.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

The alcohol in the eggnog burned the back of his throat as he sipped, warmed his chest as it trickled down into his belly. A gurgle reminded him he hadn’t yet eaten a proper meal that day, and should probably ease off the eggnog until then. Nobody likes a sloppy mess at an ugly Christmas sweater party.

That reminded him;

New year. Meal planning. Make it happen.

He tugged at the bottom of his ugly sweater that insisted on riding up just a little too high every time he lifted his arms to take a sip of his drink. He actually liked the sweater. While everyone else at the party was clad in green or red, he got to stand out in bright blue. A squat, fat snowman was knitted into the front, perched right above the belly that had somehow arrived earlier this year. Frustratingly enough, the belly not only seemed to refuse to melt away with the one or two week no-carb fasts that had worked in his early twenties, but now, it seemed to desperately want to make its own appearance at the party tonight as well.

He tugged the sweater down again.

No cookies. No more alcohol. Diet starts tomorrow.

His eyes scanned the house for someone to talk to, but everyone already seemed to be paired off. Inebriated laughs competed with Nat King Cole’s voice, which was currently blaring over the speakers, and both seemed to keep getting louder by the minute. Every single set of eyes was currently locked with another, twinkling in the golden glow of the living room, lost in the music, the drink, and the company. Every person in every pair was totally enraptured by the other. They couldn’t even see anyone else in the room.

The last drop of his eggnog was pure alcohol. He winced at the taste in the back of his throat and went to the kitchen to get some more.

Okay maybe just a bit more. And a cookie. One cookie.

The cookies were dry and chalky and could only be salvaged by washing them down with eggnog. It occurred to him that he did not take an Uber and would have to drive home at some point, but one look back into the vast ocean of couples the living room had become was enough to bring about the pouring of refill number three.

Ugly Sweater Party Sloppy Mess powers, activate!

He was ready to crawl into his glass when a hand gently tapped him on the shoulder.


He lowered the drink and turned to find Annabelle rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet, grinning ear to ear, green eyes flashing against the vibrant red of her hair.

“Todd, this is Geoff. The lawyer I told you about.”

She tilted back toward one of the most gorgeous men Todd had ever seen. His jaw could’ve sliced bread, his chest and shoulders tugged at the fabric of a cream sweater that was most certainly nowhere near the ugly variety, and his smile gleamed brighter than twinkle lights hanging above him.

“And Geoff, this is Todd. The screenwriter.”

Todd tried to stifle a grimace at the introduction as Geoff took his hand for a strong, confident shake.

“Nice to meet you. I’ve heard so much about you” Geoff said, smile still lighting up his face.

“Okay I’ll let you guys chit chat and whatnot” Annabelle said, so excited she almost vibrated. “There are drinks, and cookies, and…” She let out a small squeak as Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas began playing, squeezed Todd’s arm, then shimmied back into the living room with the swagger of an intoxicated suburban mom, ready to belt all of the high notes.

Todd yanked his shirt down again, forcefully, as Geoff watched Annabelle begin her impromptu mini-performance. He suddenly deeply regretted agreeing to meet this astonishingly gorgeous man during an ugly sweater party, as well as his last six months of failed diet attempts.

Geoff turned back to face him and Todd quickly let go of the fabric. Geoff smiled once again and Todd couldn’t believe just how much his dark eyes sparkled in the light.

“This might be the eggnog talking” Geoff said, leaning in slightly so that he didn’t have to shout over Mariah and Annabelle’s wailing, “but you are even cuter in person.”

A smile spread across Todd’s face as he took a sip from his glass, indifferent as to how his shirt behaved in response. Seemingly all at once, Geoff and Todd got lost in the music, the drink, and the company. Each totally enraptured by the other.

They couldn’t even see anyone else in the room.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Now if you’ve made it this far, and have read this much, let me ask you –

What do Geoff and Todd look like? Specifically, what color is their skin?

I am so grateful for so many in the YA community. The voices and messages I’ve encountered in 2016 are strong, moving, and powerful. I am grateful for the chance to be doing what I love and thrilled at the opportunity to grow, not only as a member of this community, but as a human being. Part of our collective growth, and the necessary work we all must put in to make sure that 2017 is a year of progress, not regression, is the dismantling of those deep, hidden, innate prejudices we are instilled with from birth.

So with that said, I wish you and yours a most joyous, prosperous, healthy, and LOVE-filled 2017. Through love, we can accomplish all.

Happy holidays, all my love,

Title Boy Robot
Author Simon Curtis
Pages 432 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Science Fiction
Published October 25th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Seventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.

There once was a boy who was made, not created.

In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever.

His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.

An origin he doesn’t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.

Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.

He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground — a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.

To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.

Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be.

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