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04/19/2007


Inside Scoop: Tom Dolby Dishes About His New Book, The Sixth Form

GuestbloggerThis week Towleroad correspondents Josh and Josh caught up with noted author Tom Dolby as he began the book tour for his second novel, The Sixth Form. Already a successful author after his debut novel, 2005’s The Trouble Boy, which focused on the coming of age of a twenty-something gay man in Manhattan, Dolby’s second book follows the story of two friends, Ethan and Todd—one straight and the other discovering he may be gay—as the duo navigates the halls and traditions of their final year of boarding school. But all bets are off when Hannah, an alluring and mysterious teacher, is thrown into the mix.

Tom_dolby_author_photoTodd and Ethan have quite a few adventures while at Berkley School. Were your years at Hotchkiss as adventurous as theirs?

Some of the stuff that happens in the book is inspired by [my years at boarding school], in terms of rituals and rhythms of what happens in the course of a school year, like the carnations at Valentine’s Day, dances, and the importance of long winter weekends. I definitely had intense crushes, too, but I never acted on any of them.

And, of course, the student-teacher relationship is fictional, but that kind of thing does happen. It’s pretty rare, but it happens. You have these schools out in the middle of nowhere and sometimes there’s not a big age difference between a teacher and the kids, who are sometimes sexually precocious. A good teacher will set boundaries—but Hannah is an example of a teacher who is not setting boundaries.

Sixth_form_tom_dolbyThe Sixth Form has a darker tone and plot than The Trouble Boy. Are we going to be seeing a darker Tom Dolby in the future?

After I finished The Sixth Form I realized, “Wow, I’ve written a pretty dark book” and I wanted to write something that was maybe dark, but funny dark. There’s unexpected humor in The Sixth Form, but it does have its dark and serious moments.

The book I’m working on now is much lighter and funnier. It’s set in California and focuses on a family. There has been this tangential theme in my past books with characters going home to visit their families and I realized I really liked writing those scenes. There is a lot of humor to be mined from those situations. I’m still very much in the beginning stages of that project—maybe on page 100 at this point.

We noted that The Sixth Form is dedicated to Drew. Who’s Drew?

Drew is my boyfriend. This summer, as the deadline was approaching to submit the final draft [of The Sixth Form], I made some drastic revisions and he was just amazing—I think he read four different drafts in a week. And of course that’s not the only reason it’s dedicated to him, but it absolutely would not have been the same book without his help. When doing book tours you’re surrounded by people, but they’re strangers, and so it’s nice to have someone at the end of the evening to ask how it went. It’s really nice to do [a book tour] with a boyfriend or partner.

See Tom Dolby read from The Sixth Form at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 11, at Barnes & Noble Chelsea, 675 Sixth Avenue, New York.

Want to win an autographed copy of The Sixth Form? Correctly answer the trivia question after the jump and it could be yours!

Continue reading "Inside Scoop: Tom Dolby Dishes About His New Book, The Sixth Form" »


News: Interview Magazine, Tony Romo, Gayelle, Finger Length

road.jpg Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama exchange nasty radio ads here and here.

Romoroad.jpg Tony Romo can't shake off the albatross that brought down the Dallas Cowboys.

road.jpg Underground movement underway by lesbians who don't want to be called 'lesbian' anymore. Their replacement name: Gayelle.

road.jpg Washington state legislature has largest gay caucus in the U.S.: "Marko Liias, a 26-year-old Democrat from Mukilteo, started the legislative session earlier this month, replacing former Rep. Brian Sullivan, who left the Legislature for the Snohomish County Council. Liias' arrival gives Washington six openly gay lawmakers, ahead of California's five. That makes Washington the state with the largest Capitol gay caucus, according to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based political action committee. 'Anything that we can do, me as an individual, or us as a state, to be leaders on this issue and be role models is excellent,' Liias told The Associated Press Wednesday. 'The message really is, everyone deserves a stake in Washington, and everyone has a stake in Washington's future.' Liias joins Reps. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver and Dave Upthegrove, D-Des Moines, and Sens. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, and Joe McDermott, D-Seattle." (CORRECTION: Victory Fund issues - statement: NH has most out legislators)

road.jpg CLICK HERE if you're interested in knowing the funky name for the new James Bond film.

road.jpg And guess who else has a new name? P Diddy.

Craigroad.jpg Publisher Sandra Brant and editor-in-chief Ingrid Sischy leave Interview magazine.

road.jpg Ceremony to be held on Monday in Westminster will remember Holocaust victims, including gays: "Groups such as the Roma, gay people and people with disabilities who also suffered under Nazi rule will be commemorated through song and imagery along with victims of other genocides.The event is part of a wider programme of education in Westminster's youth centres to explore the issues of racism, homophobia and sexism."

road.jpg A closer look at finger lengths.

road.jpg John Travolta had an obsession with Heath Ledger: "I wanted to meet him because I was very impressed with him from the very beginning. His agent introduced me to him at a party, and I just fell — I used every accolade. Actors need other actors to be inspired by, and he was 'my' actor....My feeling on Heath is I don't want to lose him at any age, 28 or 88, like Marlon Brando. I didn't like his passing, he was special to me, and he was a friend. At any age you don't want to lose someone like that — he was a valuable guy. I am truly sorry and my heart goes out to everyone who knew him and loved him, and actually, my heart goes out to me, I really don't like it. I don't like it…"

road.jpg New South Wales police fight back against accusations of homophobia related to the recent surge of anti-gay violence in and around Sydney: "It should be pointed out that it can be very difficult for police officers to ask a victim whether they believe a crime was motivated by homophobia, or if it is a hate-related crime, especially if the victim has not voluntarily stated their sexuality. It is a sensitive topic that can lead to allegations of police either making inappropriate assumptions about someone’s sexuality or, or on the other hand, not treating a crime as a hate crime."

Lawroad.jpg Jude Law spends a day at the beach.

road.jpg Queerty talks to author Tom Dolby about his new book The Sixth Form.

road.jpg Berlin film fesitval Panorama arthouse sidebar featuring a bunch of gay films: "Discrimination against gays and lesbians is one of this year’s hot topics in Dokumente and the subject of several films, including 'Das andere Istanbul,' by Doendue Kilic; 'East/West — Sex & Politics,' by Jochen Hick; 'Suddenly, Last Winter,' by Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi, as well as Rosa von Praunheim’s 'Tote Schwule — lebende Lesben.'"

road.jpg Maryland marriage bill gets new sponsors.


Michael Musto Steps into the Blogosphere

Village Voice columnist Michael Musto added his voice to the blogosphere yesterday, with an opening post of The Daily Musto focusing on out singer Ari Gold.

TomdolbyToday he takes on novelist Tom Dolby, author of The Trouble Boy, which Dolby dished about with Towleroad upon its paperback publication in 2005.

Dolby told Musto about his new tome, The Sixth Form:

"For years after The Trouble Boy, whenever people heard I was writing a novel set at boarding school, I think they assumed lots of salacious sex and boys romping in gang showers after the lacrosse game. But this is more realistic. (Sadly, I never had any sex while at prep school.) It's still gothic, sexy stuff, boys stealing kisses in graveyards, pot-fueled fantasies—though the main character, a senior in high school, is actually straight. His best friend, though (who—plot spoiler—does turn out to be gay), has a mother who's a big fag hag and has his first sexual experience with a very hot guy 10 years his senior. All in all, I think there should be plenty to keep all my gay fans happy, though the book primarily takes place in the uptight, WASPy world of a New England prep school. Then again, what could be more gay than that?"

We welcome Michael to the neighborhood.

Previously
Tom Dolby's West Village Writing Lair [tr]


Tom Dolby's West Village Writing Lair

Dolby

Tom Dolby, author of The Trouble Boy, who stopped by this blog on his virtual book tour last year, had his well-appointed apartment covered in the NYT over the weekend (complete with an audio slideshow).

"His apartment may be many people’s quintessential New York fantasy. It’s a 1,200-square-foot corner apartment in a classic 1931 doorman building, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sunken living room with a wood-burning fireplace, a windowed kitchen and unobstructed views of Lower Manhattan, the Hudson River and New Jersey."

Hmm, Hudson River and downtown views, fireplace, signed Christo posters, one-of-a-kind Calvin Klein/Warhol artifacts...

Repeat slowly: thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house...

Decorated in Technicolor [nyt]


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