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Phil Stamper Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Gravity of Us (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Phil Stamper is a Young Adult, Contemporary, Gay and Lesbian author from Dayton Ohio best known for the novel “The Gravity Of Us.” Stamper grew up in a rural village just outside Dayton, where he spent a lot of his time entertaining himself with playing the piano and reading the 40 or so Agatha Christie novels that he found in the school library. As a teen, he went to the University of Dayton, where he got a bachelor’s in music and would later get another degree in publishing. He currently works for a major publishing house in New York City, where he lives with his husband.

After graduating from college, Stamper left Dayton and went to Washington, DC as his hometown did not have many prospects for someone of his talents. He had a little bit of money and the promise of a tiny room where he could live as he found his footing. Being a person that always loved writing, he was soon working for a nonprofit PR company for which wrote tons of new stories, press releases, speeches, and emails to annoyed journalists. While he had never intended to work in publishing, during the process of querying, writing, researching, and revising, he fell in love with book publishing and got a masters in Publishing and Creative Writing from Kingston University in London. He continued working in PR and publishing though the dry writing started getting to him. He then started writing fan fiction and several manuscripts for novels that never did sell. It was with his fourth novel that he finally got his manuscript for “The Gravity Of Us” accepted for publishing by Bloomsbury Young Adult Division.

As for the inspiration for his debut novel “The Gravity of Us,” Phil Stamper asserts that he has always known that he was gay right from the time he was a child. For the longest time he felt isolated and was always on a quest to understand his identity. The fact that He never saw himself represented in the books he read or the movies and TV he watched made him even more confused. However, he did find a few queer books though it was a rare thing given that such stories were hidden by the many gatekeepers in the society he lived in. The first time he felt that he meant something and that his identity mattered was when in 2007 he saw “Shelter” the movie. It was the first piece of media that featured a queer couple with a happy ending that he had ever consumed. It was one of the most important moments of his life and career as it convinced him that he was normal. But it was not until he was in his twenties and read “Simon Vs, The Homo Sapiens Agenda” that he decided that he was going to be an author. The novel showed him how powerful young adult queer fiction could be and soon after he started penning manuscripts with queer leads starting with “The Gravity of Us” that he published in 2020. He still finds inspiration from queer authors such as Shaun David Hutchinson, Julian Winters, Adam Silvera, Mason Deaver, Caleb Roehrig, and Nic Stone among others.

“The Gravity of Us” by Phil Stamper is the story of Cal an aspiring journalist. He is a high school student though he has garnered a lot of experience reporting on social media. He has just been told that he could get into a tantalizing internship at Buzzfeed which had always been a dream. In the meantime, lightning strikes twice when his father gets accepted as an astronaut for a NASA funded mission to Mars. Everything changes and the family is uprooted and now Cal is living in a strange new suburb of Houston, where he is soon missing Deb his best friend and the old haunts in Brooklyn, New York. All around are seemingly perfect NASA families but he feels that he and his family are frauds, particularly when he learns that they have to act in “Shooting Stars,” a space-themed reality TV show. Feeling lost ,he goes to the gym and bumps into a fellow astronaut’s son named Leon who is a brown-skinned handsome athlete. They are soon together all the time and he starts to think that maybe there may be something of a silver lining in all that has happened. Stamper writes a compelling fish out of water story but while at it, takes a deep look into the intersection between modern media culture and social class. The anxiety that overwhelms the lead’s mother and the sacrifices that the family has to make so that one man can achieve his dreams help to show the divide between the life lived off the screen and on camera and also helps to humanize the tale.

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