7 Minutes in Book Heaven with Joshua Gonzales and Keep Sweet: My Homemade Recipe for a Fulfilling Gay Life

Why hello!

Welcome to our LGBT podcast 7 Minutes in Book Heaven – presented to you by This Queer Book Saved My Life! In this short podcast, we spend 7 minutes in our virtual studio interviewing LGBTQ authors about their new and upcoming books for us to love and cuddle up with.

Today, we meet Joshua Gonzales and his new book Keep Sweet: My Homemade Recipe for a Fulfilling Gay Life. He is an LGBTQ+ Latino actor and writer living in NYC. He is also the host of the podcast Keep Sweet: The Positive World podcast.

Joshua’s book Keep Sweet tells the story of his life as a Mexican-American kid, raised in the small town of Huntsville, Texas, and believing in his innate fabulousness. This is no Misery Memoir. Through tough lessons learned, Joshua shows that, with your own foresight and self-determination, you can skirt the path of potential misery, while keeping your humor and optimism intact. And may we all help the next generation of queer youth grow into the out, proud, empathetic, kind, and powerful adults they were born to be.

Pre-order Keep Sweet!

To pre-order visit: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iBooks.

Connect with Joshua!

Twitter and Instagram and Tiktok: @joshwadam

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Host/Founder: J.P. Der Boghossian
Executive Producer: Jim Pounds
Associate Producers: Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Sean Smith
Patreon Subscribers: Awen Briem, Stephen D., Thomas Michna, and Gary Nygaard.


J.P.: Why, hello, everybody! My name is J P. Der Boghossian and welcome to Seven Minutes in Book Heaven, where I interview Queer authors about the new books they have coming out for us to love and to cuddle up with. With me today is Joshua Gonzales. Hello.

Joshua: Hi, J. P. thank you so much for having me.

J.P.: Absolutely. I’m really looking forward to this. So for the rules of the game, Joshua and I are going to spend seven minutes in this virtual studio talking about his new book, Keep Sweet: My Homemade Recipe for a Fulfilling Gay Life while also getting to know more about the amazing writer and theater maker who is Joshua Gonzales, So Joshua, are you ready?

Joshua: I am ready as I’ll ever be!

J.P.: I’ll set the timer and here we are. Would you please describe Keep Sweet: My Homemade Recipe for a Fulfilling Gay Life as if you’re sharing it with a celebrity that you have a crush on and telling us who that celebrity is, of course!

Joshua: So the scenario goes like, Hi James Marsden, You want to read my book?

J.P.: Oh, my God!

Joshua: Let me tell you about it. My book is about my life, its memoir  and essays growing up as Mexican American in conservative Texas, and then finding my way all the way to New York City with my husband and living the life of my dreams, getting to do theater and other performance work, and all the while keeping a positive outlook when the world really does try to beat that out of you.

J.P.: I guess we know where you fall on the Team Angel or Team Spike side

Joshua: Not James Masters, although….

J.P.: Oh my gosh. Oh my goodness. Wow,

Joshua: But I am Team Spike, still so…

J.P.: Whew, bad host, bad host, but okay, question number two, what’s a sentence from a novel or essay or poem or other book that  every time you read it, it gives you all the feels?

Joshua: I don’t know if it’s cheating. It’s a poem. We’re going to go with the second verse of Mariah Carey’s Heartbreaker. It may be a run on sentence but goes as such: It’s a shame to be so euphoric and weak when you smile at me and you tell me the things that you know will persuade me to relinquish my love to you, but I cannot resist at all. It’s about being in that crashy levy, feeling it. So poetic. It’s so nice. I love it.

J.P.: That’s not cheating. Yes! Mariah! Question number three, what do you feel is the best sentence you’ve ever written?

Joshua: I don’t know if it’s the best sentence I’ve ever written, but it is one I’m most proud of and I had it handy for you. So this was in my memoir. I’m describing someone who I really really really love and she was so hard to describe and pin down her qualities. So this came to me and it seemed perfect for her and everyone who also knows her was like, Oh, that is a perfect description. I described her as: A deafening gentleness. Her presence alone makes one feel completely safe or better yet hopeful. We need more gentleness in our lives, And she’s just such a perfect example of that.

J.P. : A great sentence. Question number four, What’s the best romantic scene you’ve ever read?

Joshua: This is one of my favorite romantic scenes of all time that I have read many times. It is actually from William Shakespeare,s A Midsummer Night’s Dream,

J.P.: Going classic here.

Joshua: We’re going classic. you know, four hundred year old piece of work! It’s in the beginning when Hermia and Lysander are dreaming and scheming of stealing off into the woods in the middle of the night to go run off and be married and be with each other. The scene is so full of that young love but also that unaware joy. It’s just so fun and bubbly and lovey, dovey. I love that kind of romance.

J.P.: Shakespeare for the win.

Joshua: Always.

J.P.: Question number five, what are your favorite scents or smells to write about?

Joshua: I love writing about food right? I love writing about enjoying food: those perfect food items and how that food smells you know? The warm, buttery goodness, the little salt, the sweetness you can smell on sauces. If I could write about all of the senses that have to deal with when I’m writing about food, I would be happy forever.

J.P.: I’m hungry.

Joshua: And like lemon, Getting that sharp acidic hit in your nostrils. I just love food.

J.P.: Now you got me hungry, but all right, let’s see how we’re doing here. We’re great on time. What is the worst writing advice you’ve ever got?

Joshua: This may be controversial,

J.P.: I love controversy. Bring it

Joshua: I will say that “grammar matters” is the worst writing advice I got. It does matter,  in the end right? We have to make sure it is readable for our audiences in a way that makes sense for them. Sure. However, I always struggled with grammar, with words, with syntax. Mine is all over the place. Being in a household that spoke Spanish, the English spoken wasn’t higher class. So I always struggled with that. I actually got my first ever great B in an English class. I wasn’t good, and so I thought that I could never write because my prose wasn’t good, I couldn’t form sentences correctly. But that doesn’t matter. Just write anyway.Write in your own voice or voices and editors will make sure that it is readable, will make sense to an audience and still be in your own voice. So write anyway. Please.

J.P.: Follow up because we’ve got some time. Was this writing advice something you got in, school at college or grad school? Or is it something that an editor or agent told you?

Joshua: *Continually and from everywhere; all angles: ll the time. It did start in school. Then, during the publishing process, hearing from agents and hearing from others who were like, Wow, you’re this… like your voice is specific. I don’t think this is quality enough because my book is very conversational. I purposely wrote it to be like a conversation. Others who read it are like, Oh, this is so refreshing, so I’m like, okay. we get it.

J.P.: This conversation is refreshing. Final question: promote yourself. How do we order your book? How do we follow you on Social?

Joshua: Oh, my gosh. The book is out everywhere beginning March 7th at all online retailers plus Barnes and Noble, Amazon Cobo, Apple books, Google Play and all those things. You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok. I am @ JoshWadam.  I’m everywhere.

J.P.: That’s great. I want to know what is the story behind the handle?

Joshua: *Great question. My first and middle name are Joshua, Adam. Whenever people would say that fast, it was Joshua Adam, JoshwAdam! One of my dear friends in college, just gave me that nickname just a w in the middle, and it stuck. Whenever I created my Instagram account, which was  the first social account I had, that was my handle.

J.P.: Well, this is all the time that we have, and thank you so much, Joshua Adam,

Joshua: Thank you, J. P. This has been great, Thank you so much.

J.P.: Absolutely. This has been another episode of Seven Minutes in Book Heaven, which is presented to you by This Queer Book Saved My Life! Our podcast is Executive Produced by Jim Pounds, Our associate producers are Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay and Sean Smith. You too can be an associate producer of our show and we welcome you to join us. All the details are at Patreon dot com slash this queer book. Transcripts of all of our episodes are available on thisqueerbook.com. You can buy the books featured on our podcast on our bookshop.org page. You can find it at thisqueerbook.com slash bookshop. We are on Facebook, plus we’re at this queer book on Instagram and Twitter, and soon to be on Spoutable. My name is J P. Der Boghossian and stay tuned to this space every Tuesday for new episodes of Seven Minutes in Book Heaven, and our season 3 premiere of This Queer Book Saved My Life drops on March 7th. Until then, see you Queers and allies in the bookstores!