Plot/Idea: As devastating as it is heart-warming, Jones crafts a story that brings together all the best parts of a coming-of-age romance. The novel, a true page turner, moves quickly while still cutting deeply.
Prose: Throughout the story, Jones's prose is effortless and expressive, subtly infusing the pages with a sense of lyrical beauty.
Originality: The text tells a unique story that hits all the elements of the romance genre, and readers will enjoy the small twists and turns throughout that make this novel truly its own.
Character/Execution: Although the narrative unquestionably shines, the characters are the crown jewel. With a cast of ultimately flawed but loveable teenagers, the plot is driven by their deep-rooted characterization. There is always someone to love, someone to hate, and someone readers don't quite understand.
Date Submitted: April 20, 2023
If you haven’t heard of Harker Jones, you most likely soon will — and you should.
The Los Angeles–based writer and editor has charmed readers with his first published novel, the beautiful and tender gay coming-of-age story Until September, and two short films he wrote have racked up numerous awards at festivals. Meanwhile, he’s shopping around a feature-film screenplay and more.
“I was painfully shy as a child, so I found solace and companionship in books, and that led to an understanding of both human nature and language,” says Jones, who grew up in Manchester, Mich., and graduated from Eastern Michigan University. “I also learned the power of stories, how they can heal and illuminate in addition to entertain. I think that’s what set me on the road toward writing and storytelling.”
Hi Harker, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I grew up at a lake outside Manchester, Michigan (pop. 1,710), a queer boy dreaming of being a movie star. But I’m not an actor, I’m a writer. I just always understood I was meant to be in Los Angeles. So once I graduated from Eastern Michigan University, I picked up and moved here and things started to fall into place fairly quickly. I was hired as managing editor of “Genre,” a gay men’s features magazine (a poor man’s “Out”) the summer I arrived, which led to a position as managing editor of “Out” (a rich man’s “Genre”), where I stayed for seven years, and then did two in gay porn. You can’t plot the twists life takes. No one would have anticipated me ending up in the gay porn industry, least of all me!