Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Author Interview: Lee Bantle + 2 COPIES GIVEAWAY

Hi! I am back with another author interview! For last month's Holt InGroup review book, I read David Inside Out and reviewed it. I was thrilled to find out that Lee Bantle himself have read it! So he graciously answered my questions and is giving away copies of David Inside Out! Please scroll down to the bottom for more info!

If you would like to learn more about him and his books, please visit:

What inspired you to write David Inside Out?

The desire to speak openly about my experience growing up. To be a witness to history. To let gay people know that they are not alone, that what they are going through is also what I have gone through and many others.

What was the hardest part while writing David Inside Out?

Describing experiences that were humiliating. To write lines where Sean sneers at David for his sexual interest (e.g., "I don't put it in my mouth.")

And the easiest part?

The hopeful, romantic scenes. David falling in love with Sean.

Do you have any written projects you are working on at the moment?

I am working on a novel called "The Memoirs of Odell P. Singleton, Grade Six." It is the story of a biracial boy in the age of Obama.

Are there any other topics or genres you are hoping to explore?

I'm not into vampires, though I understand the appeal. I like reality based fiction. I like characters who are struggling with their identities. At my ripe old age, I realize that this is a life long pursuit (if we're lucky) and good fiction can propel us on the journey.

On a more personal level, how similar is yours and David's experiences with each other? And how are they different?

I came of age in the last century. Coming out in high school would have been social suicide. David lives in a 21st century world. But many of his feelings are the same as mine. Much of the world still does not approve. In California, the voters took away the right to gay marriage. In the military, saying you are gay brings on discharge proceedings. Gays have come a long way. We can get married in Dubuque. But we can't get married in New York or LA. The world is a little mixed up on this issue. And so is David. Embracing his true identity does not come without pain.

When did you realize you were not interested in girls?

I realized I was not interested in girls during makeout sessions. It felt like a chore. The poor girls who fell in love with me were like Kick in the book. They had no idea. I was fun, gentle, verbal, polite to the parents. But there was one big problem!

In the book, Kick ultimately moves on from David which is the only answer for her. But hopefully, she and David will stay friends because they genuinely like each other.

Was it difficult to accept your identity?

It was incredibly difficult for me to accept my identity. The pressure to be straight -- society, parents, peers -- was powerful. I even tried aversive therapy -- which is something out of the dark ages. But I just couldn't be straight! In the end, that was my saving grace.

When did you finally come in terms of peace with yourself?

I found peace in the gay community, in friendships, in love relationships, in the acceptance of my family. But I am still not at peace. I cannot be while so much discrimination continues against gay people. I have to fight against it. One way is by writing this book. Another way is through my work. I am also an employment lawyer who brings lawsuits against companies that discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender, race, or age. These are the ways I give meaning to my life.

Please give us an interesting fact about you that not many people know of!

Sonia Sotomayor wanted me to be her boyfriend until she found out I was gay. If I had been willing to switch teams, I could be married to a Supreme Court Justice. But that wasn't going to happen. :) BTW -- she's great, and I hope she gets confirmed.


Now time for a giveaway! 2 signed copies of David Inside Out will be given out so that means there will be 2 winners! How to get the entries:

1+ = comment in this post here
1+ = comment on my review of David Inside Out
2+ = if you are already a follower either through blog roll, Google Reader, or both
1+ = if you just became a follower either through blog roll, Google Reader, or both
1+ = post this contest on your blog or whatnot (sidebar is fine)

Please keep everything in one comment in the format above. If you do not post, you get no entries!

Ends June 30th, 2009! Only Canadian and US addresses are eligible! Sorry international readers!

post signature


Fantastic Book Review said...

WOW! Great Interview! Most of the books I read are in the Fantasy/Supernatural genre, but Inside Out seems like it would be a great read.

+1 Comment

+2 Follow

Flip The Page! Book Reviews said...

Enter me in the contest!

+1 comment
+1 comment on review for David inside out
+1 contest linked on my blog
+1 I'm a new follower!


susan said...

Great interview! Lee's book is moving up my tbr pile.

We're celebrating Gay Pride Month which is June for Diversity Roll Call. Drop your link. We have regular participants and I'm sure they'd love to read your post. Please post your link for Little Lov'n Monday, too.

I already follow and I commented to your review.


Shoshna said...

+1 -> Comment on this post
+1 -> Comment on review
+2 -> Follow on Google Reader
+1 -> Link on sidebar in blog []

For a total of FIVE POINTS.

Thank you. :)

Amanda said...

Wonderful giveaway! I love the idea that Sonya Sotomayor wanted to date him! For points:

1+ I'm leaving a comment here.
1+ I left a comment on the original review.
1+ I just became a follower. Hi!

Total: 3 pts.


Liviania said...

I love the interesting fact! This was a great interview. I'm excited that you're doing contests now. ^_^

Shooting Stars Mag said...

No need to enter me of course, just wanted to stop by and say thanks for entering your link for the Book Carnival.

Loved the interview. The interesting fact really was interesting!! And I love what Lee does for a living, someone has to do it after all.

This book is great.

scottsgal said...

Loved the interview - glad you stayed true to yourself.

msboatgal at

Jake Lsewhere said...

I've also blogged about this giveaway here.


The Book Resort said...

I really enjoyed Lee's interview. Thanks, Diana.

1+ Comment
2+ Longtime follower
1+ Post this contest on your blog & sent tweet.

Valorie said...

I'd love a chance to win. :)

New follower.



robin_titan said...

sound like a great book.

awesome interview :)


Pam said...

I've read a couple of reviews about this book and I'd really like to read it. I'm saddened by the fact that in this day and age, people still have to be ashamed of who they are for fear of persecution. It's horrible.

+ new follower

melacan at hotmail dot com

Flip The Page! Book Reviews said...

So i wanted to know how do you get an interview with an author? Ive been dying to get one on my blog but really dont know how to go about it!

wdebo said...

Great interview!! I want to read DIAO so badly! Hope I win!

+1 Comment
+1 Comment on review
+2 Already a follower
+1 Posted on sidebar

Wdebo :)

Stephanie said...

What a good interview! This book sounds really good. I would love a chance at winning it!


stoland at ameritech dot net

silverhartgirl said...

Great interview.this book looks interesting.

Leslie said...

I LOVED this interview! The questions (and answers) were really thought provoking and interesting. I really enjoyed reading this. I can't wait until I can read the book. :)

+ Commented
+ Commented on review
+ New Follower
+ Posted about the book here:

Thank you!

bookaholic13 said...

Awesome Interview
I am a follower
Enter me please

Anonymous said...

Great giveaway.

Limerick said...

This sounds like it'll be a good story.

+1 I just started following!

ikkinlala said...

I'd love a copy of this to share with some friends, and I enjoyed the interview.

1+ for this comment
1+ for a comment on the review

emily said...

great interview!
id love to read the book!
+1 (im a new follower)

Belinda M said...

I am a new follower

Please include me in your giveaway.

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at


Lauren said...

1+ = I would love to enter! :)

1+ = I commented on your review of David Inside Out

2+ = I'm already a follower by Google Reader, though I just become a "follower"

Carlene said...

+1 Please include me in your giveaway.

+1 New follower.

Anonymous said...

1+ = comment in this post here
1+ = comment on my review of David Inside Out
2+ = if you are already a follower either through blog roll, Google Reader, or both
1+ = post this contest on your blog or whatnot (sidebar is fine)



Paradox said...

Enter me please! I keep hearing about this book, and believe that YA GLBT books are so important! Great interview too!

1+ = commented on the review of David Inside Out
2+ = I just followed you, but I've been subscribed via Google Reader for months.

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

Vian said...

I want the book (plus I got a day to go :P), with my luck I won't get it xD.

1+ comment
1+ comment on review of David Inside Out
1+ Follow
1+ contest posted in blog

:DDDDDDDD (only adds to 4 :( )

Laina said...

This book sounds really good, and the author interview was really interesting.

+1 Comment
+1 I'm a new follower.
+1 I posted about it here:

Alexa said...

1+ I'd love to win this book!
1+ commented on review
2+ already a follower.

1+ posted link on sidebar:


vvb32 reads said...

1+ = comment in this post here
1+ = comment on my review of David Inside Out
2+ = if you are already a follower

I liked that interesting tidbit about Sonia Sotomayor.

Katie said...

Enter me! I just became a follower.

WhatBriReads said...

I really really want to read this book, I love books that deal with topics like this. :)

1+ = posted on my sidebar at

*Samantha* said...

I really want to read this, I very much support gay rights, and since my best friend is bisexual, books like this help me understand the kind of thing he went through even more when he came out.

+1 for commenting
+2 You are on my blog roll already
+1 Posted on my sidebar:

sharon54220 said...

WOW!! Sounds like a great book.

I would love ot be entered. This is one of my most favorite genres to read.

+1 Comment
+1 New follower