Newsletter

Below, you’ll find the most recent version of my Newsletter. To receive this mailing, sign up here.

2/1/2019

Hi Friends,

Welcome to the third issue of ~Phil Stamper’s Official Author Newsletter~ where I keep everyone up to date on author news, while giving myself a wholly unnecessary platform to ramble about NASA’s iconic Apollo missions. If you haven’t added my debut contemporary YA novel, THE GRAVITY OF US, to Goodreads, please do!

I have to be honest, I’ve been avoiding this one. I’ve been timing these issues to release with the 50th anniversary of all the Apollo missions! I’ve previously covered Apollo 7—SPACE MUTINY!—and Apollo 8—MOONRISE—but I’d be remiss not to acknowledge the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 1 disaster.

*long sigh*

But let’s start with the good news, yeah?

Book News:

  • Cover Sketches! – Oh my god. The illustrator that my publishing team hired to create the cover for THE GRAVITY OF US sent over cover sketches. If you don’t know the process (I didn’t!) when you’re working with an illustrator, you’re sent what is essentially their first draft. The figures aren’t fully fleshed out, the landscape is sketched in black and white—but the perspective and visuals are there! And they’re beautiful! I am so excited to see how this develops and to (eventually) be able to share this cover with you all.
  • Goodreads Update – If you’ve been to GRAVITY’s Goodreads page lately, you may have noticed something exciting: there’s a real, full, synopsis of the book up there! It’s not final, but it does give you a better idea of the characters and the plot. Check it out here!

Space Stuff:

Did you ever wonder why the Apollo missions start with “lucky number” 7? Well, starting with Apollo 7 was never the plan. The program started, in fact, with AS-204, or Apollo 1. This mission, NASA knew, would change the future of spaceflight forever, and it would be the first of a series of crewed missions that would bring humans to the moon. The launch date was set for February 21, 1967.

Naturally, a series of flight tests preceded the planned launch, and the astronauts pictured above (left to right: Roger Chaffee, Ed White, Gus Grissom) had been training for months. January 27th, 1967, was a particularly frustrating day of tests: communication issues were a continual issue, to the extent that Grissom shouted “How are we going to get to the moon if we can’t talk between two or three buildings?”

The tests continued until a transmission was heard from the spacecraft at 6:31 p.m.

“Fire.”

In less than a minute, the fire consumed the spacecraft, and Chaffee, White, & Grissom—trapped inside—were killed.

After eighteen months of investigation (and another 50 years of reflection) it was determined that a stray spark started the fire. The spacecraft was pumped with 100% oxygen, an environment which allowed the flames to spread quickly. The abundance of foam and nylon padding the craft certainly didn’t help. And to top it all off, the hatch door took a full minute to open, making a quick escape impossible.

The fire was devastating, but it led to many improvements in astronaut safety: pure oxygen was replaced with a nitrogen-oxygen mix, technicians removed the flammable objects, and changes were made to the hatch doors that kept the astronauts safe while still allowing for a quick escape in emergency situations.

The Apollo 1 disaster, the Challenger explosion, and the loss of the space shuttle Columbia all occurred over the span of five days (not… the same year, obviously) making late January a challenging time of the year for NASA. On January 25th of this year, NASA honored their fallen astronauts through a remembrance ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Ok that was sad, so here’s a pretty picture from my next newsletter send! I’ll be back to you in March with more about Apollo 9: the SPIDER’S FLIGHT.

News, Podcasts & More:

– December 21, 2018 | Write@YA Episode 6: Character Overview | Write@YA Podcast
“Without characters, our stories are … a series of events. Those events are not unfortunate until they matter to someone. With that in mind, this week why dig in to how we craft characters — protagonists, antagonists, side characters, you name it — and why they matter.”

– December 30, 2018 | WRITING, READING, AUTHORTUBE, and MORE || My 2018 Favorites | Kevlandia – YouTube
“My third favorite book of 2018 was THE GRAVITY OF US by Phil Stamper…”

– January 6, 2019 | People Had The Best Reactions To A Debate About Marie Kondo’s Book Advice | Pedestrian
“It all got a little out of hand and while some people tried to explain Kondo’s philosophy to those opposed, others decided it was time to take the piss out of the entire thing.” (Yes, I was one of those people.)

Shoutout:

Are you currently an adoring fan of kids/YA author, certified Funny Human, and Superstar Blair Thornburgh? If so (or if not… yet) you should sign up for her newsletter, which is packed full of book news, writing tips, and SKULLS.

No really, SKULLS is her picture book coming out this summer, and it looks SO AMAZING.
Sign up for her newsletter here, and check back next time for another great recommendation.

Thanks for reading!
Phil


PHIL STAMPER, YA Author
Website – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram
Add THE GRAVITY OF US on Goodreads!

Phil Stamper grew up in a rural village near Dayton, Ohio. He has a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Publishing with Creative Writing. And, unsurprisingly, a lot of student debt. He works for a major book publisher in New York City and lives in Brooklyn with his husband and their dog. THE GRAVITY OF US is his first novel, but he’s no stranger to writing. His self-insert Legend of Zelda fanfiction came with a disclaimer from the 14-year old author: “Please if you write a review don’t criticize my work.” He has since become more open to critique… sort of.

His debut YA novel THE GRAVITY OF US will be out Winter 2020 from Bloomsbury Children’s Books. He is represented by Brent Taylor of Triada US Literary Agency.


12/21/2018

Hi Friends,

Welcome to the second issue of ~Phil Stamper’s Official Author Newsletter~ where I keep everyone up to date on author news, while giving myself a wholly unnecessary platform to ramble about NASA’s iconic Apollo missions. If you haven’t added my debut contemporary YA novel, THE GRAVITY OF US, to Goodreads, please do! Until we get closer to pre-orders, cover reveals, and the like, this is the most impactful thing you can do to help. That, and encouraging friends and family to sign up for this newsletter!

Book/Author News:

·  I’ve officially completed my edits! This is a huge step, and the full manuscript has been passed along to the copy editing team to start the exciting managing editorial & production process. Working with my editor at Bloomsbury Teen was a great experience, and my book is so much stronger for it. (Thanks, MK!)

·  Write@YA—a new podcast for YA writers! I’m co-hosting a new writing tips podcast with the lovely Jo Farrow, Josh Hlibichuk, and Kristine Kim. Every other week we look at a facet of writing—characters, outlining, drafting, etc.—and dissect it together, so we can help share helpful tips and tricks for writers of all experience levels! Check it out at http://www.writeatya.com, or wherever you prefer to listen to podcasts.

Space Stuff:

Today, we get to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of my favorite space missions of all time: Apollo 8. Where Apollo 7 was vital, but overlooked, Apollo 8 spurred an excitement in the space program that had been waning since the Apollo 1 disaster. You can learn more about the flight here.


Apollo 8 was the first crewed spacecraft to orbit the moon and safely return. The above photo, Earthrise, is one of the most iconic pictures in history. But it was a truly spontaneous moment—Bill Anders, who was meant to take scheduled photos throughout the flight, looked out of the window and became the first human to ever see the Earth rise from the perspective of the moon. Here’s an excerpt of the convo between Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell, the three Apollo 8 astronauts:
Anders: Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! There’s the Earth coming up. Wow, that’s pretty.
Borman: Hey, don’t take that, it’s not scheduled. (joking)
Anders: (laughs) You got a color film, Jim?
Hand me that roll of color quick, would you…
Lovell: Oh man, that’s great!

Adding to the spontaneity, Jim Lovell casually named a previously unnamed mountain—radioing back to their CAPCOM while passing over it—calling it Mount Marilyn, for his wife. The name was widely recognized, but technically informal, until 2017, when the International Astronomical Union finally agreed to formalize a few honorific titles, starting with Mount Marilyn.

Shortly after the christening of Mount Marilyn, the astronauts led a live Christmas Eve TV broadcast from the moon. This became, at the time, the most watched program of all time, ramping up interest in—and building up the belief that we could one day walk on—the moon.

News & Podcasts:
December 1, 2018 | Ep 27: Chartbreakers | Darknet Diaries

“I head over to the bookstore and start browsing around. The first stack of books was titled New York Times Best Seller List. . . . Is it possible to corrupt the list? I got on Twitter and messaged Phil Stamper.”

Shoutout:

“Kosoko Jackson is the future of queer literature.” – Shaun David Hutchinson

Logically speaking, that makes his monthly newsletter the future of queer newsletters. Sign up for Kosoko’s newsletter here, and preorder his debut A PLACE FOR WOLVES at your favorite retailer now! More info here: https://kosokojackson.com/

Thanks for reading!
Phil

PHIL STAMPER, YA Author 
Website – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram
Add THE GRAVITY OF US on Goodreads!

Phil Stamper grew up in a rural village near Dayton, Ohio. He has a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Publishing with Creative Writing. And, unsurprisingly, a lot of student debt. He works for a major book publisher in New York City and lives in Brooklyn with his husband and their dog. THE GRAVITY OF US is his first novel, but he’s no stranger to writing. His self-insert Legend of Zelda fanfiction came with a disclaimer from the 14-year old author: “Please if you write a review don’t criticize my work.” He has since become more open to critique… sort of.

His debut YA novel THE GRAVITY OF US will be out Winter 2020 from Bloomsbury Teen.


 

11/13/2018

Hi Friends,

Thank you for signing up for ~Phil Stamper’s Official Author Newsletter~ at some point over the last few months. In early 2020, THE GRAVITY OF US will be on bookshelves at a store near you. That’s… a long time from now, but as I finish up edits before we pass it to the production team, I wanted to send over a quick update on all of my upcoming projects, some podcasts and interviews I’ve recently been featured in, and of course, some nerdy rambling about space-related things.

Book News:

  • Digital Visual Novel – Rights deal! In case you missed it, I’m pleased to announce the digital visual rights for my two Wattpad novels—my YA dystopian story, CROWDED, and my teen storm chaser story, CHASING HOME—have sold to Crazy Maple Studios for their interactive stories app. In the next year, you’ll be able to play through the first two novels I ever wrote by downloading the Chapters: Interactive Stories app. Follow Chapters on Facebook (and keep an eye on your inbox…) and you’ll be the first to know when it’s available!

Upcoming Events:

  • Book Expo | May 29 – 31, 2019  Mark your calendars! I’ll be at Book Expo this year, and rumor is there might be something ARC-shaped for me to sign while I’m there. 👀 I have no other information about my schedule just yet, but I expect to know more early next year!

Space Stuff:

Contrary to popular belief, THE GRAVITY OF US is not set in space. I realize having an entire newsletter section on Space Stuff will not help that assumption. Oops.

Last month we got to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 7 launch and landing. It’s an often overlooked launch—Apollo 11 landed us on the moon, Apollo 13’s near-disaster showed the brilliance behind the NASA scientists and astronauts as they made a safe return after an early explosion—but none of it would have been possible without the first crewed Apollo mission, Apollo 7. You can learn more about the flight here.

One thing I find cool about Apollo 7 is the fact that the time in orbit really showed the mental strain put on the astronauts, resulting in space mutiny. There were a lot of factors at play, but Wally Schirra developed a severe head cold in space (none of them felt particularly well) and refused to make the crew put their helmets on, so they could equalize the pressure as it increased during reentry… pinching their noses and blowing, kind of like what we do on airplanes, but with a looooot more pressure.

Anyway, the crew was punished for their space mutiny and Eisele and Cunningham were banned from flying any future missions. Schirra—the only pilot who flew in the Mercury, Gemini, andApollo missions—had already announced retirement, so not much could be done to him. But mutiny or not, their heroics paved the way for the future of the space program, and helped get us to the moon in 1969.

News & Podcasts:

Diesel’s New “Faggot” Jacket Caused Fervent Backlash. Does the Context of Why They Made it Matter? | Mic
“’I don’t think Diesel gets to ‘reclaim’ this term for our community,’ queer author Phil Stampersaid. ‘It’s still pretty divisive, and brings up a lot of trauma for queer people.’”
Episode Eight: Phil Stamper & The Not So Secret Zelda Fan Fic | Write or Die Podcast
“Join me and this week’s guest Phil Stamper as we talk Zelda fan fic, leaving your first agent, taking down Lani Sarem and his upcoming debut THE GRAVITY OF US!”
Spitefully Outed (Ep. 169 – So You Think You Can Dance) | The Sewers of Paris Podcast
“My guest this week is Phil Stamper, whose book The Gravity of Us tells the story of two young men who fall in love amidst the drama of a mission to Mars.”

Shoutout:

I hope to shout out other newsletters I love, especially those by other queer authors, in my emails. First up, I wanted to make sure you have signed up for Ryan La Sala’s monthly newsletter. He’s the author of REVERIE, an amazing queer YA fantasy (with a drag queen sorceress villain!!!) coming out soon from Sourcebooks Fire. Check back next time for another great recommendation.

Thanks for reading!
Phil


PHIL STAMPER, YA Author 
Website – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram
Add THE GRAVITY OF US on Goodreads!

Phil Stamper grew up in a rural village near Dayton, Ohio. He has a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Publishing with Creative Writing. And, unsurprisingly, a lot of student debt. He works for a major book publisher in New York City and lives in Brooklyn with his husband and their dog. THE GRAVITY OF US is his first novel, but he’s no stranger to writing. His self-insert Legend of Zelda fanfiction came with a disclaimer from the 14-year old author: “Please if you write a review don’t criticize my work.” He has since become more open to critique… sort of.

His debut YA novel THE GRAVITY OF US will be out Winter 2020 from Bloomsbury Teen.