Chicago, IL, USA – August 28, 2020 – PenPower Book Marketing Services and Chicago author Jaire Sims are pleased to announce the release of Sims’ debut novel, Getting By. The book is a coming-of-age story for the twenty-first century, focusing on the unique challenges of being African American, autistic, and coming to understand one’s own sexuality. Sims wanted to write a book that spoke to readers in underrepresented communities.
“I wanted to write a story for people like me,” says Sims. “During my teen years I noticed that finding books with Black, gay or autistic protagonists was difficult and mostly unheard of. My goal with this novel was to give today’s readers an option that better reflects who they uniquely are, and hopefully show them that they too can write and add their own voices to these underserved communities.”
Senior Midwest Book Reviewer, Diane Donovan, offers the following: “Sims cultivates the ability to present a multifaceted young personality on the cusp of various types of changes and confrontations in life. In creating a talented, aspiring young man who is facing both the pinnacle of success and some of his greatest personal challenges for building a different future goal, Jaire Sims goes far beyond getting by with stereotypical scenarios and approaches.”
Getting By centers around 17-year-old Carver Goodman, a Chicago high school junior looking to the future. As an aspiring photographer, his main focus is on his grades. However, he quickly learns that the year will be more challenging than he’d originally planned. In addition to preparing for the ACT, his school guidance counselor also suggests that he participate in extracurricular activities to make himself more appealing to colleges.
He’s also immersed in trying to understand himself, aware that he is attracted to men, but unsure if he’s truly gay. He enters into his first romantic relationship with a female friend anyway, still trying to determine his true orientation. Add to the mix school bullies and a recent autism diagnosis, and Getting By becomes the story of a young man trying to find his place in the world.
Sims used his own life as inspiration for the book. Growing up, he found that he didn’t identify with the stereotypical Black male teen as shown in movies and on television. One of his goals was to reveal another side to Black youth, showing others that they don’t have to try and conform to what the media portrays as normal.
Sims was also able to give an accurate portrayal of how some high-functioning autistic people interact with the world due to his own diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome during college. “I’m hoping all readers, not just those in underrepresented communities, find something of themselves in this book,” concludes Sims.
Jaire Sims was born and raised in Chicago and Getting By is his debut novel. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome while attending college. To learn more about the author, please visit https://jairesims.com.
Title: Getting By
Category: Young Adult Fiction / Coming of Age / LGBTQ
Publication Date: August 2020
ISBNs: 978-1-7348608-0-1 (pbk) $12.90
978-1-7348608-1-8 (ebook) $4.99
Page Count: 192
Getting By is available for purchase at your local independent bookstore through BookShop at https://bookshop.org.
To get in touch with the author, please contact:
Jeanie C. Williams, Director
PenPower Book Marketing Services
150 Washington Street, Suite 201
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501