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Home of young adult fiction writer Rob Costello

A little bit about me...

My name is Rob Costello, and mostly I write fiction for and about young people. In my stories, I try to explore what it's like being a teenager negotiating the strange, scary, horny, painful, and bewildering experience of growing up. As a gay man, my characters are frequently queer or questioning and find themselves in weird, embarrassing, and unlikely situations, trying to figure out who they want to be - and be with - while fighting against the jerks and bigots that try to stop them. Sometimes they have to struggle against abusive, neglectful, or even predatory adults. Sometimes they lose. Sometimes they get hurt. But they almost always kick ass in the end.

I enjoy reading mythology, folklore, and genre fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, etc.), so these things have a way of creeping into my stories. But not always.

In 2012 I earned my MFA degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. I’m proud of that. But it doesn’t mean I know how to write any better than anybody else. It just means I tried really hard and did my best. 

I'm also an alumnus of the Millay Colony for the Arts, a beautiful and secluded retreat for artists and writers located on the former estate of the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. It's an amazing place. I highly recommend it!

I'm currently hard at work on two different novels:

The first is a contemporary YA (with a wee touch of Celtic folklore thrown in) set in the Adirondack Mountains and New York City. It's a coming-of-age story about how guilt, shame, secrets, and memory can infiltrate our identities and derail our lives without us even noticing. It centers on a gay teen and his best friend whose world explodes when the ghosts of their past reemerge and spark a slow burning crisis that ultimately leads to tragedy and redemption. 

The second is a supernatural thriller about toxic masculinity, fatherhood, and sexual violence, involving a teenage boy who kills his molester — a sadistic sheriff's deputy — and finds himself on the run across the backcountry of New York, being pursued by the police and a demonic stranger with sinister intentions.

I also write short stories, teach, offer manuscript critiques, and lecture on the craft of writing. 

My husband and I live on top of a wide and windy hill in the countryside of upstate New York, where we dutifully take orders from several four-legged overlords who graciously allow us to live with them. And feed them. And walk them twice daily. And pick up their poo. 

I like lots and lots of books, by lots and lots of different writers, but I’ll list a few of my favorites here because… Well, because it’s fun. For me, at least.

Want to know anything else? Just ask. I answer most questions and I generally don’t bite…