Home / Content Library / Interview with Aiden Thomas on ‘Cemetery Boys’

Share This Post

Fantasy / Novels

Interview with Aiden Thomas on ‘Cemetery Boys’

Author Aiden Thomas with the cover of their book, Cemetery Boys, against a dark red background pattered with flowers

In just a few days, we’ll all be able to read Cemetery Boys, the highly-anticipated YA paranormal fantasy steeped in Latinx culture about a trans brujo and the attractive ghost he summons.

I sat down with the author, Aiden Thomas, to talk about the inspiration behind Cemetery Boys, what the representation in this book means to them personally, and what they want to see more of in entertainment.

The Latinx Magic System in Cemetery Boys

One of the unique aspects of this novel is the magic system, which is based entirely in Latinx culture, and more specifically in Día de los Muertos, a holiday that has deep personal significance to Aiden.

Aiden shared how meaningful it was to write about their own culture, and to create a protagonist that shared a lot of the same important identities.

Book cover of Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Two boys stand back to back amidst tombstones and marigold petals. A half-skeletal lady hovers overhead.

“Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas; cover art by Mars Lauderbaugh. (Credit: Swoon Reads | Macmillan)

“The truth is that there aren’t any books that I have read where I saw myself,” they said. “I’m trans, I’m Latinx, I’m queer. I have never found myself in the page of a book, let alone on TV or in a movie.” 

Writing this book became a way not only to create that representation for themselves, but to give back to their community, too. 

[click_to_tweet tweet=”“It was important to give myself but also my community the book that I never had.” — @aidenschmaiden” quote=”“It was important to give myself but also my community the book that I never had.””]

Creating Queer, Trans, and POC Stories

Aiden expressed how they’re hungering for more queer characters, trans characters, and characters of color — but especially characters that embody all three of these identities. They’re also excited to see more books coming out based on the folklore of various cultures.

Mere representation isn’t the only thing Aiden craves, however. While “issue” stories serve a valuable purpose, there’s a real need for narratives about marginalized characters that aren’t sob stories about the difficulties of being marginalized. Aiden wants to see more representation of marginalized characters who are “really powerful and happy.”

In Cemetery Boys, the protagonist doesn’t suffer on account of his identity. “It’s more of an adventure story where the main character just happens to be trans,” Aiden shared. 

“It would just be really nice if publishing opened up more space for stories that weren’t all about someone suffering because of their identity. I would love to see more joy and hope around marginalized writers and characters and their identities.”

Watch the Entire Interview

You can find Aiden on Twitter and Instagram.

Cemetery Boys comes out September 1, and is available for pre-order wherever books are sold. Enter the pre-order campaign  for a free bookplate and character cards, beautifully designed by Mars Lauderbaugh.

Image credit: Feature image designed by Brianna da Silva. Author photo by Elizabeth Stelle. Flower photo by Brian Breeden.

Share This Post

As a devout reader of fantasy novels, Brianna has always felt the call to put pen to paper and will be embarking on her greatest adventure yet — releasing her debut novel, City of Reckoning in 2021. When she’s not writing, she can be found behind the camera directing films or behind the computer screen working on multimedia design projects. Brianna’s path has led her to contribute digital illustrations to SBA.gov and motion graphics for a multitude of nonprofits, and freelancing while traveling the world. Follow along to see what’s next on her journey at briannadasilva.blog.

Leave a Reply

Ready to show the world more diverse talent and global stories?
Ready to bring your story to life?
Then let's stay in touch!

This is your platform and we need your input to build it. Together, we can bring representation into gaming and animation.

Empowering Creators.
Sci-fi and Fantasy from South Asia and Southeast Asia.