The Sweetness Between Us

The Sweetness Between Us is my current major work-in-progress. It is a young adult rom-com graphic novel slated for publication by First Second in late 2024.

Description from the original pitch:

Perley is 16 when he’s diagnosed with diabetes, and the adjustment to life with a demanding chronic illness is challenging enough without the tribulations of teendom. His classmate Amandine has also been out of school with a health issue, and when Perley tests his blood glucose levels, he finds out why: she was recently turned into a vampire to save her “life” after a traffic accident! And, conveniently, she can taste his blood sugar levels.

They bond as they both learn to live with their new states of being, learning the intricacies of privilege and support systems—some that they share, and many they don’t. The pair joke that if they can make it to prom and have their only worries be frivolous things like who to ask and what to wear, they’ll have succeeded at getting back to normal. But it turns out the only way to move forward is to accept their new normals, and they’ll only ever get to enjoy the growing feelings they have for each other if they learn the difference between healthy love and codependency.

This is not a typical supernatural romance about forbidden love, or edgy brooding boys, or whatever (though those can be delightful too). The vampire aspect introduces levity and flair to the exploration of what it means to live with chronic illness and was the perfect choice to play off diabetes, a condition monitored through frequent blood testing. I wanted to depict diabetes because I live with it, myself.

Publishers Weekly announcement:

First look art: