SERIES TOUR AND NEW RELEASE: The Pizza Chronicles by Andy V. Roamer (Q&A with Author)




The books in the Pizza Chronicles series follow the main character, RV, through his high school years, as he tries to answer his many questions about life, God, prayer, sexuality, being the son of immigrants, and staying loyal to his heritage while carving out his own life and relationships. 

The stories should be read in order.

Book #1: Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza?

Book #2: Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza?

Book #3: Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza?

Book #4: Why Can’t Sophomore Summer Be Like Pizza?

Book #5: Why Can’t Dating Be Like Pizza?

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 1 flame


Book Title: Why Can’t Dating Be Like Pizza?

Author:  Andy V. Roamer 

Publisher:  Nine Star Press 

Length:  52 000 words 

Release Date: August 20, 2022

Genre:  Young Adult 

Trope: Gay romance

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Themes:  Dating, films, art, bullying, gay suicide, finding one’s passion, surviving break-ups  

This story is a continuation of Book #1-4  with the same characters and does not end on a cliffhanger. It is best to read the books in order.

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Series Buy Links

NineStar Press  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Sixteen year-old RV negotiates the ups and down of junior year of high school, filled with pressure, new romance, and unexpected discoveries. 


RV is now a junior in Book #5, Why Can’t Dating Be Like Pizza?. It’s the most important year of high school, as his guidance counselor makes clear. He pushes RV to improve his grades, get more active socially, and show colleges why they should accept him over other candidates. But RV has other things on his mind.  He has met Luke, freshly arrived in Boston from Los Angeles. Luke shows him a whole new world of romance, movie making, and fun.  RV’s friends and family pull him in other directions though.  There’s the responsibility of earning money.  His longtime friend Carole pulls him into politics, asking him to direct her campaign running for the student council.  His old crush Bobby isn’t around much, and RV has to accept that he and Bobby are no longer an item, though he still has some feelings for him.   But when Luke makes an unexpected announcement, RV really has to accept that dating has painful downs as well as joyful ups. 




Book Title: Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza?

Author: Andy V. Roamer 

Publisher:  Nine Star Press 

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Length:  55 100 words/ 208 pages

Release Date: March 30, 2020 

Genre: YA Contemporary 

Trope:  Son of immigrants 

Themes: Coming Out 

It is a standalone story. 

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Buy Links

NineStar Press  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

In Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza? RV begins freshman year at demanding Boston Latin School, doing his best to keep up and fit in while wrestling with his immigrant heritage and his sexuality.  


Wrestling with his sexuality, along with a lot of other things, RV thinks all is okay when he starts going out with Carole.  But things get more complicated when RV develops a crush on Bobby, a football player in his class, who admits he may have gay feelings, too.  Bobby is African American and facing his own pressures.  Luckily, RV develops a friendship with Mr. Aniso, his Latin teacher, who is gay and always there to talk to when the pressure becomes overwhelming.  


Book Title:  Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza? 

Author: Andy V. Roamer 

Publisher:  Nine Star Press 

Cover Artist:  Natasha Snow 

Length: 50 200 words/196 pages

Release Date:  June 1, 2020

Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary

Trope:  Summer Vacation 

Themes: Obstacles to exploring sexuality and enjoying summer 

This story is a continuation of Book #1 with the same characters 


Buy Links

Nine Star Press  |   Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

In Why Can’t Freshman Summer Be Like Pizza? RV and Bobby have survived freshman year and are looking forward to spending a wonderful summer together. But life has other plans.


RV and Bobby’s summer is not what they wish for.  They hardly have time to spend with each other.  Bobby is busy at football camp and working at a job his father has pressured him into taking. RV is busy with a summer job, too, and also has to help his parents pass their U.S. citizenship test. His friend Carole jumps at the chance to spend her summer in Paris. As always, Mr. Aniso, RV’s Latin teacher is there to talk to when RV gets too lonely. He’s also there when RV inadvertently spills one of Bobby’s secrets, and Bobby is so angry at him RV is afraid he’s ready to cut off the friendship. 


Book Title:  Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza? 

Author:  Andy V. Roamer 

Publisher:  Nine Star Press 

Length: 58 000 words/ 272 pages

Release Date:  March 15, 2021

Genre:  Young Adult Contemporary 

Trope:  Forming relationships 

Themes:  Maintaining relationships through difficulties/helping friend through tragedy 

This is a continuation of Book #2 of The Pizza Chronicles


Buy Links  

Nine Star Press  |   Amazon US  |    Amazon UK

In Why Can’t Relationships Be Like Pizza?, Book #3, RV begins sophomore year in high school, though his relationships create more questions than answers.


RV is trying to maintain his newfound friendship with Bobby, but it’s becoming harder and harder. Bobby seems a different, more distant, person. RV’s friend Carole is distracted with the ups and downs in her relationships with the French boyfriends she met during her summer in Paris. RV’s new friend Mark is focused on his family’s troubles.  School is a mixed bag.  But Mr. Aniso, RV’s former teacher and mentor, is there to lean on, especially when near tragedy strikes and RV needs Mr. Aniso’s counsel to stay strong and provide help where it’s needed most.   


Book Title:  Why Can’t Sophomore Summer Be Like Pizza?

Author: Andy V. Roamer

Publisher:  Nine Star Press

Length: 52 000 words

Release Date:  August 23, 2021

Genre: Young Adult LGBT 

Tropes:  Summer vacation between freshman & sophomore years of high school

Themes:  Teenage steps toward maturity: ups & downs of romance, driving lessons, coming out to family

It is a standalone story, with the same characters from books 1-3.

The books have frequent references to previous titles in the series, so better if they are read in order.


Buy Links

NineStar Press

Amazon US    |   Amazon UK 

RV’s summer after sophomore year of high school isn’t all fun and games as he navigates a budding new relationship, struggles with driving lessons, copes with the ups and downs of his summer job in a movie theatre, and tries to be patient with his traditional family that doesn’t want to deal with his sexuality. 


It’s the summer after sophomore year and RV enjoys new adventures and faces new challenges having finished two years of high school.  Since he loves movies, he’s happy to get a job as an usher at a movie multiplex, but learns the realities of dealing with job stresses and unruly customers. It’s time for him to start learning how to drive, and his father is eager to give him lessons.  But he’s not the most patient of teachers and RV is not the most capable of drivers. Bobby is still around, but he’s doing the hard job of recovering from his injury so doesn’t have time for much else. RV tries to open himself up to a new relationship and is happy when he meets Matteo, who works at the multiplex also.  It looks like the start of a budding romance – until it isn’t.  And then there is RV’s family, loving but traditional, not ready or willing to discuss issues of sexuality. Luckily, as always, there is Mr. Aniso, RV’s freshmen-year teacher, who has become a friend and is always there to talk over anything that might be bothering RV. But he’s away for the summer, helping his partner’s family, so there’s only so much time and attention he can give RV. 

Q&A with Andy V. Roamer

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

I think I always wanted to be writer without consciously telling myself that would ultimately be my profession.  I wrote stories and entered contests as a kid.  In college I sent a screenplay to a well-known Hollywood star, who politely answered saying the script was not for her.  And when I moved to NYC after college I continued to write, take classes, and started working in book publishing.

How many books have you written?

Six, all published by Nine Star Press.

–One adult novel under the pen name: Andy V Ambrose: Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon

–Five titles (so far) in The Pizza Chronicles Young Adult series

How long does it usually take you to write a book?

The YA books usually take 6-9 months.  I’m a slow writer.  I first need a few months to “percolate.”  IE: I think about the next book, jotting down ideas and doing research, but not doing any actual writing.  I need it all to gestate in my mind.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Related to above.  I knew that the next book in the series would concentrate on the main character, RV,  dealing with the emotional aspects of dating. In the previous books, RV has wrestled with his sexuality, accepted himself, had a few tentative romantic interludes, and suffered through a big-time crush on a classmate who has lately appeared more and more distant. In this next, 5th, book, I wanted RV to experience the ups and downs of dating, which seemed like a natural next step in RV’s growth.  I just didn’t know how everything would play out.   Ergo, I had to let things percolate, come up with different scenarios, and finally start writing. 

Who are your favorite authors?

Some of my favorite books & authors:

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Tangled Up in Blue (nonfiction) by Rosa Brooks

Varieties of Religious Experience  by William James

Where is your favorite place to write?

Usually at home in front of my computer, with occasional glances out the window, which has a view of the New York City skyline. Looking at the skyline lets me relax and fantasize about the possibilities of life.

Also, for a change of location, a public place, such a café or Barnes and Noble, where I’m around people but not bothered and can quietly dive into the world I am working on with my writing.

Do you write as routine or do you write when you feel like it?

It has to be a routine, a schedule.  Otherwise it’s too easy to fluff off.  See the next question.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Actually sitting down at the keyboard.  There are a multitude of excuses that can prevent me from doing so.  As a friend once said, “My apartment is spotless because of my writing.” Something about actually committing to the process involves getting over some kind of resistance before the thoughts and feelings from the unconscious can really begin to flow.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

I usually enjoy the editing process.  I used to struggle with being a perfectionist and get stuck on rewrites before I finished the whole thing.  It took me years, but I finally conquered that bad habit (fingers crossed!).  So now, once I’ve finished the full draft and can take a deep breath, I can enjoy rereading the manuscript, sitting down at the keyboard,  and fixing things here or there before sending the manuscript to my editor.

Are your characters based on people you know?

Some characters are based on peopled I know – in part, but fleshed out or slightly different depending on the needs of the story.  Other characters are totally imaginary.  They can be someone I would enjoy knowing perhaps.  Someone who might make me, and the reader, laugh.  Someone who might scare me – but since they’re imaginary, I’m not too scared! Someone who’s a combination of a couple of people I know because I’m intrigued by different facets of their personality.

Do you use your experiences in your books?

Oh, yes.  As I tell everyone, my novels are a combination of my own experiences and my imagination.  My own experiences are the grounding for the book, a sense of reality that what one reads in the book is true and heartfelt.  I use my imagination to flesh out these experiences, perhaps adding some details I’ve forgotten, or emphasizing something further that I feel is important in telling the story.

What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?

I’ll share a quick story.  A friend of mine gave the first book in The Pizza Chronicles series, Why Can’t Life Be Like Pizza?, to friends of hers, grandparents of a boy who was wrestling with his sexuality.  I didn’t know these people at all, but my friend told me they told her that after they read my book they understood their grandson more fully and felt closer to him.  To know my book had this effect on total strangers, felt wonderful.  That’s why I write these books and that’s what I want to happen more.

What do you love best about your current book?

RV’s, the main character’s, slow maturation and growth in accepting himself.  I like to think I’ve really captured what goes on in a teen’s brain as he slowly but surely goes from being very scared and unsure of himself to a greater degree of self-acceptance.  It’s never full confidence because we’re always learning and growing, aren’t we? But, still, RV has reached a certain point where one feels he will do OK in life.  He may screw up, he may come up with daunting situations that cause him to doubt himself all over again.  But the grounding is there.  He will plow ahead and live his life as he best sees fit.

What is your next project?

I’m working on the next book in the series.  It will take place when RV is a senior in high school.  No plot yet, as I’m in the percolating stage.  I do think it will involve further growth for RV and deeper feelings.

About the Author 

Andy V. Roamer grew up in the Boston area and moved to New York City after college. He worked in book publishing for many years, starting out in the children’s and YA books division and then wearing many other hats. This is his first novel about RV, the teenage son of immigrants from Lithuania in Eastern Europe, as RV tries to negotiate his demanding high school, his budding sexuality, and new relationships. He has written an adult novel, Confessions of a Gay Curmudgeon, under the pen name Andy V. Ambrose. To relax, Andy loves to ride his bike, read, watch foreign and independent movies, and travel.

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