Are you ready to get your swerve on? A.J. Truman's is taking the Clubhouse back old school to celebrate his latest, Out On A Limb! So limber up, kids. Turn the volume up & don't be scared to dance like it's 2005!
10 Songs That Made My College Experience
10 Songs That Made My College Experience
By A.J. Truman
An added perk of choosing to write gay new adult is that it lets me relive old college memories. One of the best ways to get in the college zone is by listening to music from that time. Putting on any song can zap me back to that moment. In “Out on a Limb,” Walker gets to feel like a teenager again when “Gangsta’s Paradise” comes on at the club. He remembers all of the lyrics by heart. As do I, and if I didn’t have to pay to royalties to include them in the book, I would’ve had Walker rattle them off.
For certain songs, I can still remember where I was when I heard them. While many songs hold many meanings for me, here are ten that will always take me back to my college days.
1) Dirrty – Christina Aguilera
As a newly out gay man, this song was like a spiritual and sexual awakening for me. It was popular at the beginning of my freshman year. Just like Christina Aguilera had proven she was all grown up with this song, I was a new person once I got to college. When I would run at the gym, I would hope that the radio station would play it. I didn’t have an iPod back then. And I vividly remember playing this song while my friends and I learned how to dance in my room before going to a gay bar for the first time.
2) Work It – Missy Elliott
This song and its accompanying video simultaneously made no sense and gave me amazing life clarity. “Work It” was played all the time my freshman year. It was everywhere. To this day, when I need to make a change or take a risk, I say that I’m going to put my name down, flip it, and reverse it.
3) Crazy in Love – Beyonce
I know this makes me seem super gay. I’m not even a huge Beyonce fan. (Don’t call the police) But after a long, cold winter, this song debuted in the spring of freshman year. It was like a siren announcing that summer was here, and I’d survived my first year of college.
4) Get Low – Lil Jon
This was the party song of sophomore year. Bonus: I learned what skeet meant. Not what I thought. If you and your friends weren’t watching “Chappelle’s Show” or “Family Guy” DVDs, you were listening to this song. Or this one…
5) Yeah! – Usher
“Yeah!” was the song period of sophomore year. I don’t even like this song that much, but I can’t not include it. That’s how ubiquitous it was.
6) Follow Through – Gavin DeGraw
I listened to other stuff besides Top 40 when I was in college, like this song. It’s maudlin and sorta emo. Very much me at 19. I burned a CD of Gavin DeGraw songs and would listen to them on my portable CD player while walking around campus. I still love this song, and I can think of the plotline for a new book just by listening to it again. If you need to write an emotional, melodramatic scene that would not be out of place on a teen soap, Gavin DeGraw and Howie Day are your guys.
7) Milkshake – Kelis
My friend and I like to say that we discovered this song. We were driving in her car at like 2am one night, and it came on the radio. We’d never heard it before. A few weeks later, it was featured in “Mean Girls” and then it was everywhere. But we discovered it first.
8) Mr. Brightside – The Killers
The song that was everywhere my junior year. I have memories of listening to it in a bar, in the car, the radio. And then sometimes I think that I was on “The OC.” Memory is a funny thing.
9) Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
When I have to remember how to spell bananas, I still think of this song. It reminds me of my summer internship in New York. And it was one of the first songs I downloaded to my iPod mini.
10) Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly
This song just blanketed my entire college experience. It came out freshman year, and by senior year, we would listen to it to feel nostalgic. And to shake the “Trapped in the Closet” videos out of our heads. Have greater lyrics ever been sung than “I’m bout to take my key and stick it in the ignition”? I dare you to ask anyone my age what comes after the party.
Thank you for walking down Memory Lane with me. You can find me on Facebook, Goodreads, and my website. If you want to be the first to find out about my next project, and get cool perks like exclusive content and members-only contests, then become an Outsider today.
No looking back. That’s the motto of college senior Cameron Buckley, whether he’s kicking his latest hookup out of bed or plotting out his future as a hit screenwriter. With only a few weeks until graduation, he’s ready to put Browerton University in his rearview mirror and start the life he’s been dreaming of ever since he was a kid. But a chance meeting with a sexy stranger in a bar throws a wrench into his Hollywood plans.
For Walker Reed, no looking back is hard to do when you work minutes away from your alma mater and share child custody with your college sweetheart. Almost fifteen years after graduating from Browerton, he can’t stop wondering how he got here. He has an ex who can’t stand him, a five-year-old son he can’t connect with, and a dead-end job he can’t escape.
When Cameron and Walker first meet, they know the rules. They know their friendship has an expiration date, yet it begins changing them in ways they never expected. As graduation looms, they both know things can’t go anywhere, but they can’t keep denying the feelings pulling them closer, even as an offer from Hollywood threatens to tear them apart forever.
OUT ON A LIMB is a gay new adult romance filled with humor, heart, and hot guys. It’s the second full-length book in the Browerton University series, but can be read as a standalone. The book is intended for readers 18+ as it contains sexual situations and explicit language.
Barnes & Noble
About the author
A.J. Truman remembers his college days like it was yesterday, even though it was definitely not yesterday. He writes books with humor, heart, and hot guys. What else does a story need? He loves spending time with his pets and his partner and writing on his sun porch. You can email him at ajtruman.writer [at] gmail [dot] com. He always responds.
Enter for a chance to win The AJ Truman Prize Pack! Get an e-copy of each of my 3 books (Out in the Open, Behind Closed Doors, and Out on a Limb). The contest runs 4/22-4/29.
a Rafflecopter giveaway