John Green & David Levithan Novel WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON Inspire Spinoff


In the John Green & David Levithan collaboration Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the “world’s largest person who is really, really gay” character Tiny Cooper was working on a musical.

Now, it has come to our attention that Mr. Levithan will be writing a spinoff based on that musical, titled Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story.  It will go into Tiny’s life, complete with with the full script of the musical he was working on.

Here’s what he had to say about it:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you come up with the idea to write an entire musical as a novel?
DAVID LEVITHAN: It began within Will Grayson, Will Grayson when the Tiny Cooper musical became a major if not the major plot point of the whole book. Certainly, John and I had a whole lot of fun making our tongue-in-cheek musical numbers for it. Almost as soon as we were done, I said to John that I’d love for this musical one day to really be a musical and for us to flesh it out. He was like, “You have my blessing — go for it!” I dove into it pretty much right away, around when Will Grayson was coming out, and got through a first act and sent it to John. We talked it over, and then life got in the way, and I was intimidated by the second act, so it took much longer than I thought it would, but I always thought it’d be really fun if it were a musical in novel from as well as a novel in musical form, so hopefully it works as both.

So it looks like a real script, with stage directions and everything?
Yes. Basically, it is as it would be produced, but obviously, Tiny being who he is, is a little more long-winded with the stage directions and the background material than perhaps Tony Kushner is. So you get some of the story from the directions Tiny is giving about how to portray his own childhood and adolescence.

Obviously, Tiny’s imagination is pretty colorful — how does it get expressed in the musical?
I can give away that the finale of the first act is a trio with Tiny, his lesbian babysitter, and the ghost of Oscar Wilde. That pretty much sums up where Tiny is coming from and by extension, where I’m coming from.

What was John Green’s input in all of this?
Well, I wrote the first act and showed it to him and we talked it over, and obviously the songs that he wrote in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, or the snatches of lyrics he wrote in his chapters, are all in Hold Me Closer. I was definitely adapting and expanding some of his work, but then when I finished writing the second act and finally had this novel-musical, musical-novel, before I sent it to anyone else or really showed it to anyone else, I sent it to him and said, “Here’s this thing I did, what do you think?” and left all doors open. He was wonderful and was supportive, and said, “You know what, your’e totally channeling Tiny Cooper, go with it!” Obviously, had he balked in any way shape or form, I wouldn’t have done it. Tiny Cooper began in one of John’s chapters, and I very eagerly put him in my chapters. We always joked that he was raised by two dads in Will Grayson, Will Grayson. In this particular case, one dad got a little more custody to put on a show.

What do you think of this spinoff, musical, novel thingy? Let us know in the comments below!

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story is scheduled to be released March 2015.


Read the complete interview at Shelf Life |

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