“The Next Big Thing” blog hop
Not that I think I’m the next big thing (I wish!) but this is a great opportunity for readers and authors to find books to get excited about. Each author fills out a short blog interview like the one you see below and then recommends a few other authors with upcoming projects. If you didn’t find this through Allison or Laura, please follow the links above and check out their posts too (especially if you like werewolves and vampires).
So without further ado, here’s my response to this blog hopping interview:
What is the working title of your next book?
Build a Girl
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It was a blend of two big ideas. First, what would happen if a woman who wasn’t trans came out as a trans woman? What would that be like for the anti-trans people when they realize that they really can’t tell who is trans and who isn’t?
And then after Being Emily I wanted to write a more advanced look at gender theory and feminism, so that was the second idea. I wanted to have a character who had completely transitioned and a plot that explored what it really means to be a woman or girl in our culture. The working title Build a Girl is actually about the non-trans characters in the book and how they’re built by their interactions with transphobia and misogyny.
What genre does your book fall under?
What is the synopsis or blurb of your book?
When openly lesbian first year student Tucker overhears a group of mean girls trashing a new transsexual student at her college and trying to guess who it is, she tells them she’s transsexual – even though she isn’t. Her move to protect the unknown trans student makes her a lightning rod for harassment and causes her roommate to request a transfer.
Ella Ramsey’s excitement about being away from home for the first time hits a major snag when she meets Tucker and hears about the anti-trans hate she’s getting. Ella invites Tucker to move into the empty room in her suite but she’s not ready to tell Tucker her secret: she’s the trans girl student Tucker is protecting.
When harassment and violence finally bring Tucker to a breaking point, Ella comes out and rallies a group of unsuspected allies to stand up for justice for Tucker and herself.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ella – definitely the young Olivia Wilde with her hair dyed blonde (though Ella’s a natural blonde).
Tucker – I don’t know which actress, but she would have to be sporting something similar to singer Emeli Sande’s hair.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m working with Bella Books on it.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
If I get the few additional scenes I want written in the next few weeks, then it will have been about four months. After that it goes to my beta readers and gets one or two more rewrites before I hand it off to Bella Books for their editing process.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
In large part, I was inspired by the reaction to Being Emily. I’ve been kicking around the ideas since Bella said they wanted to buy Being Emily in early 2011, but then hearing readers talk about the book made me want to provide them with more.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s a lot in this book for a variety of readers: there’s some romance, a lot of deep thinking, more gaming (but not the online kind), lovable characters, suspense and surprises.
If you liked Being Emily, you get to see Emily and Claire again and find out what they’ve been up to because they’re friends of Tucker.
Here are the writers whose work you can check out next:
If you want more fiction with a strong, young female protagonist (and a bit more edgy than Being Emily), check out the Sanguire series by D. Jordan Redhawk in which a homeless teen is taken in by a group of vampires.
For more purely romantic stories, have a look at the works of Kate Christie and Pol Robinson. Kate’s books include Gay Pride and Prejudice, for those of us who really wish the Bennet sisters were lesbian, and Pol’s novel blends strong characters with vivid travel writing.
If you feel that young adult is a little on the young side for you, check out Catherine Lundoff’s Silver Moon, in which a menopausal woman turns into a werewolf, along with her other great stories.