June is Pride Month. It’s Pride Month every year, but when I was initially thinking about this guest post I was more worried about how far away the actual release of Treasure was in relationship to this post getting to you lovely people. Really, I forgot and then was in complete denial about it being June. WHERE DID THE YEAR GO?? But really the timing is perfect.
The early days of NA were filled with a lot of negativity in Romancelandia. Some saw New Adult as an unnecessary sidebar between YA and adult romance, but I love the idea of reading about college-aged characters. I love writing about them too. What I wasn’t seeing much of was the exact NA I wanted to read. So, BING, I decided to write it.
The queer landscape is expanding. With queer women on shows like Orange is the New Black, The Fosters, Glee, and even though I can’t decide whether or not I’m on board with it, MTV’s Faking It. But I’m not seeing any couples like Trisha and Alexis. That made me want to write their story even more.
Treasure will be out this coming October. Here’s an early version of the blurb.
Three weeks after her sister’s wedding, eighteen year old Alexis Chambers is starting college. It’s been nine months since her failed suicide attempt. Her parents are keeping her home and making her go to a local university so they can keep an eye on her. She’s prepared to spend another year friendless and awkward until she discovers she shares a class with “Treasure”, the stripper from her sister’s bachelorette party.
Twenty year old Trisha Hamilton or “Treasure” as she’s known on stage, is finally transferring to a four year university. She’s ready to face the challenges that come with being one of the few female students majoring in computer science, but she is glad to see the baby butch she met one night at work is in her class and actually pretty cool in broad daylight. The two strike up a quick romance, but Alexis’s issues with her family and a her own fear of being true to herself make it hard for Trisha to see a future for them together.
Some people have a thing about writing cops or cowboys. I’m seeing that I’ll be writing queer strippers for a time to come. Beyond that, I wanted to tell a story about two young black girls. I wanted to tell a story about two young black girls with realistic problems, that sometimes seemed to overwhelm them. I wanted to write a story about young queer black girls finding love. But I wanted these two young queer black girls in particular, to find their first love in each other. I love writing firsts and it was no different with Trisha and Alexis.
Alexis is solidly gay, but struggling with her gender representation and her parents’ insistence that she be a certain type of perfect. Trisha is dealing with the stress of working a demanding job, supporting herself and some family members, and trying to keep her grades up. She may work in the sex industry, but she is not one to look for viable partners in the client pool. And even if she was, most of her customers are older men, men who have no chance in drawing her interest.
These two find that special something in each other that all romance couples do. The one. The understanding they aren’t getting elsewhere. Someone to be open and honest with. Someone who sees the fears you're afraid to share. Someone really cute to make out with. I hope to write more stories about queer black woman in this age group. They have stories to tell and first loves to find. Treasure will be available from Bold Strokes Books October 2014.
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