Saturday, November 20, 2010

On the Edge


I’m married with children, and look pretty average. I don’t stand out in a crowd. Which is how I prefer things. But never judge a book by its cover an author by her tattoos, hair streaks, crazy clothes, or lack thereof. Underneath my ordinary exterior, I have some pretty wild thoughts. Hooray that most people can’t read my mind!

My crazy ideas started with my unusual childhood. My dad raised my sister and me on a sailboat while we voyaged around Central and South America. We didn’t have a TV or even electricity. In the evenings, we cooked, ate, and read by kerosene lanterns. My best toy was my imagination. With that kind of start in life, of course I should grow up to write outside the lines.

This is the premise for my YA novel, My Invented Life:

Roz, a hyper, funny, and attention craving theater geek, worships her older sister Eva. Which is great! Except that Eva won’t have anything to do with Roz. When Roz finds a lesbian romance in Eva’s room, she thinks it’s the key to the gulf between them. After Eva refuses to talk to her, Roz “comes out” at school in the hope of encouraging Eva to do the same.

The story takes place as the sisters rehearse for As You Like It. Shakespeare’s play is chock full of secret identities, romance, and humor, making it a perfect mirror to the plot.

When I first came up with the premise, one of my critique partners hated it. No teen girl would pretend to be a lesbian! I disagreed. Any idea can be made plausible if the writer sets the stage properly. Roz is exactly the zany, fearless, sister-worshipping teen that could invent an imaginary girlfriend. So I went with it.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

The first thing I see is Eva’s journal. I’m not tempted. It rests seductively at the center of her night table, and the latch appears to be broken. Still I won’t touch it. Even though I know she’ll never find out. And even if it might reveal why she deleted me from her life.

OK then, one little peek.

The story takes many twists and turns after Roz “comes out.” Although my premise borders on absurd, I love all my characters equally, and handle the topic with sensitivity. My favorite line from a review by a blogger (ShelfElf) is:

funny + depth = pure reading bliss

Only a fen-sucked clotpole wouldn’t agree!

5 comments:

  1. Love the post. And "fen-sucked clotpole!" Anyone who can challenge naysayers with Shakespearean lingo is my kind of gal.

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  2. You definitely made the idea work! I loved your book! Yay to not listening to naysayers which is something we must do as writers (well sometimes)

    Why did I not know you grew up on a sailboat. How cool is that? (answer= very cool)

    Great post!

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  3. Excellent post! How could you not have a great imagination with that childhood to draw on? Wow!

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  4. Your book is going straight to the top of my wish list. It sounds so unique and I love anything with Shakespeare references! And what an amazing and interesting childhood you had!

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  5. I love hearing how you grew up in your "invented life," Lauren! Great post.

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