Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Farewell and Upcoming

I've been excited to be part of the YA Stands community over the past months, and I've had a lot of fun watching my fellow bloggers move on in their careers and share their triumphs and thoughts here.

Because of changes in my real life as well as my professional one, I'm finding the need to cut back on some of my writing-related obligations, including blogging. I love the direction YA Stands is taking, but I felt that I wouldn't be able to come up with a relevant post on a set theme every other week, and rather than floundering I've made the choice to step down from blogging here. Additionally, I'm now focusing more on adult romance than young adult, and I'm feeling a little out of touch with the YA side of things.

That said, I do have two young adult releases scheduled this summer. One, Nail Polish and Feathers, will be out in August or September from Harmony Ink Press, and is about a sixteen-year-old boy who wants to be a drag queen. The other is due out later this month, on June 21.

Where No One Knows will release from Musa Publishing's Pan imprint, which publishes GLBT YA fiction. My YA Stands friends are graciously allowing me to spend my last post sharing a blurb and excerpt; you'll be able to find the book later this month on the Pan imprint page on Musa's website.

Thank you to all of you who visit YA Stands, and to my fellow bloggers here. I'll miss being a blogging part of the community, but I'll still stop by to visit. And now for the blurb and excerpt from Where No One Knows (for some reason the blog won't let me upload the cover art...)

Kellan McKee has been forced to leave his home and is traveling to find a place to belong. Sixteen years old and transgender, Kellan has felt out of place in his family since his mother married Gene. Now Kellan must keep Gene and his friends from tracking him down to get “justice” for the man Kellan accidentally set on fire. Kellan has psychic powers, including pyrokinesis, and when he’s threatened he loses control.
On the run, Kellan meets Shad, a young man who also has psychic powers, who steers Kellan to Boston where a group that protects psychic teens is ready to take him in. But will Kellan find a safe haven, or will he bring danger to his new friends?

EXCERPT:
He hung up, and not long after, there was a knock on my door. I knew it was Brent but peeked through the peephole anyway just in case. My instincts hadn’t been wrong yet. I just didn’t want to take a chance on this being the first time.

I opened the door. He walked in and closed it behind him. “You were planning to stay until tomorrow,” he said. “What changed your mind?”

“Too much going on.” I jerked my head toward the hall. “All the police and news and everything. They mentioned me on one of the local news channels. Not by name, but they said a young man saved the kids. I can’t afford to have some people find out where I am.”

“So you are a runaway.” He folded his arms and glared at me. “You said you weren’t.”

“I’m not.” Running away would have been my choice. Leaving home hadn’t been. “It’s just that something happened where I used to live, and now people are looking for me. I didn’t break any laws or anything. They did. That’s why they want to find me, so I won’t tell anyone what they did.”

That wasn’t a hundred percent true. The only one who’d broken a law was Gene’s friend, when he’d put his hands all over me while I begged him not to. As far as I knew, Gene hadn’t done anything illegal, though he might have if Mom hadn’t made me leave.

I’d burned off a guy’s hands. That probably was against the law, even if I hadn’t meant to do it.

Brent just kept staring at me until I got really uncomfortable.  I didn’t look away, though. I needed him to believe me so he would help me. If I couldn’t keep my eyes on him, he would think I’d lied.

“You’re afraid if you’re on the news here, someone back home will find out?” he said finally.

“Yeah. I mean, someone tried to kill her kids. It might be national news. Regional, at least, and I’m sort of regional.” Arizona wasn’t too far, news-wise at least.

“It isn’t exactly safe for you to travel on your own,” he said. “Girls should have someone with them.”

“Girl?” I narrowed my eyes. “What girl?”

“Come on.” He shook his head. “You do a good job of hiding it, but I can still tell.”

“I’m not a girl.” I didn’t want to try to explain the whole transgender thing right then. I was still working on making him understand why I needed to leave. But I didn’t have much choice. “I’m transgender. Girl body, guy brain, emotions, everything that isn’t anatomy. So as far as I’m concerned, I’m a guy.”

“Ah, now I get it.” He hesitated. He didn’t seem bothered by what I’d just told him, though. A little confused, possibly. “Sorry if I pissed you off. I just don’t want you hurt. Do you know where you’re going?”

“East.” I was starting to trust him more than I was really comfortable with, so I had to be careful. Just because he was trustworthy now didn’t mean he would stay that way.

Another case of being paranoid, but maybe with a good reason. It hadn’t even been forty-eight hours since I’d left home, and I’d already learned I shouldn’t trust most people. Even if my instincts told me to, they might be wrong. Or the person might be trustworthy right at that moment and then change.

When I’d walked out of my house with my backpack and suitcase, even though I’d been upset about having to leave, I’d considered it kind of an adventure. I’d be able to travel. See the country, which was something I wouldn’t have had a chance to do otherwise. Gene and his church believed people should stay close to home and family and traveling opened you up to being tempted. Same with the Internet, cell phones, and even TV. We’d had a TV because Mom had refused give it up, but Gene monitored everything we watched.
I’d believed I would be able to see places and things I’d never even thought of before. The idea of being on the road had been exciting. I knew I’d have to be careful about who saw me and who I talked to, but I figured I’d still be able to enjoy traveling.

Now I realized there was nothing enjoyable about it. I had nowhere safe to go. Some people who saw me would immediately think of me as prey. Others would see me as a girl, which might be the same thing.

When I reached my final destination, I would be safe. I knew it as strongly as I knew I was a guy. But I didn’t know where it was or when I’d reach it.

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