Tuesday, October 09, 2018

ENTER MY GOODREADS GIVEAWAY TO WIN HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A DEAD GIRL? 10/10/18



Goodreads Book Giveaway

How Do You Deal with a Dead Girl? by Andrew Demcak

How Do You Deal with a Dead Girl?

by Andrew Demcak

Giveaway ends October 22, 2018.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, October 01, 2018

DARKFEATHER, THE ELUSIVE SPARK, BOOK 3 - COMING FEB 5, 2019



Darkfeather, Chapter 1, by Andrew Demcak


The Paragon Academy, Los Angeles, CA, 2001

1.
            “Karen, wake up!” the short, beige-colored alien, UBE, said as he shook the unconscious woman on the Army bunk. “You have to hurry. The security fence is only going to be un-electrified for another twenty minutes. This is your only chance of getting out of here!” UBE threw his three-fingered hands in the air and paced in a small circle.
Karen Darkfeather rolled over. She rubbed her hazel eyes and pulled her long red hair away from her face. Her pupils adjusted to the dim light inside the Army command center beneath The Paragon Academy. She yawned and stretched, taking in a deep breath of the recycled air. In all these months, she still hadn’t gotten used to living in a retrofitted cavern, day and night simulated by banks of sodium lamps bolted to the cave ceiling. When she had turned nineteen last year, she’d won a coveted scholarship to do research at Paragon. Her classmates at UCLA’s Microbiology Department were green with envy, after all, she was the kid of the department. Since then, Karen had been living full time in a staff bunker on the base with the other med techs and scientists. It seemed like forever since she’d been “up top” on the earth’s surface where she could walk around freely without armed MPs watching her every move. She was forgetting what sunlight even felt like.
Everything down here is one big secret, she thought absently.
Karen shifted in her white lab coat and undid the top three buttons. It was so hot and stuffy in UBE’s humidified chamber. The three-foot tall alien stood attentively beside her, wringing his hands, a look of grave concern in his huge dark eyes.
“What time is it?”
“It’s time for you to go!” he continued while waving her up off the bunk. “Come along. Dr. Albion is off-site, and they won’t be expecting someone escape over the fence by the XiCOM towers.”
“This is all happening so quickly. Are you sure this will work?”
Girlfriend,” UBE said and snapped his fingers twice in the air. “You’re the one who got herself pregnant with stolen Zeta-Reticulan DNA. You should have known the Army wouldn’t let keep your baby.”
“But I’m only eight weeks pregnant,” Karen said and rubbed her belly. She felt the fullness of her unborn child, even this early. She let her hand rest there for a moment. There she is, my precious baby growing inside. She. I said it. I know she’s a girl. I know it somehow. Keira, that’s her name. I won’t let them take you, Keira. I won’t! Karen shook her head. “Maybe I can still make some kind of bargain? I mean, I’m still their employee, right?”
“You were their employee until you broke every rule in your contract by trying to smuggle top secret government material off the base – your unborn child! I can’t hide you in here any longer,” UBE replied in a scolding tone. He turned from Karen and crossed to the far side of the small metallic room. The alien put his hand on what looked like a block of solid marble the size of a filing cabinet. It began to glow bright white and then opened along the side. A metal tray slid out. In it were two strange objects: a gold chain with a black stone pendant in the shape of two conjoined suns, and the other, small stone box about the size of a deck of cards that had the twin suns inlaid on it in gold. UBE retrieved the articles and then walked over and placed them in Karen’s hands.
“What are these?”
“These are for Keira…” the alien said simply and paused.
“But how did you…?”
“We are psychically connected, Karen.” UBE smiled kindly at her. “You are my only friend here at Paragon. I can see your thoughts. In time, with the help of your unborn child, you may start seeing mine.”
“But what are these?”
“This,” UBE said as he picked up the pendant, “Is a Heart’s Compass. It will bring your daughter back to you or to me, if ever she gets lost. And this is a hjarta kassi, a Heart’s Box. Once we close it, it will only open again for one person, its true owner, Keira. I want you to write her a letter and explain what is happening to you and place it inside. At some point after she is born you will need separate from her so The Paragon Academy can’t find her, maybe offer her up for adoption. You will give her the Heart’s Box and Compass so she’ll understand and find her way back to us.”
A look of anguish flashed over Karen’s face. “I can’t! I won’t! I’m not going to give up my child.”
“Karen, it’s the only way if you want her to be free and not be a slave of the US Government,” UBE said and blinked his huge eyes coldly. “You know what they’ll do to her: the experiments, the painful genetic tests, the endless rounds of bloodwork and tissue samples.”
Karen nodded sadly and then sat in silence on the green bunk.  “UBE, this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I’ve messed everything up.”
“On the contrary, this is all part of a much larger plan, my dear,” UBE said wistfully. “I only have seen one small part of it and that part will take place sixteen years from this very day. That’s when I’ll reconnect with my life partner EBE, he’ll show me the rest of the plan. That is when Nibiru is arriving. And at that time, EBE and I will be together with Keira and her new Zetan siblings.”
Karen was stunned into silence again. She had no idea what UBE was talking about. But there was no time to ask questions; she knew she had to get going. This was the only time the well-maintained security perimeter would be down for maintenance. She’d have to climb over the usually electrified fence and then head down into the canyons and find her way from The Paragon Academy to the nearest freeway and hitchhike. UBE was right; this was her only chance, right now.
“I’ll miss you so much,” Karen said, standing and embracing the small being, the tears already forming in the corners of her eyes. “You’ve done so much for me.”
“Oh, twaddle; it is I who is grateful for you,” UBE continued as he hugged tighter. “Now, hurry. You have no time to lose.” UBE moved over to the sealed aluminum door and swiped his hand across it. It opened with a hissing sound. “Go along the hallway to the Gamma corridor and then go to the nearest freight elevator. Here’s the elevator key I stole from one of the guards. Take the elevator up to ground level. From there you’ll have to run. Now go!” UBE commanded and pushed Karen, trembling, out into the hallway. She broke into a sprint down the hall and ran as fast as she could. She turned the corner, not looking back even once. UBE waited patiently until he couldn’t hear Karen’s footsteps anymore, then turned and went back inside, the automatic door closing behind him.
“I hope she’ll be alright,” he said sadly to himself and shook his bulbous head. “She has to be, for all our sakes.”

Friday, June 01, 2018

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A DEAD GIRL? eBook FREE ON AMAZON


Follow this link to get your FREE eBook copy of HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A DEAD GIRL?  Please consider reviewing the novel when you are done reading. Thanks!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BJ9YB9F

Friday, May 25, 2018

KIRKUS REVIEWS LOVES *HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A DEAD GIRL?*




Read the glowing review of How Do You Deal with a Dead Girl? at Kirkus Reviews:

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/andrew-demcak/how-do-you-deal-with-a-dead-girl-ya-paranormal/

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A LITTLE BIT LANGSTON -FREE EBOOK- THROUGH MAY 30 2018

Whoa! A LITTLE BIT LANGSTON just zoomed up 1,800,000 places to #3 on Amazon's BEST SELLERS List for LGBTQ TEEN FICTION. And the eBook is FREE AT iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, basically all over the web, until May 30 2018! Get it now and see what all the excitement is about! The sequel ALPHA WAVE has just been released!

Monday, May 07, 2018

FIRST REVIEW OF NEW NOVEL ALPHA WAVE BY ANDREW DEMCAK

Alpha Wave picks up where A Little Bit Langston, the first book in the Elusive Spark series, left off. If you bonded with James, Paul, and Lumen in A Little Bit Langston, you’ll be glad to see them all again. I loved both books, but I’m a sucker for a mighty girl hero, and Alpha Wave delivers. And three cheers for a YA book with a totally believable cast full of boy-loving boys and girl-loving girls. 

Keira, the main character, is a Southern California teenager with a troubled family situation and a major attitude. The adventure starts right away when she discovers her supernatural powers through a conflict with her foster father. Keira encounters a caring mentor in the form of a Tibetan monk who has assumed the shape of a talking rat and appears in time to save her from a demon who works for the government—and that’s just the first surprise. Originality is a huge strength in this story, which takes the bones of a classic coming-of-age plot and fleshes it out with all-fresh twisty details. There are plenty of funny and sexy moments, plus a few that will have you biting your nails or putting on your sunglasses on the bus so people can’t see you getting misty. 

Demcak’s writing is infused with a gentle spirituality that reminds me of the best of Madeleine L’Engle. I had the good fortune to be one of Alpha Wave’s beta readers; this is definitely one of those books that holds up nicely to being read twice, and both reads left me with a wonderful sense of trust in his world’s design and his characters’ ability to choose love over fear, no matter how risky. - Skye Alexander, Goodreads.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

LOOKING FOR REVIEWERS FOR MY NEW LGBTQ NOVEL - ALPHA WAVE (2018)


Hi,

Anyone want to review my new LGBTQ novel, ALPHA WAVE (Harmony Ink Press, 2018)? Contact me and I can send you an eBook version. Review could be for Amazon, Goodreads, public or personal blogs, litereary magazines/journals, etc. Thanks! 

Friday, March 23, 2018

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A DEAD GIRL? New Novel Available Now!


ORDER HERE

How Do You Deal with a Dead Girl?

NEW RELEASE

Publisher Description

Ben D’Argento is a gay, eighteen-year-old, trust-fund kid, rich and handsome. He has the world on a silver platter, right? Nope. He’s been abandoned by his jet-setting parents, his boyfriend just dumped him for a girl (!), and his autistic kid brother has been locked up in a group home. Utterly devastated by all this, Ben steals the keys to his parents’ cabin the woods, breaks his brother out of t...
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Release Date:March 21st, 2018
Book data provided by author, publisher, or Bowker data services.

ENTER MY GOODREADS GIVEAWAY TO WIN A FREE COPY OF *HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A DEAD GIRL?*


Goodreads Book Giveaway

How Do You Deal with a Dead Girl? by Andrew Demcak

How Do You Deal with a Dead Girl?

by Andrew Demcak

Giveaway ends April 04, 2018.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Sunday, March 18, 2018

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A DEAD GIRL? -PAPERBACK NOW AVAILABLE-


ORDER THE PAPERBACK - CLICK HERE.

Ben D’Argento is a gay, eighteen-year-old, trust-fund kid, rich and handsome. He has the world on a silver platter, right? Nope. He’s been abandoned by his jet-setting parents, his boyfriend just dumped him for a girl (!), and his autistic kid brother has been locked up in a group home. Utterly devastated by all this, Ben steals the keys to his parents cabin the woods, breaks his brother out of the care facility, and drives them up to Fawn Skin Lake. Ben wants nothing more than to get away from the heartache and wagging tongues in Los Angeles and to bond with his younger brother. However, when a thirteen-year-old girl named Flora, who drowned there years before, starts showing up in their vacation home with an ominous warning, Ben discovers she has other plans for them. But there’s something else, something old and evil, looking for fresh blood, lurking right beneath the emerald water of the lake. Maybe Flora knows more about it than she’s telling?

Will Ben ever find love again? And after living with ghostly Flora all summer, will he finally be able to answer the question: How do you deal with a dead girl?

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

EASTER EGG FOR YOU: NEW NOVEL: HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH A DEAD GIRL? BY ANDREW DEMCAK


Ben D’Argento is a gay, eighteen-year-old, trust-fund kid, rich and handsome. He has the world on a silver platter, right? Nope. He’s been abandoned by his jet-setting parents, his boyfriend just dumped him for a girl (!), and his autistic kid brother has been locked up in a group home. Utterly devastated by all this, Ben steals the keys to his parents cabin the woods, breaks his brother out of the care facility, and drives them up to Fawn Skin Lake. Ben wants nothing more than to get away from the heartache and wagging tongues in Los Angeles and to bond with his younger brother. However, when a thirteen-year-old girl named Flora, who drowned there years before, starts showing up in their vacation home with an ominous warning, Ben discovers she has other plans for them.  But there’s something else, something old and evil, looking for fresh blood, lurking right beneath the emerald water of the lake. Maybe Flora knows more about it than she’s telling?
Will Ben find love again in time to save himself and his baby brother from the ‘bad thing’ in the lake? And after living with ghostly Flora all summer, will he finally be able to answer the question: How do you deal with a dead girl?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

NEW INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW DEMCAK OVER AT NEWFOUND.ORG




I was interview by Josh King over at Newfound.org about one of my newest poetry projects, Cryptopedia. Click here to read there.

Friday, December 08, 2017

COMING MAY 2018: ALPHA WAVE BY ANDREW DEMCAK



With so many hunting her for the power she possesses, Keira Fairchild needs a friend in her corner.

After escaping from both the Paragon Academy and a ring of slave traders, Keira is searching for answers. Who is the mysterious alien being trying to contact her in her dreams, and why is he being held captive? Keira learns she isn’t alone. James, Lumen, and Paul are teens with powers like her own—and all of them are in danger. They’ve been sent by their alien father to look for Keira. The kidnapped alien needs their help, and the unscrupulous Dr. Albion has a plan to rob them of their powers and destroy them. In the battle that awaits them, standing together is their only chance.

Monday, May 29, 2017

SCHOLARLY BIBLIO-BIOGRAPHY ABOUT ANDREW DEMCAK IN CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS 2017



Wow - I found out that there is a scholarly biblio-biography about me and my work in the newest edition of the academic reference resource *Contemporary Authors.* Such a big deal for me, an author who has only published at small presses, to be recognized by the literary establishment. 
A really, really big deal for me. See complete article below:


Andrew Demcak
Born: September 23, 1968 in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
Nationality: American
Occupation: Novelist
Contemporary Authors. Detroit: Gale, 2017. From Literature Resource Center.
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning
Updated:Jan. 9, 2017
 
Table of Contents
 
PERSONAL INFORMATION:
Born September 23, 1968; married July, 2014; husband's name Roland. Education: St. Mary's College of California, M.F.A., 1997; San Jose State University, M.L.I.S., 2008. Addresses: Home: Oakland, CA. E-mail: andrew@andrewdemcak.com.
 
CAREER:
Poet, novelist. Also works as a librarian, Oakland Public Library, CA.
 
AWARDS:
Three Candles Press Open Book Award for Catching Tigers in Red Weather.
 
WORKS:

WRITINGS:

  • Catching Tigers in Red Weather, Three Candles Press (Burnsville, MN), 2007.
  • Zero Summer, BlazeVOX Books (Buffalo, NY), 2009.
  • A Single Hurt Color, Casa Menendez (Bloomington, IL), 2010.
  • Night Chant, Lethe Press (Maple Shade, NJ), 2011.
  • If There's a Heaven Above, JMS Books (Glenn Allen, VA), 2012.
  • Ghost Songs, Harmony Ink Press (Tallahassee, FL), 2014.
  • A Little Bit Langston, Harmony Ink Press (Tallahassee, FL), 2015.
Author of three chapbooks, Pink Narcissus, 2009, 672 Hours, 2009, and Blood-Plague, 2012. Contributor of poetry to journals, periodicals, and anthologies.
 

Sidelights

Andrew Demcak is an American poet and novelist, the author of four poetry collections and three novels. "Ever since I was little, I've been very good at lying," Demcak noted at the Rainbow Book Reviews Web site. "I was always making up stories. The only difference is: now I write them down." Speaking with a contributor on the Ethereal Book Reviews Web site, Demcak further commented on his path to becoming a writer: "I never really thought about becoming a writer; I have always written since I was a kid. I mostly wrote poetry until about [2009] ... when I wrote my first novel. ... I was a theater major as an undergrad in college. Acting was okay, but I loved my playwriting class best. I decided right then to become an English major with the emphasis on creative writing. I ended up getting a Master's degree in English." Demcak added that the major themes in both his prose and poetry are "abuse and recovery." In an interview with Jory Mickelson on the Literary Magpie blog, Demcak offered the following words of advice to beginning writers: "Keep going in spite of everything. Move forward, even if you move blindly. Only you will know when you have arrived."

Demcak's first publication, Catching Tigers in Red Weather, is a poetry collection that won the Three Candles Press Open Book Award. In an interview on the J. Scott Coatsworth Blog, Demcak remarked on this debut collection: "It was a book of experimental writing, Ten X Ten poems: ten syllables per line, ten lines per poem." Demcak further commented on his writing process in the same interview: "I write what I write. My work tends to bend/blend genres but not by any forethought from me. ... I write all the time in my head. ... I spent three years thinking about my first teen novel ... before I wrote a single word down. Then it took me four weeks to write it and another year to edit/revise/beta test. I write in the morning; afternoons and evenings are out. I'm too tired then."

Demcak followed up this first poetry collection with several chapbooks and the collections Zero Summer, A Single Hurt Color, and Night Chant. Demcak has stated that the collection Night Chant began with poems that did not fit in Catching Tigers in Red Weather. The author noted in a post for the Nervous Breakdown Web site: "The poems in Night Chant all have very formal metrical structures and/or rhyme schemes, but the forms are embedded in the line breaks to conceal them." Concealment and the hidden nature of things becomes a theme of these poems which are set mostly at night and deal with subjects from addiction to hate crimes. Speaking with Mickelson on the Literary Magpie Web site, Demcak commented on his fourth book of poetry: "On the surface, the poems Night Chant appear to be simple free verse, but there is a tremendous amount of deep structure to them. I think there is a backlash against formal poetry starting again right now. Perhaps is it the beginning of 'Occupy Poetry'--taking poetry back again from the establishment, the traditions of social exclusivity and academic barricades. ... So the poems in Night Chant are masquerading, but that is part of the theme of the book: what is hidden. ... Night Chant was a cathartic experience for me."

Demcak's first novel, If There's a Heaven Above, is set in the Gothic music scene of Los Angeles in the 1980s and features Matt, who is on the verge of becoming an adult and finds himself immersed in the party and drug scene of the time but is always looking for something more. He thinks he finds it in the form of Patch, tattooed and shirtless and very appealing. They spend a night together, and then Patch disappears. Now Matt, accompanied by friends Annie and Suzy, tries to find him again in the club scene of the time.

Reviewing If There's a Heaven Above online at Outlaw Reviews, contributor Nancy Ferris noted: "I so wanted to like this book. ... Unfortunately, I couldn't warm up to the characters at all. Their lives were boring, shallow, and pointless." Others found more to like in this novel: it was nominated as an "Outstanding" book for older teens by the American Library Association.
Demcak writes for teens in two further novels: Ghost Songs and A Little Bit Langston. In the former title, Demcak features a gay fourteen-year-old musical prodigy, Todd Williams. He is having a hard time of it lately, with two bullies at his private school making life miserable for him, an alcoholic mother who is continually embarrassing him, and best friend Jennifer suddenly not talking to him. So Todd turns to friendly ghost Leroy for help in dealing with things.

Another young gay teen takes center stage in the paranormal romance A Little Bit Langston. James Kerr is a freshman in high school when he discovers that he is physically attracted to Paul Schmitz, his best friend. At the same time, James begins to channel a poet from the Harlem Renaissance (the fictionalized Montgomery Langston), completing a poem in a trance state for an English assignment. When this gift is noticed by adults, James is sent to the Paragon Academy, which specializes in juvenile paranormal research, and there discovers he has a Korean half-sister, Lumen, who may be able to help James understand his psychic ability. Meanwhile, Paul's father struggles to keep his son away from James. A Kirkus Reviews critic had a mixed assessment of A Little Bit Langston, noting, "This book really wants to take its place in the marginalized-will-lead-us genre ... [but] the message gets lost." The critic concluded, "Well intended but desperately unsuccessful."
FURTHER READINGS:

FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

PERIODICALS

  • Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2015, review of A Little Bit Langston.

ONLINE

  • Andrew Demcak Home Page, http://www.andrewdemcak.org (May 12, 2016).
  • Dream Spinner Press Web site, http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/ (May 12, 2016), "AndrewDemcak."
  • Ethereal Book Reviews, http://etherealbookreviews.blogspot.com/ (October 2, 2014), "LGBT Month Author Interview: Andrew Demcak."
  • Fiction DB, http://www.fictiondb.com/ (May 12, 2016), "Andrew Demcak."
  • J. Scott Coatsworth Blog, https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com/ (January 31, 2016), "Author Spotlight: Andrew Demcak."
  • Literary Magpie, http://jorymickelson.blogspot.com/ (January 30, 2012), Jory Mickelson,"An Interview with the Multifaceted Andrew Demcak."
  • Nervous Breakdown, http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/ (February 1, 2012), Andrew Demcak: The TNB Self-Interview.
  • Outlaw Reviews, http://reviews.logophilos.net/ (October 11, 2014), Nancy Ferris, review of If There's a Heaven Above.
  • Poets and Writers, http://www.pw.org/ (May 12, 2016), "Andrew Demcak."
  • Rainbow Book Reviews, http://www.rainbowbookreviews.com/ (March 10, 2014), author interview.
  • St. Mary's College of California, https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/ (May 12, 2016), "Andrew Demcak."*
 
Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)
"Andrew Demcak." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2017. Literature Resource Centergo.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=LitRC&sw=w&u=oakland_main&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CH1000320795&it=r&asid=98400c13ffaee33bf9927448d1908b0e. Accessed 29 May 2017.

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1000320795

Sunday, February 05, 2017

FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY - A LITTLE BIT LANGSTON & ZERO SUMMER BY ANDREW DEMCAK


Free Book Giveaway! I'm giving away one signed copy of my GLBTQ Teen novel, A Little Bit Langston, and two signed copies of my classic second poetry book, Zero Summer. CLICK ON THE COVER BELOW TO ENTER!!!

http://www.andrewdemcak.org/free-book-give-away/

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

ALPHA WAVE FORTHCOMING FROM HARMONY INK PRESS, SUMMER 2018


The sequel to A LITTLE BIT LANGSTON, Alpha Wave (Harmony Ink Press, 2018), will be published in Summer of 2018. I just signed the contract.  You can get a head start by reading the first chapter here.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

SKYE ALLEN: Why Is My Queer YA Story Not a Romance Nor a Coming Out Story?

Why Is My Queer YA Story Not a Romance Nor a Coming Out Story? By Skye Allen

There’s a trope about coming out in LGBTQ+ young adult fiction. And there’s another trope about falling in love. Pick up a queer story with a teen protagonist, and I would understand if you expected certain things. Kissing. Maybe sex, depending on your idea of what makes something a YA book versus a book for adults. A story that centers on the big gay reveal to Mom/Dad/Coach.

I get where that came from. The whole concept of queer young adult stories told in a positive light, that genre being a thing at all, that is still fresh and wonderful. Queer literature in general is relatively young as a category, and it’s no surprise that the first few generations of stories had a lot to do with falling in love and coming out. After all, that’s what makes us different. It’s who we are and who we love. And the dangers that can strike when we tell the world the good news. That makes for pretty huge drama, and no matter how enlightened your family or your hometown, the day you come out is always going to be a pretty huge day.

But some of the best queer YA books, lately, have not been love stories. They haven’t even been coming out stories. The audience is ready for that now; they have been for some time. There’s no closet factor in these non-romances, no miserable gay teens who can’t show themselves in all their splendor for fear of violence or being misunderstood by the people they have to live with. It’s just…kids. Kids who already came out before the book started. Some of them have sweethearts. Some are single. Some are fixated on that special diving champion or choir girl, or just on losing their virginity, but some are fixated on their mother’s immigration status or the app they’re creating or any one of a million different real-life things.

In other words, they’re real kids.

In Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, the central relationship is between two friends, a gay boy and a straight boy. There’s a mention of sex, but not between those two. The story explores the range of complex emotion in a teenage best-friendship. That’s what it’s about. And I love it for that. Andrew Demcak’s beautiful Ghost Songs is similar: the main character is gay, but that’s a given. His story is about bullying, and a deep friendship, and an alcoholic parent, and just plain growing up as a sensitive kid. It’s not a romance. It doesn’t need to be.

I knew when I started writing The Songbird Thief that there was no love story. Or -- there was, but not a romantic one. It’s the story of Lee, a fifteen-year-old girl from rural Marin County who runs away to San Francisco to be near her grownup friend, Sonja. Lee has a crush on Sonja, but it’s not reciprocal. Sonja is like a mother to Lee. Girls Lee’s age come along who could be love interests, and there’s a flirtatious moment or two, but Lee is busy looking for a job and trying to find her real father. Lee’s life is complicated by magic, and her singing voice makes people do things like unconsciously walk into traffic. She’s distracted. She’s a girl who happens to be gay, whose story has nothing to do with kissing.

She’s a real kid. And I’m happy there’s a place on the bookshelf for her.

Read more from Skye Allen at her blog - click here.