Saturday, August 1, 2009

Beginning at the beginning

My first YA novel, Pull My String, details the story of a 17-year-old boy in Chicago's inner city as he tries to separate himself from the history of violence in his family and falls in love with a girl who thinks her only value is sex.

Starting today I'm working on a second. I didn't intend this to be a series, but once I decided to do another YA, it only made sense to reuse the characters rather than create a whole new universe. So this story stars a minor character, Neill Mallory, a junior on my mythical Farrington High School on Chicago's south side. Neill is gay, and is suffering from a breakup with a long time boyfriend who has decided to try the straight life. His father and stepmother have always seemed to accept that, but he sees the truth in their reaction to his news. But that pales when he finds out there's been a major lie going on in his family, a lie that began before he was born. His supposedly dead mother isn't. And she shows up in his father's life after her husband's death, wanting to resume the relationship. Worse still, he discovers this isn't the first time she reappeared in his father's life, and he has a half-brother out there somewhere. Worst of all, she ends up dead, and his father's picked up for her murder. Neill will need to take a new look at what makes a happy couple, and at what makes him happy. And, hopefully, get his parents out of jail and rescue his half-brother from foster hell. All before his seventeenth birthday.

And did I mention there is this girl Neill will have to deal with?

Other characters from PMS (really I didn't have that in mind when I gave it the title) will show up, including Barney, Yoyo, and a sneak guest appearance from David Albacore. And I might even reveal Tyrone's dark secret.

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