When I hear myself saying my latest release is close to my heart, I have to laugh a little. Because I say that about ALL my books, don't I? But when I described my new novelette Top Ten Ways to Die to my sister, she said, "Wow, you really put a lot of yourself into this one."
It's lesbian fiction. It deals with the death of a parent. It incorporates plenty of arguments with Mom--about Nirvana, about clothing, about whether that goth girl Tara is a bad influence. It reverberates with the shock a whole class feels (teacher included) when one student tries to commit suicide.
There's a lot packed into this piece. And did I mention it's set in 1994? What else is new, right? In case you haven't memorized my back list, it just so happens my book Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost is also set in 1994, as is Gayboy (also known as And Plaid All Over).
Well, here's the thing: I tried really hard to set this story in any other year. Any year but 1994! But when I got into research mode, I soon discovered one of the essential elements of Top Ten Ways to Die (Kurt Cobain's suicide) occurred in... you guessed it... 1994. Turns out I can't get away from this year.
As much as Top Ten Ways to Die is fiction about teenagers, I can't help but wonder if I didn't write it more as nostalgic fiction for my own generation--for people who want to stroll down memory lane, relive the 90s from a teenage perspective. I find that whenever I write young adult books set in the 80s or 90s, the readers who really eat them up are the adults who came of age during those decades.
When Jess’s dad dies unexpectedly, her world is turned upside-down. The only good things left in life are her girlfriend Tara and Kurt Cobain’s tortured grunge sound. But when a classmate attempts suicide, Jess goes into a downward spiral. Her mom is afraid she’s obsessed with death, and doesn’t want her hanging out with Tara or listening to Nirvana. What’s left for Jess in Hicksville if everything she loves is taken away?
I invite you to grab a copy of Top Ten Ways to Die right now--particularly if you happen to be reading this post as I'm writing it (or shortly thereafter... really any time in the month of April 2017) when the ebook version is available absolutely free from the following retailers:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=vKp3DgAAQBAJ
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/top-ten-ways-to-die-foxglove-lee/1126005406
Tell your friends!
You can also purchase Top Ten Ways to Die in print from Amazon. I highly recommend it, but, then, I would, wouldn't I?
While I'm sharing links, here's where you can buy the ebook from Amazon:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRZTWFQ?tag=foxglovelee-20
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06XRZTWFQ
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06XRZTWFQ