My next book, A GIRL IN THE BOYS’ SCHOOL (also known as Infinity Line by early readers), has an intentionally offensive beginning.
This introverted author (middle child, peacekeeper–call me what you like), who holds her opinions close because she holds them so strongly and can’t be bothered to defend them, (and who speaks of herself in the third person when perched on the awkward fence), has stepped across the line cloaked in the cracked invisibility shield we call fiction.
Certainly, all fiction needs not to be politically correct. I think of novels that changed my mind, not merely by changing my opinions, but altering my perspective and perception of the world, and I am thankful to have read them. But if I offend my readers in the first 60 pages, and they toss the book at the wall, has my intent been met?
It’s a big risk, and likely one reason potential literary agents haven’t gotten past the first few chapters. But, once again, I wrote a story I wanted to read.
This story and its feisty characters (mostly women, and one very old, very intelligent man) could help people to think about difficult and scary reality, to begin by being angry about it, but to acknowledge it with heads up from the sand. We cannot stay numb.
After we blame and point fingers and whine, we must help and learn and cooperate.
Writing A GIRL IN THE BOYS’ SCHOOL showed me that, behind all my cynicism and worry, I am hopeful. We will survive, but why can’t we think about the future and try to find a more logical and humane way to get there?
Someday, I hope you will read it and think.