Rhiannon Frater and Kody Boye - The Midnight Spell
• Pub Date: February 26, 2013
• Publisher: Rhiannon Frater
• Format: Paperback / Ebook
• Age Range: Young Adult
Best friends since kindergarten, Adam and Christy have always been the perpetual outsiders in their small town in Texas. The other kids call Adam gay and Christy a witch.
On both counts the bullies are right.
Their junior year in high school seems destined to be the same old same old until Christy decides to cast a love spell for Adam at the midnight hour. The next day an alluring and mysterious boy enrolls at school and sets hearts aflutter, including Adam’s. Meanwhile, Christy’s mad crush on the handsome football player Ian seems to be going nowhere fast and her witch puberty is making her life miserable.
When a great evil arrives in town that threatens everything they hold dear, the best friends realize that finding a boyfriend is the least of their worries. Soon Adam and Christy will have to battle a force of darkness that has killed in their town before, and will again.
YA and the Lack of LGBTQ Protaganists
By Rhiannon Frater and Kody Boye
It was a no-brainer when we started THE MIDNIGHT SPELL that one of our primary characters would be part of the LGBTQ community. Kody is out and very open about his sexuality and I am a straight supporter with a passion for my LGBTQ friends and family.
We didn’t want Christy to be the primary character with a snarky, queeny gay best friend as her sidekick. We also didn’t want Adam to be the sulky, suicidal morose bullied gay character. We wanted to create two very real teenagers facing the difficulties of growing up while remaining each other’s staunch supporters.
When we decided to alternate POV in the story, Kody took on the voice of Adam and infused him with a great sense of humor and a truthfulness that I personally found refreshing and educational. I remember at one point in the story, Adam has a very adverse situation to an event. I thought it seemed a bit extreme, but then Kody pointed out that gay kids have a different viewpoint than straight kids on certain issues. I suggested he bring that into the narrative, and the result was a very emotional learning moment for the reader.
I’m very happy with THE MIDNIGHT SPELL and its positive portrayal of a gay young man growing up in a small town in Texas. I not only think we need more LGBTQ characters in fiction as a whole, but also ones that represent the community in a non-stereotypical way.
Going into THE MIDNIGHT SPELL, Rhiannon and I had three DON’Ts for the character of Adam: don’t be queeny, don’t be sulky, and don’t be emotionally-crippled. There are many people who, when asked what they think a gay person will act like, they’ll say, ‘the flamboyant gay guy snapping his fingers, who knows every America’s Next Top Model contestant and what the difference between brand A and B is, down to its make,’ or they’ll describe the eccentric outcast who wears eyeliner and is constantly bullied.
That I feel is the big problem -- the stereotype. The most common I see are the theater kid, the closeted jock and the mentally-disturbed loner. Get beyond high school and we see characters like them become drug addicts, murderers, prostitutes or porn stars--when, realistically, that’s not the case at all. Some of the most successful people of the twenty-first century have identified as LGBT, yet in the media we’re often described as hopeless ticking timebombs due to explode in a tragic manner or people who fade into obscurity because ‘the audience doesn’t care about them.’ It sends a really negative example to young people who don’t identify within a general ‘normal’ spectrum. Gay teenagers are at such a high risk for drug use, self harm, suicide and many other things, all because we as a society aren’t watching out for their better needs.
I think the hardest part for people to understand is that not every LGBT kid’s story is tragic. Even I had a hard time processing it while writing Adam, because I didn’t grow up in that kind of environment. I didn’t have friends like Christy, Drifter, Olivia, etc. -- I was in the background, alone and shadowed by my own insecurity -- yet I’ve seen others who’ve been completely the opposite of that, who’ve had families who supported them and communities who accepted them without question.
It’s good to show a positive representation of what the world will become. Give it time -- it’ll happen.
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kody Boye was born and raised in Southeastern Idaho. Since his initial publication in the Yellow Mama Webzine in 2007, he has gone on to sell nearly three-dozen stories to various markets. He is the author of the short story collection Amorous Things, the novella The Diary of Dakota Hammell, the zombie novel Sunrise and the dark fantasy novel Blood. His fiction has been described as ‘Surreal, beautiful and harrowing’ (Fantastic Horror,) while he himself has been heralded as a writer beyond his years(Bitten by Books.) He currently lives and writes in the Austin, Texas area.
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