Genre: Young Adult
Author: Stephanie Macneil
EBook: 226 pages
Release Date: November 20, 2012
The secret came out a few years ago: Parker Knight is gay. Now Parker is sixteen, and everyone has either embraced it, does not care, or has forgotten—everyone except for Dylan Baker. He is determined to make Parker’s life miserable. Parker really thought killing himself would make everything better. If he was dead, he would not have to get kicked around by Dylan and his friends anymore. He would be free. Now, after a failed suicide attempt, Parker just wants to get through the last few months of tenth grade and stay as far away from Dylan as possible. What’s worse is Parker is secretly in love with his best friend, Liam Eriksson. But luckily, Liam doesn’t know this. Parker does not want to risk losing the friendship by telling him his true feelings. But as a tragedy overshadows his already complicated life, Parker soon discovers that the truth has a habit of surfacing in unexpected ways. Parker is the poignant story of one boy’s struggle for acceptance as he reaches out for hope, life, forgiveness and Liam.
Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Parker is the story of a 16-year-old boy being bullied at school by an old friend Dylan because he’s gay. He faces torment and hate every day and that eventually led to attempting suicide. Parker is deeply in love with his best Liam, but must keep it a secret so he doesn’t lose him. Parker is a coming of age about a boy who learns to be strong.
I didn’t intend to write it, it just sort of happened one night at 2 in the morning. But I wrote down the first thought that Parker ever said in my head to me, which is still the first line of the book, and then I just took it from there.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?
I needed Parker to feel real. You never want to write a perfect character because that’s not relatable. I wrote him as this sweet, likeable boy but he also had to have flaws and demons and just be a regular kid.
Do you plan subsequent books?
I have a series started of other LGBTQ books. I want to have them all published eventually one after the other. They’re all at different stages right now. Two are finished, while the rest have a couple chapters and the others are more just like ideas right now.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve just always wrote my whole life. I never wanted to do anything other than that. I think now I have a purpose bigger than myself though, which is to help people. I like being inspired by that.
What is your greatest strength as an author?
I’ve been told I’m descriptive. But I think my greatest strength is being patient with the characters. Some need longer than others to figure themselves out in my head so I keep them there until they’re ready to be written.
Did writing this book teach you anything?
I learned a lot about myself. Writing Parker was basically a road of self-discovery to find my transgender self.