Zoe has been writing since she got her first possible story idea, and has been reading since.. forever. She has written many almost-books, but A Rainbow of Roses will be her debut novel. When not reading or writing; Zoe is singing, acting, or doing aerial arts.
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When fourteen-year-old Emily moved to a new place, she hoped for a fresh start. Unfortunately, your past has ways of catching up to you.Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/lhYDd 1718 views
|YA Fiction LGBT|
|5 publishers interested|
Emily Mae had a simple life. At least from a distance you would think so. Once closer, all of her problems are revealed. Her missing father. Her alcoholic mother. Her older sister that left her behind. Emily tried her best to just get through school, until she could finally leave for college. But a single decision leads Emily to end up in the hospital after a party. A chain of bad choices ends with Emily and her mother moving to live with Emily's aunt.
Emily expected it to be horrible, but after a short time, Emily realizes that she is enjoying her new life. She is making new friends, her relationship with her mom is better, and she feels like she could really have a good life here. But, things start to go downhill as secrets get uncovered.
Emily began the story as a sad and hopeless teenager. When she is thrust into a new life she is forced to change how she typically was. As the story goes on, she starts to learn how to be happy and how to change her life.
The majority of the story is told from Emily's perspective, but several chapters switch to, for example, her old friend back at home - showing what she's struggling with while everything Emily is dealing with is going on. This way, we know the different sides of the story, and there's a deeper insight into the supporting characters.
Emily's dad went missing when she was little, and Emily had believed he was dead for years. Her mother has neglected to take care of her - leaving her mostly in the hands of Emily's older sister, Alice. When Alice goes off to college on a big scholarship, Emily was left to fend for herself.
The major (romantic) relationship doesn't even begin until part way through the book, but it becomes very important after that. There isn't just one main plot, there are several.
Each of the characters has a secret that they want to hide. With Lyn, one of Emily's best friends, it's her illness. With another - it's their depression. Each of these characters is hiding something, from their family, from their friends, teachers, maybe even everyone. Eventually secrets come out, and what if they could hurt someone?
The past catches up to you, especially if you run from it.
A Rainbow of Roses has been quietly brewing for the past couple months, I started off with an idea that didn't turn into much. Then I spent a long day with a friend, both of us working on our separate books, and we both came away with a pretty good outline (it was a rough outline, but still something). I've been working almost non-stop whenever I'm not at school or doing other necessary things. The story is halfway written, and it's off to a good start (for a first draft). With the book, (my debut), I hope to give the world another book with LGBT characters, a unique plot, and a good love story.
The book is split into five parts. The chapters are not all fleshed out, but this is the overall outline.
The first part is the shortest. It contains the prologue, and chapters 1-4.
In the prologue, Emily sneaks out to a party with her friends and winds up in a car accident.
In chapter one, Emily wakes up in the hospital and is visited by her close friend Carolyn (Lyn), who brings a girl named Mavis with her. Gives some backstory of Emily, and a little bit about Emily's mom, sister, and aunt. Some more about Emily's friendship with Lyn.
In chapters two - four, Emily finally goes back to school and starts adjusting back into her life. She becomes friends with Mavis, and they all start hanging out more. They make lots of bad choices, that ultimately result in an awful decision that leads to Emily having to move. Emily and her mom move to live with Emily's aunt. Flashbacks to Emily's earlier life. Backstory. Emily loses something that is precious to her. She has a good moment with her aunt and mom, but she still believes that things will be horrible.
Part Two: Chapters 5-14
In chapters five - seven
Emily starts school, and makes a couple new friends, who she becomes close with. She goes to one of her new friends birthday parties, where she finds out that two of her friends (Eli and Reagan) are dating. Emily is drifting apart from her old friends Lyn and Mavis. Emily gets a crush on a friend.
In chapters eight - ten
They find out a secret about Emily's family, and start trying to find out more. Emily and her friends end up leaving to go on a little trip because of a possible lead for the secret. Emily's mom finds them, and they get into a lot of trouble.
In chapters eleven - fourteen
Emily starts sneaking out, and they go on another trip, this one will lead to them figuring out the whole of the secret. They bond, and good things start to happen. Emily begins a romantic relationship with ****** (SPOILER REMOVED).
Part Three: Chapters 15-20
In chapter 15, they find Emily's ****** (SPOILER). Return home. Not what they has expected.
--- These chapters contain scenes that would spoil the book, so these are just going to be short summaries.
In chapters 16 - 18, Emily gets into a huge fight with her mom, and ends up staying at a friend's house. Her sister arrives, and Emily has to make a tough choice.
In chapters 19-20, Emily is lonely, her sister at college. At the same time, her aunt returns home from her business trip and makes Emily's mom leave because of what she did. Emily's aunt comes to try and bring her home.
Part Four: Chapters 21-25
In chapters 21-23, Emily and her aunt are trying to figure out a way for this to work. Things look bad.
In chapter 24-25, things finally work out.
Part Five: The last chapter and the epilogue (quite a long one, too)
The end - Emily is finally together with her friends and her significant other, and her new-new life begins. A relatively happy ending.
“When we share our stories, what it does is, it opens up our hearts for other people to share their stories. And it gives us the sense that we are not alone on this journey.”
The primary audience would be teens ages 12-18, as they would find it easier to connect to the characters (roughly similar ages) and the decisions they make. The characters in this book are of different gender identities, sexualities, and more. The diversity should be very appealing to people (teens) who often feel unrepresented (e.g some of the lesser-known sexualities).
Not everyone is represented in stories. It can make you feel ignored, invisible, and like you don't matter. Stories need every kind of person.
For example, we don't have enough LGBTQ+ books. Even with the number growing, still, there isn't much of different sexualities.
In the LGBT+ genre,
As of 2015 (might not be exact):
Gay: 315 books
Lesbian: 203 books
Bisexual: 81 books
Transgender: 38 books
Aromantic/Asexual: 19 books (Not just in YA genre though for Ace/Aro).
As you can see, the number of books with bisexual characters is much lower. The main character in A Rainbow of Roses is pansexual. The number of books with lesser-known sexualities is very, very low.
Usually, the YA books about LGBTQ+ youth are coming-out stories. Typically, these are also realistic fiction. Our world needs more queer books in every genre. Our world needs to represent everyone in stories.
1. Social Media. I have two accounts on Instagram; one of them is a private account, and one is public. On my private account I have just over a hundred followers, but I know all of them personally. I will be posting about my campaign every week. I will also have some more of my followers be posting the updates on their accounts, in order to spread the word to as many people as possible. I recently started my second account, and I have a quickly growing follow count. My goal is to post twice a day on that account. I will get others that I know to post on their accounts on separate sites.
2. Word of mouth. I will tell everyone about my campaign. I will then get people to start passing it on to their friends and others.
3. Email list. I'll be starting an email list, and I'll be regularly sending out updates.
Title: Just Juliet
Author: Charlotte Reagan
Publication Date: 9/17/16
"Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it? Lena Newman is 17, her best friend’s a cheerleader, her boyfriend’s a football player, and as far as everyone is concerned, her life is sorted. But that’s before she befriends the new girl. Juliet is confident, slightly damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and a lesbian. Lena realizes that her interest goes beyond just friendship. She sets off on a path of self-discovery where the loyalty of those closest to her will be tested."
There are several similarities between Just Juliet and my story. In Just Juliet, Juliet, the love interest is a lesbian. As is with mine. The main character in Just Juliet, Lena, is bisexual. The main character in my story is pansexual. Just Juliet features a friendship that eventually turns into something more. That is similar to what happens in my story.
The difference is, in my story the romance is one of the plots. It's not necessarily the main part of the story, even though there is indeed, romance. My story also uses different POV's to get to know the other characters personally. The main character has known her sexuality for a long time, so it isn't as much of a coming-out book - even though she does have to come out to some of her friends and family at a point.
Title: Keeping You a Secret
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Publication Date: 5/4/05
"With a steady boyfriend, the position of Student Council President, and a chance to go to an Ivy League college, high school life is just fine for Holland Jaeger. At least it seems to be. But when Cece Goddard comes to school, everything changes. Cece and Holland have undeniable feelings for each other, but how will others react to their developing relationship?"
In Keeping You a Secret, the protagonist falls for the new girl at school. In A Rainbow of Roses it's the opposite - the protagonist is the new girl, and she falls for a girl who already goes to the school. Both Holland and Emily's moms are not accepting of them.
The difference is, in my book, my character already knows her sexuality. She doesn't have to go through the whole oh-no-my-world-is-falling-apart because I have a crush on a girl - that you sometimes see in YA queer books.
Title: Her Name in the Sky
Author: Kelly Quindlen
Publication Date: February 2014
"Hannah wants to spend her senior year of high school going to football games and Mardi Gras parties with her tight-knit group of friends. The last thing she wants is to fall in love with a girl--especially when that girl is her best friend, Baker. Hannah knows she should like Wally, the kind, earnest boy who asks her to prom. She should cheer on her friend Clay when he asks Baker to be his girlfriend. She should follow the rules of her conservative Louisiana community--the rules that have been ingrained in her since she was a child. But Hannah longs to be with Baker, who cooks macaroni and cheese with Hannah late at night, who believes in the magic of books as much as Hannah does, and who challenges Hannah to be the best version of herself. And Baker might want to be with Hannah, too--if both girls can embrace that world-shaking, yet wondrous, possibility."
The similarities between Her Name in the Sky and my story are that: 1) There's the aspect of falling for your best friend (or at least a friend who you're very close with. 2) There is a tight-knit group of friends - some of them are dating/have dated. 3) There's several characters who are against the romance. Etc.
The differences between the two include: 1) There is not as much need to figure their sexualities out in my story. 2) I didn't have the religious part of it in mine. 3) In A Rainbow of Roses, the dating part comes sooner after they meet, it's not a crush on your best-friend-since-childhood type thing. 4) My protag's parent isn't accepting (once they find out) - and they never would be. Etc.
Title: Because of Her
Author: K.E. Payne
Publication Date: 3/18/14
"For seventeen-year-old Tabitha "Tabby" Morton, life sucks. Big time. Forced to move to London thanks to her father’s new job, she has to leave her friends, school, and, most importantly, her girlfriend Amy, far behind. To make matters worse, Tabby’s parents enroll her in the exclusive Queen Victoria Independent School for Girls, hoping that it will finally make a lady of her. But Tabby has other ideas. Loathing her new school, Tabby fights against everything and everyone, causing relations with her parents to hit rock bottom. But when the beautiful and beguiling Eden Palmer walks into her classroom one day and catches her eye, Tabby begins to wonder if life there might not be so bad after all. When Amy drops a bombshell about their relationship following a disastrous visit, Tabby starts to see the need for new direction in her life. Fighting her own personal battles, Eden brings the possibility of change for them both. Gradually, Tabby starts to turn her life around—and it’s all because of her."
The similarities between A Rainbow of Roses and Because of Her are that: 1) The main character's sexuality is an important part of her, and the story - but it's not the only part of it. 2) The romance doesn't come immediately in the story.
The differences are (talking about A Rainbow of Roses here): 1) My protagonist didn't have a girlfriend at the start of the book (she did have several crushes though) - there's a different obstacle. 2) The romantic interest doesn't at first think she's straight - she's already (partially) out. And more.
Title: Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel
Author: Sara Farizan
Publication Date: 10/7/14
"High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia's confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own."
The similarities between the two are that: 1) The person who the main character liked at the beginning isn't necessarily who they end up with. 2) One of the friends is out and proud. They have a backstory to it, though. There are more similarities of course, but I'll try to keep this shorter than it already is.
The differences are that: 1) The protagonist in my story is the new girl - not the love interest. 2) My story doesn't have much to do with drama club/theater. A couple characters in mine are in the drama club at school, but it's not crucial to the plot. Etc.
Title: Seven Ways We Lie
Author: Riley Redgate
Publication Date: 3/8/16
"Seven students. Seven (deadly) sins. One secret. Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—from Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage, to Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the seven unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change."
The similarities are that in Seven Ways We Lie and my story, each character has something that they're hiding, that the problems deal with real issues (e.g. depression, etc), and the stories aren't scared of giving the characters lots of flaws.
The differences are that my story doesn't have anything to do with an affair, and it doesn't have to do with the seven deadly sins, etc.
Agora Publishing is a Canada-based not-for-profit organization, founded in 1997 with the aim of making book publishing accessible to all writers across Canada and internationally.
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100 copies • Partial manuscript.
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100 copies • Completed manuscript.
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