Tag Archives: GLBTQ

Back from summer vacay! And not only that, today’s pub day!

After a two month hiatus from blabbermouthing, I am officially back on it! I’m still closed to queries, but I’m happy to go back to talking to you all every week. So, here we go!

A few years ago I got a query in my inbox that had me sit up and listen. It was from a new writer, someone who was going with hyphenated initials. Hunh? I found out she’d actually only been writing for two years. Hmmm. The manuscript definitely needed work but I heard something something something in this writing that had me say, “Stop everything! I actually must represent this author.” What was that? It was an amazing main character, Pen Olivera, and it was the powerful, smart authorial voice of M-E Girard. “Good god,” I thought.

Since I took M-E on as a client, that manuscript was revised and revised again; it was workshopped and rewritten, and basically turned inside out. Then HarperCollins editor Jill Davis snatched it up.

DSCN0384-2-150x150@2xToday is the publication day of that young adult novel, Girl Mans Up. I absolutely could not be more proud of M-E, for her hard work and perseverance, for remaining true to herself and her characters, and for her contribution to young adult and GLBTQ+ literature.

Here’s what she has to say about it…

This is the eve of the release of my debut YA novel. In select stores, there are already copies on the shelves (someone tweeted me the evidence). Tomorrow I will go to my local Chapters (which to Americans who don’t know, is the Canadian equivalent of Barnes & Noble) and stare at my book on a shelf, and then I will take a copy to the cashier and buy it.


My story is now a real book, and somehow I still can’t freaking grasp that fact, like it’s way too unbelievable to be true. When I pick up one of my author copies, I feel like it’s a book that I had made to merely appear to be the real thing—some kind of sweet-looking prop I can display for myself. But it’s not that. It’s the real thing, and people out there—readers—will go out to deliberately pick up my book and exchange money for the opportunity to read it.

That is just…wow.

DSCN0414-2-150x150@2xAs much as it’s taken a fairly long-ish time to get here (I mean from landing an agent, to selling manuscript, to having it hit shelves), it feels like it literally just all happened at once. I went from being in awe of the first ARC mailed to me, to having my first book launch (because I’m having two of them!). There were people who came, not only to support me, but also interested readers who came just to see a reading and buy a book. People are already reading my story, and they have thoughts and opinions. They’ve taken the time to tweet about it, or write reviews—many incredibly detailed and insightful. I’ve been lucky enough to earn a couple of starred reviews from professional publications.

I mean…how did this happen?!


M-E reading at the launch.

It happened with the idea for a story. A story that I got so excited about, then got super confused about, and then grew to hate—but then grew to love all over again. It was a story worth fighting for, even when it felt like homework, when it felt like everyone else but me would do a better job at writing it. I’m a newer writer, and it took time for me to bring my voice and writing skills to the point where I was able to figure out what I was trying to say, what the story was trying to be about. I had a vision for where I wanted my work to end up, and I came up with a plan to give myself the best shot to get there. Of course I couldn’t plan for timing and luck, but somehow it all aligned, and now here I am, on the eve of my official release date.

My book is coming out, and I keep feeling like I need an Oscars Thank You speech.


Quite a crowd…

But I’ve done my acknowledgements (they’re at the back of the book!), so instead, I’ll thank the one person I haven’t thanked yet: Thank you to my main character Pen Oliveira for giving me someone compelling and badass to write about, whose story is what took me from First Draft, to “Oh-my-god-look-at-that-awesome-book-cover.” Oh and also: Sorry for making you sound super rude and whiny in the beginning, and sorry for giving you a kind of over-the-top emotional plot at first, which you’re probably still cringing about.


M-E knows how to crack up her girlfriend AND her agent!

Enjoy the photos from the official launch for Girl Mans Up, which happened on September 1st, at Glad Day Bookshop, a long-surviving LGBTQ bookstore in downtown Toronto. Doesn’t it look like the best book launch ever?! It really was.



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GLBTQ Pride Celebration Sale and Give-aways!

3uPR6zVY_400x400It’s no coincidence that a huge double rainbow was seen over New York City yesterday and here in Long Island where I live I saw a gigantic full rainbow, too. Because… June is National LGBT Pride month! Known just as Pride among most of my friends, gay and straight alike, it’s a month of rainbow waving parades, marches, readings, and celebrations.

On June 28, 1969, police raided a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City, called the Stonewall Inn, which kicked off a series of riots. Out of that event, those riots, and a long history of discrimination and persecution, GLBTQ activism and the modern day GLBTQ rights movement was born.

As a GLBTQ ally and the agent of the 2016 Young Adult Stonewall Book Award winning, THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH by Bill Konigsberg, I’m celebrating Pride in my own bookish way. First of all, I want to let you all know that THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH ebook is on sale for just $2.99. If you haven’t read it yet, why not?! Click here to buy it right now! And if you want a hardcover copy of THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH, I’m giving one lucky winner a copy (see below for how to win).

imgresNot only did THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH (AAL Books/Scholastic, 2015 )win the Stonewall Book Award, it also got starred reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal, was on the 2016 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list, the ALA’s 2016 Rainbow List, and received many other accolades and recognitions. I’m very proud to represent Bill Konigsberg and his work, and I urge everyone, gay or straight, teen or adult, to read this book. It’s about a road trip, finding family,not getting the girl, looking for God, AIDS, bad puns, and the Billings, Montana Zoo. Trust me. You want to read it.

I’m also giving away an advance reader copy of GIRL MANS UP by M-E Girard, which doesn’t even come out until the fall (see below for how to win).

girlmansup (1)GIRL MANS UP (HarperCollins, September 2016) is about a queer teen named Pen who realizes the only way she’ll get people off her back is by standing up for herself–even if that means her relationships with her friends and her family get messed up in the process. It’s also about a gender-nonconforming teen who struggles to own her identity as a girl when she looks and acts like a boy and everyone around her expects her to be one or the other. You can pre-order it now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or at your nearest independent bookseller.


To win a copy of THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH or GIRL MANS UP, let me know in the comments below what National GLBT Pride Month means to you and how you’ll celebrate. Only one entry per person. All comments are moderated, so please don’t submit twice (i.e. give me time to approve it and post it). All comments must be submitted by midnight, June 9th. I’ll announce the winners here on Friday, June 10th.

Congratulations to wcdameron and Zach J. Payne for winning THE PORCUPINE OF TRUTH and GIRL MANS UP. Please email me at linda@emeraldcityliterary.com with your mailing address.





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