Today we're spotlighting Krissy Bells' new LGBT YA novel Fag. You might remember we shared Krissy's first novel A Special Love not too long ago. I know the title Fag might seem a little controversial to some readers, but I hope you'll read Krissy's thoughtful and intelligent guest post explaining just what drove her to choose such a title for her novel.
“Aaron Garrett is many things in life: he is a son, a friend, a student, and caring boyfriend to his lovely girlfriend Leigh Ann. In these roles, he is kind, hardworking, smart, loving, dedicated, and considerate. At Jefferson High School, he is a leader, a football star, and well-respected by his peers. Aaron’s life is perfectly on track, he is pursuing a college scholarship and hopeful for the future, except for just one thing: Aaron Garrett is gay. When a former child star from Aaron’s small Southern town saturates the national media after making homophobic comments, Aaron’s life is turned upside down as supporters rally around the sentiments. Social media attention begins to swell nationally and locally until it begins to eat away at every part of Aaron’s existence.”
What’s with the title? by Krissy Bells:
The word Fag is terrible, but it is out there. It is said, heard, and felt. It leaves an imprint and has repercussions. It is like many words that can and do cause pain. To ignore that it exists does nothing to erase it. It is a part of our reality and while this novel is fictional, it is the depiction of an individual that is forced to deal with the words existence and is burdened with the label. I guess I’ll back up and start with why I wrote this story.
I had recently finished writing my first YA Novel, A Special Love, and it hadn’t even crossed my mind what, or if something would come next. One night flipping through the channels I landed on TMZ (yes, I have to admit, sometimes I watch TMZ). The discussion centered on the comments made by one of the stars of Duck Dynasty, in an interview within which he described his negative feelings on homosexuality.
It was without question NOT the first time a “celebrity” said something I thought was ridiculous, but I recognized that sadly, there were likely those that may agree with his opinion. I was surprised over the next few days as I started to see many memes circulating on Facebook and social media outlets that were supportive of the statements made and of the family.
I started to think about the feelings of others who were seeing all of the support being rallied around the homophobic comments that were the current media fodder. I thought about the teen that is already terrified to come out as gay to their family and friends, maybe seeing the very people they love passing around the pictures and quotes. As much as I hate to admit it, I am affected by the things I see on social media myself. I often struggle with my own body image. When I see pictures of nearly naked women being passed around, accumulating likes, I have to admit sometimes I feel inadequate. Those images must be what society finds attractive, right? I’m certain there are many who are affected by such things.
Maybe racist or prejudicial humor being passed off as lighthearted fun or as I often see more recently, negativity directed at the gay and lesbian community.
With the advent of social media as it is, we are now able to say anything, to almost anyone without having to look into their eyes. We don’t have to see their reaction or acknowledge their pain. I hope this book is a glimpse into that impact. I hope that as readers delve into this story, they find that the character of Aaron Garrett could very well be someone they know, someone that they love, someone that is scared to the core to expose the very person they were made to be. I hope that it makes readers question what they put out into the world via outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Finally, I hope that it encourages acceptance; Love over ideals and a person over a belief.
So…what’s with the title? I got you to read this, didn’t I?
Krissy Bells was born and raised in the Detroit metro area. A former school secretary, she now spends her days as a stay-at-home mom. She is passionate about her family and friends, her Dachshund named Harry, and anything topped with cheese or chocolate. Krissy can be contacted at email@example.com. Thank you for reading!
For more about Fag check out these sites!