I put a book out in the world this week! You can find it at Radish Fiction, a free app for your smartphone or tablet. Radish does serialized fiction and it’s a fun way to read that hearkens back all the way to Charles Dickens. The first three chapters are free, and then you can purchase the rest as they are released.
My book is called THE SUMMER CORSET and it’s about a girl who longs for the romance of an earlier age and takes a job at a Detroit Civil War fort as a costumed living history interpreter. She thinks she’s found the old-fashioned gentleman of her dreams in her older co-worker, but soon realizes that clothes don’t make the man and that by looking to the past, she might miss out on her future. I would love it if you’d take a peek, and I’d love it even more if you told me what you thought afterwards here or on Twitter!
I wrote this story because I used to have a job as a Civil War-era living history interpreter in my own late teens and I’ve never forgotten the experience. I still remember fighting my hair each morning to get it in a snood. There are few odder experiences than waiting in line at a fast-food restaurant wearing a long dress while your co-worker in a Union Army uniform orders a Whopper for lunch. I learned to build a fire and wash laundry on a washboard and to sit down in a hoop skirt and even to fire a cannon. Sometimes we romanticize the past, and I thought it might be interesting to see what might happen if a girl who’d been hurt in the modern day thought she had a chance at a courtly nineteenth-century romance—especially if that romance didn’t end up measuring up the way she thought it would.
Having said all that, this is the first time I’ve shared a story with people I don’t know, and it’s way scarier than I thought it would be. Writing a book is like taking little pieces of yourself, your home, and your memory and stitching them into a quilt. Sharing that writing is like reading your diary aloud in disconnected chunks – there’s enough there that people can figure out what goes on in your head.
People have been really nice so far (except for the unknown person on Twitter who said the concept sounded terrible and he hoped the sex scenes made up for it—thanks for your input, sir, but this is a book for young adults), but it’s still terrifying. For example, this story is written for modern teenagers, and because it is a romance starring an 18-year-old protagonist, includes some frank talk about sex and what expectations for sex mean to teenagers of today. My mom will read this story. My mother-in-law will read this story. Ladies at my church will read this story. They will all know that I’ve thought about sex!
Joking aside, I hope you all enjoy the story of Jenna and her confusing summer in Civil War underwear. Here's the link:
Thanks for reading!