Hi all. Chris Bigelow has provisionally agreed to publish No Going Backward, my novel about a gay Mormon teen coming out and coming of age, with Zarahemla Books. I’m looking for readers who would be willing to look over the MS within a relatively short timeframe (my revised MS is due to Chris for editing by the end of April), in exchange for bribes, favors owed, baklava, what have you.
Just to let you know, we’ve received some very positive responses on the MS, including reviews from LDS playwright Tom Rogers and BYU English professor Steve Walker. The MS has been through several rounds of revision already. But we’re still hoping to make it better.
This is also, as Theric reminded me to mention, the book I’ve been blathering on about here at AMV for months now. For a list of my Writing Rookie blogs describing my writing process, click here.
I’m NOT looking for a proofreader/copyeditor (Chris will do that, after I’ve polished as much as I can). Rather, what I’m looking for is honest overall responses to the book, plus feedback about what works and what doesn’t work for you as a reader: scenes, character developments, plot events, stylistic irritations, etc.
Rather than going into much detail about the book here, I’ll simply jot down a few points of orientation. First, this book is about a teenager who’s trying to stay in the Church, and who by the end of the book is still holding to that decision, although he’s had a fair number of difficulties along the way. Second, I’d rate this as about a PG-13, both for language (though it’s less than what many teenagers use) and for a reported sexual encounter (which is, however, critical for the story).
My primary intended audience for this book is believing Mormons who are doctrinally orthodox but relatively liberal in their reading tastes and tolerances. I’m hoping the book will appeal not only to those with connections to gays (e.g., family members who are gay) but also to those (bishops, other leaders, and just ordinary folks) who may wonder about the kinds of challenges that those who are same-sex attracted face in the Church and how the rest of the LDS community can help support them.
Our plan is for the book to be released this summer. Chris and I figure that having more people read it in MS now will mean more good comments to guide my revision, as well as generating more publicity for the book itself. What you get out of it is a chance to read this groundbreaking book – okay, groundbreaking within the LDS market – for free! And possibly even have an impact on it and get your name mentioned as one of my readers on the Acknowledgments page! What more could you ask for? (Don’t answer that…)
Honestly, we really do want a range of opinions and perspectives. No literary credentials needed – just a willingness to read and give feedback. I may not take your suggestions, but I will listen to them carefully.
If you’re interested in reading the MS, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.