Author Jessica Taylor explains the reasoning behind her flawed female characters, including those in her latest book, A MAP FOR WRECKED GIRLS.
Guest Post by Jessica Taylor
There was never a day when I decided to write unlikable girls. I didn’t make lists of cruel jabs for my heroines to deliver or think of ways they could more deeply hurt those they loved the most. I didn’t wonder how to make my girls more selfish, more self-centered, more unaware of the consequence of their actions.
What I did set out to write were the girls I grew up with. Girls I see from my car windows, outside of high schools at lunch time—hands knotted together as they watch the same boy, texting each other from across the parking lot, running for buses or diving into their friends’ faded hand-me- down cars. The girl I was at different times throughout my teen years. Bold, self-conscious, angry, and terrified—sometimes all at the same time.
There’s a freedom to the teen experience and the YA story—a beautiful messiness that comes from questioning everything and discovering the world. In the midst of those growing pains are mistakes and cruelties teens never intended. Even cruelties they did.
I’d like to believe there’s nothing so bad a girl can do at seventeen that she’s beyond redemption. When I began to write YA, I wanted to give absolution to every girl out there who’s made a mistake, starting with my fictional girls, like sisters Emma and Henri in A Map for Wrecked Girls.
Much, much later into my writing journey, I realized many of my female characters had earned the title “unlikable.” Now I can say with pride that yes, I like to write unlikable girls.
I hope teens out there will read my stories and know their self-worth isn’t defined by the worst things they do or say at fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen. If you’re the unlikable character in your own story—or if you ever were—love and light to you.
Now that you’ve read about Jessica’s message and characters, enter for a chance to win the book!
Per the publisher, this contest is open to US residents only.
Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor. (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on August 7, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about August 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
About the Author:
Jessica Taylor adores atmospheric settings, dangerous girls, and characters who sneak out late at night. She lives in Northern California, not far from San Francisco, with a law degree she isn’t using, one dog, and many teetering towers of books.
A Map for Wrecked Girls is out now and can be ordered via Amazon.