Friday, 3 February 2017

A Bird, a Bloke and a Boyfriend

Welcome to the shadowy and not-so-shadowy space behind Sally's books. If you're not familiar with this blog, scroll down to see what it's all about.

 A Bird, a Bloke and a Boyfriend (Post 34)

 A Bird, a Bloke and a Boyfriend (2005) is the second of two YA paranormal romances I wrote for the US market. The story is a nod to Pygmalion (the Greek one, not My Fair Lady) and it began life with the title Rock Chick. My protagonist, Sarah, was to be a sculptor who carved herself a boyfriend out of rock. This seemed a good idea at the time, but then the logistics hit me and I realised a teen at holiday camp probably wouldn't have the skill, opportunity or tools/materials needed. After that revelation, I decided Sarah could make her boyfriend out of clay. This was easier, (and besides, I'd done a bit of clay modelling as a child and my elocution teacher was a potter) but it necessitated a change of title. 

This market allowed for books set in countries other than the US, but the heroines had to be American. I think I fudged it a bit by giving Sarah an Australian grandmother with whom she came to stay from time to time. She also had an Australian friend, the boy next door, whose name was AJ Tobias. AJ, who timeshares POV duties with Sarah, had the time-honoured revelation that the kid he loves to tease has come back this time as a chick rather than a kid. Naturally, he is at pains to treat her the way he always has. His name for her, Little, is hardly appropriate any more, but as it's her surname he goes on using it.

Sarah, who has plans for AJ, is fed up when their first meeting for this visit catches her up to her elbows in clay in her grandmother's garden.  

After a few plot turns, they both end up at a holiday camp up the coast. Sarah, annoyed with AJ's obtuseness, works hard on her pottery showcase; a handsome boyfriend. The inevitable happens and Sarah's baked boyfriend goes awol, only to show up and rescue her from a swimming mishap. Clay Newman (yes, I went there) is the perfect boyfriend, considerate, handsome, sweet... but his feet aren't the only things made of clay. He's also somewhat clay-brained. Soon Sarah needs help from the disbelieving AJ to dispose of Clay without committing murder. AJ's girlfriend, Clem, is not too pleased at any of it.

This story, as you might guess, was a lot of fun to write. I've been to a few school camps (though none of them featured perambulating clay boyfriends) so the setting was easy enough. If you look at the cover you see the buff Clay and bloke-ish AJ tugging Sarah in two directions. The lads look fine, but I wrote Sarah as a big girl; an Amazonian type and a champion arm-wrestler. The one in the picture looks a bit slender to me.

The story came out in a French edition too, as you can see from the cover below. I'm pretty sure the title translates to Two Boys, One Girl. I was rather disappointed to see copies of the English language edition selling for a few cents on eBay before I'd even got my author copies. I don't really know what became of the French version. The English language one turns up on eBay and in second-hand listings from time to time.

About the Blog

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. This preamble will be pasted to the top of each post, so feel free to skip it in future.

The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 

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