As a published author, I’m often asked why I write. Like most writers, I strive to make a lasting impression with my books, articles, poems, etc. If you can’t strike a chord with people, then why write? Back when I was a teenager, I read a lot of Judy Blume. She was my hero, my inspiration. She wrote books for young adults that included all of the messy, mucky, yucky and unmentionable stuff that happens during the course of those awkward teenage years. While most other young adult authors stayed away from taboo topics such as menstruation, divorce, physical and mental handicaps, bullying and the loss of virginity—Blume attacked them head on and exposed the reality of teenage life with memorable characters, unforgettable plots and stories that stuck with readers for a lifetime. When I grew up and became a writer, I vowed to write the same kind of books for LGBT teens.
Basically, I wanted to be the “gay” Judy Blume. I didn’t want to shy away from the messy, mucky, yucky and unmentionable stuff that happens during the course of those awkward teenage years, either … or the additional turmoil and confusion that LGBT teens face as well. I wanted to touch on all of it, make it relatable and create characters that were realistic and memorable at the same time. The result was my first book, The Trouble with Emily Dickinson. I must have done a good job at getting in touch with my inner “Blume” because the novel won a Golden Crown Literary Society Award for Debut Author. My second book, The Crabapple Tree dealt with bullying. My latest novel, The Education of Queenie McBride is the sequel to my first book and explores the avenue of LGBT teen homelessness.
In my research for the book, I was astounded by the statistics regarding the percentage of gay teens living on the streets. Many programs on television depict gay teens with supportive and loving families. This is a wonderful thing … but it’s not the whole truth. There are just as many teens who are kicked out of their homes by their very own parents simply because they are gay. LGBT teen homelessness isn’t discussed in the mainstream media. In fact, many people don’t even realize that it is even a problem. In writing The Education of Queenie McBride, I set out to accomplish two goals: to write a compelling sequel and also to shed some light on LGBT teen homelessness. I believe that I was successful in doing so.
Lastly, I write these types of books to help LGBT teens by easing their confusion and providing them with something tangible that they can relate to and identify with. I would have loved to have these kinds of books when I was a teenager struggling with my own sexuality. But I didn’t know where to look for them or even how to get them. Times have changed, thankfully. And I am happy that my books are readily available to everyone and anyone who wants to read them. I often visit area high schools throughout Western New York and talk with Gay-Straight Alliance groups. I love interacting with teens, hearing their stories, answering their questions and engaging in conversations about the world and LGBT issues. But I can’t meet with every teen face to face. So, my books help me reach teens outside of the city, across the country and all over the world.
Writing is such a vulnerable profession. As an author, I expose myself with every word of every sentence on every page in every novel. Some people love what is written. Others don’t. It’s just how it works. But those who do resonate with the words that I write, especially LGBT teens, are the ones who inspire me to keep on writing. I write because I love it. And because I can’t imagine doing anything else with my time.
Book Cover – © Lyndsey D’Arcangelo – All Rights Reserved
Thumbnail – Crop From Book Cover – © Lyndsey D’Arcangelo – All Rights Reserved
Guest Author Bio
Lyndsey D’Arcangelo is a freelance writer and an award-winning author from Buffalo, NY. She loves music, college basketball, baggy clothes, feel-good movies and the color blue.
“Basically, I’m just an ordinary individual who strongly believes that I can positively impact the world through writing.”