But first, check out the blurb here...
In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself—and Marie—to a danger all too real.
Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject—classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby’s own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires and tragedies of the characters she’s reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym “Marian Love,” and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity.
In this novel told in dual narratives, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley weaves together the lives of two young women connected across generations through the power of words. A stunning story of bravery, love, how far we’ve come and how much farther we have to go.
And now I'd like to welcome Robin Talley to Delightful Book Reviews!
I read one of the earliest lesbian pulp novels years ago when I was doing research for another book — Marijane Meaker’s groundbreaking Spring Fire, published in 1952. I was mesmerized, both by the story itself and by the world it presented. It focused on the relationship between two deeply closeted lesbians living in a time when being who they were meant having to go to extreme lengths to keep their sexuality a secret, and facing horrific consequences if they ever slipped up (which of course they did). I learned that there was an entire wave of these novels published in the U.S. and elsewhere, some of which sold millions of copies, all during a time and place when anyone who didn’t conform to expected norms faced terrible oppression. I wanted to explore that culture, and I thought it would be interesting to look at it through the lens of a teenage character in the present day — someone to whom all of this would seem like irrelevant ancient history, until she probes a little deeper and finds out it’s anything but.
Tell us a bit more about the main characters, Janet and Abby. Do you have anything in common with them?
Well, Janet’s an 18-year-old closeted lesbian living in 1955, and Abby’s a 17-year-old out-and-proud lesbian living in 2017, and I’ve never been either of those things (though I’m closer to Abby’s era than I am to Janet’s). But like the two of them I’m a proud, queer resident of Washington, D.C. And all three of us share a strong commitment to social justice.
Do you normally come up with plot or characters first?
It really varies from book to book. In the case of Pulp, I started with the plot.
What’s so special about YA literature?
YA is all about the lives of teenagers, who are the most fascinating people out there. Teens are going through so many firsts in their lives, and they’re so passionate about what they’re doing and what they’re learning, not to mention the people in their lives. Living inside their heads and telling their stories is a lot more fun than thinking about adults all the time.
What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
First and foremost, read everything you can get your hands on. Every word you read, whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, books, stories, articles, or even fanfiction, gets absorbed into your brain and helps you develop your own writing style. Plus, it’s fun!
Sum up Pulp in three words…
Reading, writing, lesbians.
Thank you so much, Robin, for appearing on my blog!
Buy Pulp here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pulp-inspiring-winning-author-Talley/dp/184845712X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544812692&sr=8-1&keywords=pulp+robin+talley
Check out Robin Talley here: http://www.robintalley.com
Make sure you guys check out the rest of the spots on the blog tour <3
Until next time :)