YA LGBT, Contemporary
Published: 19th December 2013 by Harmony Ink Press
Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she’s an alien. She doesn’t fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he’s perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn’t find out she’s a freak.
As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.
But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel’s baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.
A-Z Interview with Suzanne van Rooyen
The A-Z of The Other Me
Suzanne and I wanted to do something differnt and fun for this interview so after doing a couple of A-Z question things I came up with the idea of an A-Z interview and luckily Suzanne was up to the challenge! This is the A-Z(ish) of The Other Me!
B is for Beethoven - Beethoven's Sonata Pathétique has an important role in the novel and is one of both Gabriel's and Treasa's favourite pieces.
C is for Change – what this novel is all about: accepting it and embracing it.
D is for Dance – the grade 10 'Charity Ball' for which Treasa needs a partner.
E is for Emotion – from anger and elation to sorrow and despair, my characters run the gamut.
F is for Friendship – one of the main themes explored in The Other Me.
G is for Gabriel – Treasa's love interest, who shares narrative duties with her in the novel.
H is for Honest – something my characters need to learn to be with each other, and especially with themselves.
I is for Innocence – the innocence inevitably lost while growing up.
J is for Johannesburg, South Africa – this is where I grew up and where The Other Me is set.
K is for Kissing – because what is a love story without it?
L is for Love – in all it's myriad forms.
M is for Marilyn Manson – one of Gabriel's favourite artists. Treasa becomes a fan as well.
N is for Nail-polish – Gabriel paints his nails black and gels his hair into a
mo-hawk on the weekends.
O is for Other – that different person Treasa and Gabriel both long to be.
P is for Private School – Treasa attends a Catholic, all-girls, private school – like I did!
Q is for Quantum Physics – something Treasa and Gabriel both share an interest in.
R is for Riker – Treasa's cat and favourite Star Trek character.
S is for Stigma – Treasa and Gabriel each have their own to deal with.
T is for Tristan – read the book and you'll know why ;)
U is for Understanding – something both Gabriel and Treasa are looking for but don't easily get, not even from each other.
V is for Valentines Day – neither Gabriel nor Treasa are particularly fond of this chocolate-and-roses celebration.
W is for War – Treasa and Gabriel are both fighting their own battles – at school and at home.
X is for X-chromosome – the extra one that Treasa doesn't want.
Thank you so much Suzanne for doing this interview with me! I love it!
Five years ago today, my mom died, and it seems I’m the only one in the family who remembers. Even after all this time, I feel her absence, the ache physical, kind of how I imagine an amputee must feel after losing a leg. You think the missing bit is still a part of you, and it comes as a shock every time you realize it’s gone. Only I lost an internal part of me no one can see is even missing. Only I feel the loss, feel that huge gaping wound that might suck me right down into the abyss, if I let it. Mom probably wouldn’t want me chucking myself out of the car or getting stoned with Dirk or shagging a girl like Karla. She’d like a girl like Treasa, though. Mom was a singer too.
“You know, she’s been dead for years, and I still half expect her to waltz into my bedroom in the mornings with a cup of condensed milk coffee.” I watch the family with the dog and the Frisbee, watch the mother pick the little kid up when he bails into the grass.
“Man, that was the best coffee ever,” Dirk says.
Last time I had condensed milk coffee was the morning before Mom died. If only I’d known it was the last cup she’d ever make me, I would’ve savored it and not left half behind, too busy playing piano to pay proper attention.
Damn Klippies, now I’m getting all dronkverdriet. I backhand unwanted moisture from my eyes, and the snatch of a melody spins loose from my imagination. It’s simple yet beautiful, music in a minor. If only I had my notebook with me. I’ll probably forget the tune by the time I get home, even though I try to catch it, humming the notes under my breath in the hopes of remembering. This’ll be the first theme of my sonata. Finally, I have something to work with. Maybe this is how all those great composers did it; maybe I should do this more often: get wasted, get morbid, rip the scabs off old wounds, and let myself bleed all over the staves.
Author Bio - Suzanne van Rooyen
Suzanne is an author and peanut-butter addict from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance and music to middle-schoolers or playing in the snow with her shiba inu. She is rep'd by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.
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