Hi guys! I’m Kelly Haworth here with my debut release Y NEGATIVE. At various stops on this book tour, I’ve been sharing with you what it’s like to live in Ember’s world: where mascs rule and a guy’s gotta fight for his right to live and love freely. Posts range from what the difference between a masc and an andro is, to what on earth a guy does for fun in a dystopia. Hope you’ve come along for this in-depth look. You’ll also have a chance to win a $20 Riptide voucher!
You can catch up with the tour to check out all the stops.
We All Have Our Emo Phase
Hey guys! I have something very different to share with you for this stop of the tour. It’s a poem I wrote shortly after finishing the first draft of Y Negative. I had just started realizing not only how much this story meant to me, but how much a person’s outward expression of gender affected those around them, and yet how much it didn’t—because to some people, you are what you’re made of. Borne of frustration and channeling Ember’s angst, we have now entered the Poetry Zone.
Carry Your Type on Your Sleeve.
Unzip this helix,
Unwrap those expectations.
Cause people see me gender first, person second.
Don’t tell me “it’s what’s on the inside that counts,”
because I’ll quote you evidence to the contrary.
Every last one of us judges books by their covers,
makes decisions with a split second
of visual data.
How can I compete with that?
How do I get a single one of you to use your reason
instead of your instincts
when you look at me?
Cause when we dress the same,
act the same,
it all comes down to the alphabet in my cells.
making a fool out of me and the effort I exert.
Go ahead, ask me Y.
I’ll shove you down, knock your lights out.
And that question will rattle in my empty ribs,
driving me and killing me all the same.
It’s not enough to be different.
But there’s no pride in wanting to be just like
everyone you hate.
So when you peel me open
stain my cells and count all the little X’s.
X, X, X, X, why…
For those of you out there groaning at the genetics references, you get digital high fives from me. And for those of you who can relate with the struggle of asserting your preferred gender, big digital hugs.
Sometimes Ember’s emotions get the better of him. I think that’s something that a lot of us can relate to, though the shitty people that he has to interact with on a daily basis sure as hell don’t help. And I know there’s some of you out there who have shitty people surrounding you, trying to tell you you’re wrong about what you feel in your heart. That you can’t be anything else but which genes are in your cells. Those shitty people can rot, as far as I’m concerned. You are the person you want to be already, just by knowing who you are. Just by saying to yourself, “I am a (insert gender or lack thereof here) and I am damn sure of it, and I am damn proud of it.”
Thanks for reading.
About the Book
In the last surviving cities of a ruined world, the concept of “woman” has been forgotten to history. Those unfortunate enough to lack a Y chromosome live as second-class citizens in a world dominated by mascs.
Ember is Y negative. He is scorned, bullied, abused by every masc he encounters, at work and at the gym. Not even his Y negative roommate cuts him any slack. He wants so desperately to be accepted as a masc that he’d rather buy black market testosterone than food. Something’s gotta give—he needs a change in his life, but has no idea how to find it.
Jess is a masc with a passion for studying the recovery of their devastated world. His boyfriend is pressuring him for more commitment, and his father expects him to take over the family business. He can’t wait to get away from civilization for his seasonal research out in the wild.
When Jess offers Ember a job, their lives collide in the isolated wasteland, and their initial attraction turns into a relationship that horrifies those around them. Soon their struggle to stay together and to be who they are turns into a fight for their lives.
About the Author
Kelly Haworth grew up in San Francisco and has been reading science fiction and fantasy classics since she was a kid. She developed way too active an imagination as a result, thus, she started writing. Being genderfluid and pansexual, she loves to write LGBTQ+ characters in genres such as science fiction with diverse aliens, and urban fantasies with shifters and fire sorcerers. With degrees in both genetics and psychology, she works as a project manager at a genetics lab. When not working or writing, she can be found wrangling her toddler, working on cosplay, or curled up on the couch with a good TV show or a good book.
Connect with Kelly:
To celebrate the release of Y Negative, Kelly is giving away $20 in Riptide Publishing credit! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 21, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Catch up with the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!