This year for NaNoWriMo I’m writing my very first YA novel. I’ve only done New Adult before this with main characters ranging from 19-24, but Helena Bram is 15.
I like to tell the stories of people who are a little older because 19-24 is where I did most of my own self-discovery. It’s when I went off to college and when I finally left my parents and family behind, but I realize that’s not normal. Most people do their self-discovery in their teen years.
But since I was preoccupied by being abused and not being able to really form my own opinions or sense of self, I sort of missed out on that. I think the only thing I really knew about who I was around this time, was that I wasn’t straight and also that I was deeply unhappy.
Enter Helena Bram. Helena is a 15-year-old nomad from Buffalo, New York who lives with her mother. Her father split a long time ago and she never hears from him, not even on her birthday.
At the beginning of the story, her mother has moved the two of them across the state of Tennessee from Memphis to Knoxville where she’s the “new girl” again. She hasn’t been able to put roots down anywhere, nor does she have any friends.
The only thing she does have is a strange and wonderful connection to Best Buy. She waxes poetic about how it’s the only constant in her life other than the fact her mother will uproot them or her father will always forget her birthday. All Best Buys no matter where you are, stay exactly the same.
It is in irrefutable truth.
The Best Buy in Knoxville is no different than the Best Buy in Memphis and that’s the sort of stability she craves in her life. As she browses the store, though, she happens upon a table she’s never seen before. Not in any Best Buy she’s loitered in across the East Coast.
That’s when she discovers Twitter. In 2023. When she’s stuck in 2005.
She becomes obsessed with the possibility of it, seeing into the future through a flat brick of a phone and she spends far too much time in Best Buy talking to people she doesn’t know and ultimately falling in love with a celebrity.
For a long time this is all she has.
Until she meets Celine.
This is, of course, a coming of age F/F novel written partially about my own childhood, but with elements of science fiction and fantasy in an otherwise mind-numbingly normal world.
I really hope I can pull this off.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting the first 2,000 words I’ve written over on my Patreon, for my $1 subscribers.