Every book has its challenges, and each one I’ve written presents new ones. Here are five things that I wrestled with during the writing of Double Negative.
1. I struggled deciding how I’d handle Hutch’s language at the beginning of the book. I wanted him to use poor grammar, but I wanted to endear him to readers who I figured would find too much “warped” English annoying.
2. The second struggle was closely related to the first. I needed a way to gradually show Hutch’s language evolving, but I didn’t want to make his slow change disruptive to the story.
3. I dislike anything to do with the drug culture, especially when young people are involved. So I didn’t want to present a lot of drug scenes in my YA book, but I needed a few to put Hutch into bad situations so I could get him out of them. Choosing what kinds of scenes to use was a huge challenge for me.
4. Fat Nyla was a challenge, too. I loved her and I wanted the reader to empathize with her, but I didn’t want her size to be the only way for them to connect with her. Also, I didn’t want her arc to be a Cinderella transformation. She was interesting, but one of the harder characters to “get” right.
5. I have several adults in this story, and the challenge here was to keep the focus on my teen protagonist and let him find his own way, but with these adults as key players throughout.
One thing about being challenged is I learned a lot from writing this book, so I’m grateful it didn’t come easily to the page.
She takes on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. Her short story, Premeditated Cat, appears in the anthology, The First Time, and her Into the Sea of Dew is part of a collection, Two and Twenty Dark Tales. In 2012, her first middle grade novel, Alligators Overhead, came out.
To learn more about Lee, visit her website, her blog, and the Double Negative Facebook Page.