How it Happened: Goth Girl Rising

GOTH_GIRL_PBThis is a pretty easy one.

From the moment people began reading The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl, I got The Question:

When does the sequel come out?

Not “Will you write a sequel?” Just “When?” The assumption was that I would.

And, truthfully, I didn’t plan on doing so. I figured the story was over and, yeah, it was an inconclusive ending, but I like stories that keep you thinking long after they’re done.

And then…

And then I wrote Boy Toy. And without really thinking much about it, I dropped in a couple of references to Kyra and even had her show up for a page (to say something really mean and really true, of course).

She was still with me, Kyra was.

At the end of the first book, Fanboy muses that he and Kyra aren’t superhero characters, that their life isn’t “Fanboy vs. Goth Girl.” That phrase kept coming back to me, and I thought, If I ever write a sequel, that’s what I’ll call it — Fanboy vs. Goth Girl.

I still had no plans for a sequel, but one day this popped into my head:

“Before she went and died, my mother told me to stop bitching about my cramps all the time.”

It was Kyra’s voice, as clear and as true as it had ever been. I wrote that line and the three or four that followed and then I told myself to stop it because, damnit, I wasn’t writing a sequel!

Except I was. Because by then I’d finished Hero-Type. And Fanboy had done really well and had a lot of fans, and Boy Toy had been critically acclaimed, but hadn’t sold well. Hero-Type had been the first book in a two-book deal, and given the sales on Boy Toy, I seriously thought my career was over.

So why not say goodbye with a gift to my readers, the sequel they wanted?

More importantly, why not write the book that had taken up residence in my skull and was making it difficult to think of anything but Kyra?

I knew that the book wouldn’t be exactly what people wanted…and I was OK with that. I knew that readers wanted me to pick up from the end of the first book and show Kyra and Fanboy becoming romantically involved.

But that was too easy. And nothing is ever easy for Kyra.

More likely, I thought, was that things would have changed dramatically after her aborted suicide attempt at the end of the first book. I knew that she would emerge from that experience changed, and not necessarily for the better. That her pain came from a very deep and very dark well, the sort of pain that is not easily expunged.

The title Fanboy vs. Goth Girl suddenly seemed to flippant for what I was attempting. I considered several varieties, including The Astonishing Return of Fanboy & Goth Girl, but settled on… Goth Girl Transcendent.

Or maybe not. I thought a little more and decided Goth Girl Rising worked. (As a friend put it, “What the hell does ‘transcendent’ mean and does anyone care???”)

As I’ve joked in the past, the book ended up being a meditation on being a Millennial woman because who knows better than a middle-aged man?

Still, it seemed to have worked. I got a ton of email from teen girls thanking me the book and marveling that I could get inside their heads so well. (My one super-power, I suppose…)

Fortunately for me, Goth Girl Rising wasn’t my last book after all. Also fortunately, I got to scratch two very personal itches with it.

First of all, I fixed a plot point from the first book. It’s always nice when you can retroactively paper over an oopsie. 🙂

Second of all, I wrote probably my favorite bit of indirect characterization ever. It’s something no one ever notices or comments on, but I love it. It happens when Fanboy shows Kyra a picture of the baby he was dreading in the first book. He says:

“See, that’s her. My sister. Well, half-sister, technically.”

In the first book, Fanboy is adamant that the baby a-brewin’ in his mom isn’t his sister. He repeatedly and consistently reminds people that she will be his half-sister.

Now, six months later, the baby has come, and he’s flipped his position. Calling her his sister and only half-heartedly mentioning that “technically” she’s his half-sister.

He’s grown up. He’s learned to love the baby he once referred to as an “alien lifeform.”

I kinda love that line of dialogue.

My First Book On Sale…Cheap!

Hey, there, gang!

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl

So, the various etailers of the world have gone a little nuts this holiday season. You can now (for however long “now” happens to last…) buy my very first novel as an ebook for the obscenely low price of just $1.99 at these major ebook sellers:

And hey, the sequel, Goth Girl Rising, is pretty cheap, too, at just $5.99 on Amazon and iBooks.

Then, as if that’s not enough, if you’re curious as to what Fanboy might be like as an adult if he’d never met Goth Girl — and if you’re an adult yourself — check out my latest novel, Unsoul’d, which is pretty damn inexpensive itself at just $3.99!

Wow. That was almost like a commercial! 🙂

As I indicated above, I have no idea how long this sale will last, so go get it while it’s hot!

Tweeting Goth Girl!

In preparation for the launch of Goth Girl Rising, I am excerpting the book each day on Twitter! Every day between now and the book’s launch, I’ll be posting a brief excerpt on Twitter. If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, do so at http://twitter.com/barrylyga .

If you don’t want to bother with Twitter, I’ll be automagically reposting the tweets on this page, so bookmark it and come back each day! Or use the subscribe link below to have the tweets delivered to your RSS feed! (Isn’t it great to live in the future?)

  • It’s a pudgy little baby-thing. Why do people think babies are cute?
  • What would Fanboy do if he saw me like this?
  • I went into the kitchen and got the big knife.
  • Late night shopping runs are a BONANZA for car thieves.
  • I want him to kiss me. I realize it, and it’s so hard and fast that it hurts.
  • I think maybe that’s the secret that suicides know.
  • I think I’d rather have my revenge than be healthy.
  • I wish I’d known that YEARS ago! I would have been calling teachers sluts back in middle school!
  • I toss her CDs in the trash. Trust me, I’m doing her a favor.
  • “Don’t worry – the Spermling can’t find his dick under all the rolls of fat. Your virtue is intact.”
  • And his hands become fists and I’m pretty sure he’s gonna hit me, but I don’t care.
  • “You have to tell me something.”
    “The third thing. Your third thing.”
  • I’m so pissed I can’t even think straight!
  • I’m trying to imagine how someone could kill herself with a Schick Silk Effects.
  • “I thought…we don’t want people to know…right?”
  • “Don’t sling the bullshit my way, Fanboy. I look like a freak.”
  • Go ahead, lung cancer. Kill me. I dare you.
  • And Morpheus is in trouble because the Kindly Ones are coming to kill him.
  • “OK, well, in that case, you should totally have sex with Cal.”
  • “Chill out, Fanboy. You act like you’re gonna get some.”
  • the room the room the room is rosevomit because
  • “I need you to fire up your bitchiest bitch parts.”
  • “This has got to be a record, Miss Sellers,” the Spermling wheezes. “Even for you.”
  • What would it be like? To kiss him? To be with him? To have him as my boyfriend?
  • “Not that! Your head! Your goddamn head!” He’s shaking.
  • It’s strange to sit and talk to a boy who’s seen your boobs.