It’s Our Prom
(So Deal With It)

 

Megan Tingley Books
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

 

ISBN: 978-0-316-13158-2

 

Ages 12 and up

 

 

Artistically, I’ve always wanted to try writing a book with multiple narrators. Stretching taut my artistic wings, I gave it a try with this book. Originally, I had three narrators: Azure, Luke, and Radhika. Their personal stories were intertwined around the main plot of organizing an all-inclusive prom for their school. After I’d sold the manuscript to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (my home sweet home), my editor, Megan Tingley, called and said, “Julie, we’ve read the manuscript over several times and we all agree that Radhika’s story is less interesting than the other two.” I choked and gasped (maybe not in that order). “Does that mean you think I should take out Radhika’s story?” I asked. Megan said, “I think it’d improve the book.” She’d never demand that I do anything, but I’ve come to trust her judgment.

 

This was very, very bad news. It meant I’d have to evaluate whether it was worth trying to unbraid Radhika’s story from the other two, or just start over completely. Even though it may seem more painful, sometimes beginning from scratch turns out to be easier than cutting and pasting. There wasn’t a deadline, but I did feel the story was current enough that if I didn’t rewrite the book fast, it’d be historical fiction by the time it was released.

 

There’d been stories in the news the last few years about gay teens who’d wanted to take their girlfriends or boyfriends to their high school proms and were denied the right. In one case, you might recall, the school board actually canceled the prom rather than let two lesbians go together.

 

Taking a current event and expanding on it, in the novel, It’s Our Prom (So Deal With It), Azure and Luke, the two narrators, petition their administration to allow them to put on an all-inclusive prom. They want everyone to feel welcomed, and to make it affordable to all. It’s a Herculean task, as they come to find out. But even more problematic is the fact that both Azure and Luke are planning to ask the same person to prom. Yikes!

 

I hope one day we’ll see high school proms embrace every student. We should all have the chance to look back on our prom pictures and shriek, “Oh, my God! Look at my hair.”

 

Love,
Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

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