Best-selling Ylva author G.A. Benson talks with us about her beautiful queer young adult novel Pieces, as part of our Free Book Sundays campaign.
Pieces, your diverse queer young adult novel tells the story of orphaned sixteen-year-old Carmen, who is homeless and protective of her kid brother who she wants to keep out of the foster system. Where did the idea come from?
Pieces was a story that I really enjoyed writing. The idea for this queer young adult novel came from thinking about just how much a person could want to keep their sibling with them. Being the youngest of four, and by several years, it was really interesting for me to flip my experience and imagine being a fiercely protective older sibling like Carmen.
What was the hardest thing to write regarding your story? And was writing a queer young adult (YA) book easier or harder than a contemporary romance?
It’s the first, and only YA I’ve ever written. Writing it was completely different to a contemporary romance. I felt less restricted, in a lot of ways, as there are a lot less expectations when it comes to what will and won’t or, rather, should and shouldn’t happen.
What was the idea behind the beautiful cover of puzzle pieces?
I won’t lie, this is my favourite cover of any of my books. I sat and stared at it for ages when I first saw it. The idea of puzzle pieces came quickly, as the book is all about how Ollie, Carmen, and Mattie, plus their friends, all figure out how to fit together. And how to fit into life.
* Pieces, G Benson’s queer young adult novel, is free to readers on November 29, 2020, at the Ylva shop. https://www.ylva-publishing.com/product/pieces-g-benson/
Free Book Sundays are Ylva’s way of giving back, and offering escapism in difficult times for readers.
To stay up to date with all our latest books and announcements, subscribe to Ylva’s newsletter.
That’s an interesting point, that comparison about writing YA in relation to contemporary romance and I’m glad that you wrote a YA novel. Puberty is tough enough but being queer and growing up in a society that’s still not learned how to deal properly with diversity and anything that isn’t in the centre of the Gaussian normal distribution can sometimes be unbearable hard. Representation in stories is the more important. A friend of mine teaches Junior High/High School English classes and she is always desperately looking for good class readings, so I forwarded her the link to this book.