Today I’m hosting a stop on the Blog Tour for Bailey J. Thompson’s debut novel, Yellow Socks & Blood Spots. My stop consists of a guest post in which Bailey discusses why she almost published this book under a pseudonym, and why she ultimately decided to use her real name. But first, here’s some information about the book!
Two lines means pregnant, and pregnant is the very last thing seventeen-year-old Isabelle wants to be. She’s just beginning her senior year, she’s rekindling the respectable relationship she once had with her family and she’s finally fallen in love.
Her boyfriend, Jason, wants an abortion, while Isabelle wants to give her baby a chance at life, whether that means adoption or raising her baby herself. Her situation raises a question of values, beliefs, rights, societal expectations and personal opinions, and as Isabelle’s friends and family discover the news, they seem to think that only they know what’s best for her and her baby. Within two weeks of finding out about their beautiful disaster, Isabelle and Jason have to come to a mutual agreement and make a life or death decision.
Publishing a first novel is always a nerve-wracking journey and when it’s a controversial novel, it’s even more so. What happens if it puts a dent in my reputation? What happens if people hate it and never buy my second novel? What happens if I suddenly get labelled as the abortion writer? Is publishing an abortion book under the same name as the name I publish my children’s books under going to cause a problem? These were the questions that ran through my head on a daily basis. Eventually, I decided it was most responsible to publish Yellow Socks and Blood Spots under a penname.
It was perfect actually; when I was born, my mother gave me two middle names: a regular middle name and then her last name as a middle name (I’m not going to tell you these for privacy, you’ll see why later). It was perfect; a penname in the middle of my name.
I had thought I had come to the most genius decision, and excitedly proposed the idea to my mother. She was furious. She told me that she didn’t want such a book under her family name. She told me how disappointed my late great-grandfather would be in me, and ordered that I change it immediately.
I sat on the idea for a while; I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to give in that easily. The name was also my name, and despite not wanting to put it under my regular name, mostly for fear of it compromising my children’s books, I still wanted some credit for it… and my middle names gave me that.
At the end of the day, after a couple of weeks of debating this topic profusely with both of my parents, I ended up just putting my own name on it. I decided that not only should I respect my mother’s wishes (I’m not so sure what I would have done if my father felt as though I was tainting his family name as well), but the book was written to create conversation… friendly open conversation.
Why should I expect people to open up about such a topic if I wasn’t even putting my real name on it?
About the Author:
Bailey J. Thompson is a teenage author that resides in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. She has been storytelling since the moment she could talk, and has since developed passions for creative writing, photography, nature and the environment. Yellow Socks and Blood Spots is her debut novel.