The Story Behind Where No One Knows

My newest YA novel Where No One Knows released on Thursday from Harmony Ink Press. I say “newest,” but actually, this novel was published before, in 2013 by Musa Publishing. In 2015, Musa sadly had to close its doors, and the rights to the novel were returned to me. I thought the story seemed like a good fit for Harmony Ink, and fortunately for me, they agreed and were willing to re-release it.

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I wrote the novel originally because of a challenge I received in fall 2012. I was at the GayRomLit convention, which that year was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My Featherweight Press editor was also there, and was talking with someone from Musa about possibly taking on an editor role there. In the course of the conversation, he mentioned my books.

The woman to whom he was speaking had just started a new imprint at Musa, aimed at publishing LGBTA+ young adult fiction. My editor introduced us, and the woman asked whether I would be able to write a novel with a transgender main character. I said of course I could, not actually knowing whether or not I would be able to. This is the danger of issuing writing challenges to me…

A few months prior to that, I was on a bus from Philadelphia back home to Boston when the phrase “In the United States, you can go almost anywhere by bus if you have enough money” floated through my brain, along with the mental image of someone running away from home–or maybe running away *to* home. I’d stored that snippet in my memory, knowing it belonged to a story somewhere. When I was asked to write a novel with a transgender main character, I knew I’d found the story in which that snippet belonged.

And so I created Kellan McKee, a transgender boy whose family had accepted that he was transgender, but couldn’t accept his psychic powers. Forced out of his home, underage and with no ID, Kellan had to travel by bus to find a new, hopefully safe, place to live. It took a bit longer to figure out exactly what Kellan had done to cause his parents to kick him out, but the answer came soon enough.

Although Where No One Knows didn’t find as much of an audience through Musa as I’d hoped, those who read it liked it. I’m hoping more readers will find–and enjoy–the novel now that it’s available from Harmony Ink.