by Bailey J. Thompson
Published May 15th 2013 by Yellow Iris Press
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.
Why was Yellow Socks and Blood Spots written?
It’s a constant battle; heated political abortion debates, religious questions, controversial opinions. The young people faced with the situation and decision every day are seen as victimizers, and are often unable to accurately express themselves for fear that they will be judged, or will cross a line. Yellow Socks and Blood Spots was written to give such a taboo topic some perspective, and a reason for discussion. I don’t think that we will ever come to a concrete agreement when it comes to the abortion debate, but I do think that we owe it to ourselves to start a conversation.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced with this novel?
Telling people what it’s about. I find that when it comes to pro-life and pro-choice, most people already have their minds made up as to which side they’re on... So when you tell them you’ve written such a book, the reactions can be really varied; and sometimes quite extreme.
Originally, Yellow Socks and Blood Spots was to be published under a penname... What made you decide to publish it under your own name afterall?
There is something about publishing controversial novels under pennames first – just to see the reaction. Not only was I nervous about how people; friends and family especially would react to my writing such a novel, I’m also the owner of a children’s book publishing company, Gerbil Meets Mouse Publishing. I don’t have to tell you that this book and kids books don’t exactly go hand-in-hand! But at the end of the day (and a year’s worth of a publishing journey) I decided to just go with it. If I was writing a novel with the hope that abortion would become less taboo and easier to talk about it, it would be hypocritical to hide behind someone else’s name... right?
If someone approaches you for support on a similar situation as Isabelle, what do you tell them?
Usually, I tell them to go with their heart. I’m not judgemental - in the end, the decision up to them and I will support them with whichever route they take. I tell them to educate themselves with every option and do not make a decision blindly - this can only hurt you. In the end, you have to disregard what your friends, family, baby’s father says and do what feels right.
You’re a writer, what does that mean to you?
It took me a long time to accept that I was, indeed, a writer. There’s a lot of honour to that title... For the longest time, I would admit that I wrote... but not that I was a writer. So eventually, I had to decide what it meant to be a writer, and ask myself if I was enough of that to let that word define me. So what does it mean to be a writer? I think it’s someone who is obsessed with metaphors, discovers some element of plot or foreshadowing in just about every moment of life... Being a writer means you have to enjoy your own company and look forward to spending an entire day with just yourself and your keyboard. It’s not getting enough sleep because an idea came to you in the middle of the night, and starting to notice the little things; the way your footsteps sound, the way certain things smell, or taste and being able to pinpoint certain emotions and the elements that surround them. All that said, I think the defining moment for me, aside from seeing my first novel in print, was finally admitting just how essential coffee was.
You’re a young author, what advice do you have for other young authors?
Run with it! Being a writer isn’t all rewards and there are a ton of roadblocks and letdowns. But DREAM BIG and don’t let anything stop you from reaching your goals. A lot of people quit just as they are about to succeed... so if you feel like giving up, sometimes putting in that extra mile will get you to where you’re dreaming of. For the most part, follow your heart, trust your instincts and be passionate about what you do.
What are your next steps?
I’ve been working on another novel for the past five years. It’s taken a long time for me to understand the story myself, but I think once the excitement from Yellow Socks and Blood Spots has passed, that will be my next big project.
That, and my publishing company, Gerbil Meets Mouse Publishing. I currently have one kid’s book out and two on the way! 2013 promises to be an exciting year.
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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.