Madison began writing LGBTQ fiction to help address issues of bullying and low self-esteem among young adults. Her short story, SOCK IT TO ME, SANTA!, explores one boy’s struggle to come out in a hostile school environment. Her debut novel, PLAY ME, I’M YOURS, takes the reader on an emotional journey in search of love and self-acceptance.
Q&A with Author Madison Parker:
- If you could swap places with one of your fictional characters for 24 hours, who would you choose to be? Why? And what would you do that day?
Now that I think about it, all of my major characters tend to have the talents and skills I wish I had. Lucas is a piano prodigy, Zach is a swimming champion, Trish sings like a diva, Donovan has killer looks and a quick wit, Ryan is a serious gamer, and Jamie is a skilled knitter with a funky sense of fashion. Can I have all of that, please? No? Well if I had to choose, I would walk in Lucas’s shoes for the day. He and I share a heart and soul. I love him dearly. I would find a street piano on display in a scenic park and play the heck outta that thing all day long while my beautiful boyfriend sat beside me on the piano bench and gave me sweet boy kisses in between songs.
- What can you tell us about your newest release, Play Me, I’m Yours?
There are a lot of themes I wanted to explore in this story from a fresh perspective. For example, how does bullying affect the family members of the victim? How does the stigma surrounding being gay affect sibling relationships? How does a father who loves his effeminate son overcome the social embarrassment that stems from masculine/feminine stereotypes? How do gay youth deal with bullying and discrimination within the LGBT community? The story also explores the difference between sex for the sake of sex and sex as an expression of love. The main character, Lucas, has more than a few insecurities to overcome as he forges new relationships and faces several obstacles that come his way.
- Inquiring minds want to know. In Sock it to Me, Santa, the main character Ryan created a sock monkey, or rather, a hoobajoob. If you were to make a sock monkey, what would yours look like? And would it be a hoobajoob?My family makes fun of me all the time for wanting to be crafty. I see pictures in magazines and think “Oh! How cute. That looks easy enough. I could do that.” And inevitably, my attempts at reproducing said items leave much to be desired. I must be missing the crafty gene. It takes a special something something to pull these things off. So part of my motivation for writing the story was to poke fun at myself a bit. But to answer your question, I have not yet made a real sock monkey. A real sock monkey is made from a pair of socks. It requires sewing. Me and sewing machines? Bahahahaha! No. I’d end up with a hoobajoob for sure.
I’m considering buying a small sewing machine and making a sock monkey to bring with me to GayRomLit in Atlanta this fall. You see, despite my lack of talent, I still long to be crafty.
- What would you like young readers to take away from your novels?
I hope to remind readers that people come in all shapes and sizes. I hope to help them view our differences with an open heart and open mind. Love should be celebrated, not hidden away. More than anything, I hope to reach those young readers whose confidence and self-esteem have been shaken by ugly prejudice, and I hope to help them realize that they are beautiful and worthy of love, just the way they are.
- You are the web master here at True Colorz. What has True Colorz meant to you?
My primary goal in helping to create True Colorz has always been to connect readers with inspirational stories about LGBTQ youth that offer hope, celebrate love, and stimulate imagination. Many LGBTQ youth feel lost and lonely. While reading stories about fictional characters may not be the same as having a real life shoulder to lean on, I hope it helps them realize that there are many people out there like them, and that there are many people out there who care.
Published by Harmony Ink Press
Fairy Tate. Twinklefingers. Lucy Liu. Will the taunting ever end? Lucas Tate suffers ridicule because of his appearance and sensitive nature. When he’s not teased, he’s ignored, and he doesn’t know which is worse. He feels unloved by everyone, but the one comfort in life is his music. What he wants more than anything is to find a friend.
Much to his dismay, both his mom and a schoolmate are determined to find him a boyfriend, despite the fact Lucas hasn’t come out to them. His mom chooses a football player who redefines the term “heartthrob,” while Trish pushes him toward the only openly gay boy at Providence High. But Lucas is harboring a crush on another boy, one who writes such romantic poetry to his girlfriend that hearing it melts Lucas into a puddle of goo. All three prospects seem so far out of his league. Lucas is sure he doesn’t stand a chance with any of them—until sharing his gift for music brings him the courage to let people into his heart.
Click here to read the first chapter.