Paxton Smith – “The Hot Girl” is No Longer a Myth
Six years ago I wrote a book. Make that several. They chronicled the life of a young, angry, would-be “Feminist”, “Women’s Rights Advocate”, “Libber” named Deanna Collings. Then #metoo hit and it felt opportunistic to let go of a what amounted to a coming of age fairy tale with a cast of female characters from sledge hammer moms to the interns working for a pair of rich, powerful lesbian fairy godmothers. And the evolution of an eventual boyfriend.
A number of people told me no such girl existed. Or that she wouldn’t behave the way she did, or swear like her brother or be such a romantic or drive like Danica Patrick or know how to hotwire her brother’s old motorcycle. Or be a cool and klutzy ex-cheerleader, pretty and smart, risky in some ways and not in others. I quit listening because 95% of Deanna Collings is a patchwork quilt of the same people who told me she wasn’t all that.
However one beta reader, a middle school teacher, mentioned seeing a Deanna type pass through every couple of years and hoped they made it without being waylaid by pitfalls from bad boyfriends to Stepford Syndrome, things Deanna and other female characters encounter along the way. The teacher even sent me a school picture of what she thought Deanna looked like. Which was interesting because over several books Deanna is never described in great detail. On purpose. I set her up to belong to the readers from page one.
MEET PAXTON SMITH – The other day a local girl pulled a Deanna Collings at her valedictorian address. She removed a subversive substitute speech out of her commencement gown to supplant the one she’d had approved. Kick ass, Ms. Smith.
Maybe I should dust off the first two THG’s, rethink the title, sharpen my editor’s crayon. Because the world needs more Paxtons and Deannas.