Today, my coming-of-age romance novella Tomboy debuts at Ninestar Press. The story follows the friendship of two girls as they learn about life and love while growing up in the 1950s. Harriet, the narrator, loves spaceships, charm bracelets, and billowing skirts. Her friend Jackie spends afternoons playing football in her dungarees. Despite appearances, they have plenty in common. They both love technology and chafe at social restrictions. As they enter their teenage years, they also both realize they prefer the company of women.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be talking about the historical details that show up in Tomboy, going into more depth than it makes sense to do in a piece of fiction. If you’ve read the book, you’ll learn more about the social context of Tomboy, and if you haven’t read it, I hope these posts will pique your interest in the story.
Today, I’ll start off the series by simply sharing the Pinterest board where I’ve gathered a lot of my online research and continue to add interesting tidbits as I find them. Check it out to learn more about fashion, entertainment, food, the onset of the Cold War, and more!
In 1950s America, everyone is expected to come out of a cookie-cutter mold. But Harriet prefers the people who don’t, like her communist-sympathizer father and her best friend Jackie, a tomboy who bucks the school dress code of skirts and blouses in favor of T-shirts and blue jeans. Harriet realizes she’s also different when she starts to swoon over Rosemary Clooney instead of Rock Hudson—and finds Sputnik and sci-fi more fascinating than sock hops.
Before long, Harriet is secretly dating the most popular girl in the school. But she soon learns that real love needs a stronger foundation than frilly dresses and feminine wiles.
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