By: Lorelei Kenny
â€œPeople donâ€™t have control on who they love, whether itâ€™s a boy or a girl. Sometimes people fall in love with people, not gendersâ€ -A.M. Molloy.
On December 27 at 9:02pm 2016, UPEI student Alex Molloy typed the last words of her novel, South onto her computer, which she has been working on for over two years. While most university students spend their free time watching Netflix and hanging out with friends, Alex has used hers to check â€˜writing a novelâ€™ off her list of aspirations. Alex is finishing up the last year of her Spanish major, and as much as she loves the island and has enjoyed her time at UPEI, she says her heart has always been in Japan. Alex plans to move to Japan after she graduates to teach English, she says Â â€œJapan is my home, I belong there.â€ which probably explains her interest and decision to minor in Asian Studies. As her undergrad is wrapping up, so is her novel. South is currently with her editor in Cornwall for a third review. Once South is where Alex and her editor are happy with it, the next step will be to send it to publishers.
South is a Drama Romance novel for young adults, set in busy Toronto, Ontario. It is a story of self-doubt and self-discovery. Together the main characters AJ and Minami are faced with tragedy after tragedy. The novel tackles relevant issues like sexual assault, bullying, the stress of school, sexuality, divorce, suicide and mental illness. Alex says not to worry, â€œin the end there will be love.â€ Alex feels that there arenâ€™t enough LGBT novels out there, she hopes to change this. The issues she writes about are issues many people face and she hopes that by bringing them to the forefront, people will realize that they are not alone.
The main character AJ has always felt broken, so unbelievably broken, always unsure of who she is, moving away from home she has more space to breath, and to discover who she is, but, is still left confused. When AJ meets Minami another student that the college, she realizes that she is gay, terrified to tell Minami, she resists and tries to suppress her emotions but it gets harder and harder, and AJ decides toâ€¦. well youâ€™ll to pick up the book to see what happens. Alex really focused on creating raw relationship development. She says she is â€œtired of unrealistic relationshipsâ€, she feels that most authors these days tend to rush relationship development between characters, to the point that it is no longer authentic.
The writing process can be a painful one, but Alex says whenever she was at loss for words she would turn to music, she would close her laptop and turn on albums from â€œTwo Steps from Hellâ€ and other bands to get her creative juices flowing again. â€œHonestly, writerâ€™s block wasnâ€™t a huge problem. I would just â€˜binge writeâ€™, where I would just write for hours. This past August, actually, I wrote the majority of the book. It just all started coming together!â€.
The characters in her story have been with her for a long time, she says. Minami for instance, has been a character she has been thinking about for a long time â€œ canâ€™t even remember when she came around.â€ Alex says Minami is based loosely on herself. AJ, on the other hand was a character which came to her almost out of nowhere. When she was traveling in Korea, she remembers being on a train and seeing this stranger, a blonde, a woman standing lost in a sea of Koreans, and just thought, thatâ€™s her, thatâ€™s AJ. It is amazing how a stranger, or a song, or something someone says can just spark an idea in oneâ€™s mind.
Alexâ€™s advice to young authors is â€œwrite to finish, it will be hard, but if you persevere you will reach the end and you will feel such a sense of accomplishment. A kind of satisfactory feeling you have never felt. Get your ideas on paper, because you never know where they will lead you.”
For more information and to keep updated on Alexâ€™s progress go to http://www.ammolloy.com/about/ and stay tuned for an excerpt from her novel tomorrow!