After a long period of pouring her soul into books only to be turned away by publishers, Whyalla born and bred author Sophie Gonzales will have her LGBT mystery novel The Law of Inertia published next week.
The book, pitched as an LGBT version of the hit novel Gone Girl, openly discusses depression, anxiety and suicide.
It tells the story of James, a 16-year-old boy who embarks on an investigation after his boyfriend, Ash, commits suicide.
When James realises that Ash’s brother is hiding something, he uncovers into a tangle of lies and false alibis which raise questions about his death.
Ms Gonzales, who is also a psychologist, feels that its important to discuss mental health issues in young adult fiction.
“It’s affecting so many people, suicide rates are on the rise,” she said.
“The way to address that is to spread information that will help dismantle the stigma of depression and anxiety.”
Law of Inertia is Ms Gonzales’ fourth book. The third, Only Mostly Devastated, will be published sometime next year. It’s a romantic comedy about coming out, and is inspired by films such as Grease.
With an LGBT theme to both of her upcoming releases, Ms Gonzales feels that publishers are understanding the need for more diverse stories to be told in young adult novels.
“Not every teenager is straight and white,” she said.
“Everyone deserves to see themselves is the role of the main character that goes on adventures and defeats the bad guy.”
Having grown up in Whyalla it’s easy to recognise the influence Ms Gonzales’ time growing up has had on her stories.
“Law of Inertia is set in a small town, and I know how to write a small town because I grew up in Whyalla,” she said.
“I understand the different dynamics the country has compared to the city, like the sense of closeness you feel and how the fact that everyone knows everyone can affect your reputation.”
Ms Gonzales is looking forward to receiving feedback on The Law of Inertia once it’s published next week.
“My friends and family have been receiving their copies, and they’ve been reading it and giving me feedback which is really exciting,” she said.
“Reviews are now popping up online. It’s great to see people chatting to their friends over social media about what they thought about the book.”
As for future books, Ms Gonzales plans to stay in the LGBT rom-com space and continue to grow her audience.
The Law of Inertia will be published on October 16 by Amberjack Publishing.