First-time author to use first book to raise funds for teens in need

Cover by Katie Wertz

When I first dreamed up the idea behind, I was determined that one of the key things we would always do is to not only highlight what’s neat and geeky out there in the world but also to highlight those other creative people who are choosing to get up off of their butts and make their dreams a reality. That’s why I was extremely excited when a fanfic author named Jennifer Matarese whose work I’ve followed for years finally self-published her first original fiction novel to the Kindle, with other eBook formats to come.

Titled Heroine Addiction, it’s the story of Vera Noble, a retired bisexual superheroine who is just trying to live a quiet life in a small town. Unfortunately, the world of capes and crusaders catches up with her when her father Everett, a notable hero in the big city, is reported missing by his arch-nemesis and secret male lover and Vera is the only one who is able to find him.

To celebrate the release of her first book, Matarese has decided that instead of setting aside some cash to buy ads on high profile blogs or to create print copies to sign and place in her local bookstore as promotion, she will be donating either $100 or 50% of the net proceeds of all of the sales of the first edition her book (whichever is larger) to a charity that works with GLBTQ teens.

“Heroine Addiction is a book about a strong bisexual woman who walks away from her previous life and her family drama,” she wrote by email. “While I was considering which charity to donate to, I thought about the difference between Vera and her father, Everett, who finally leaves his wife for his own worst (male) enemy. Vera coming out as bisexual did not end in tears and recriminations. For all their faults, her parents would never turn her away for that. Everett, on the other hand, would not have been so lucky. Regardless of his station in life, Everett would have ended up alone and out on the street if he’d come out of the closet to his parents as a teenager. His father’s pride in and loyalty to his family only went so far.”

She chose the Hetrick-Martin Institute, an organization whose mission is to help GLBTQ teens and young adults who need a safe and supportive environment by providing direct services and referrals that will help guide them through a most difficult period in their lives. The Hetrick-Martin Institute is also home to the Harvey Milk High School, a fully accredited public high school which aims to provide a quality education to all teens in an environment that is free of the bullying and intolerance one might find in other schools.

“It’s appalling that there is a need for such a school in this country,” continued Matarese, “that there is a need for a safe place for GLBTQ teens who’ve been kicked out of their homes, bullied out of their schools, or shouldered out of their families specifically for being themselves. That said, the organization does a lot of good for GLBTQ teens stuck in an awful situation, and I can’t wait to make my first donation.”

The best news of all is that if Matarese manages to gain a significant amount of sales before June 30, the Institute will be able to include those donations into a current initiative they’re running where every donation made in the month of June will be matched by the Board of Directors, to a maximum of $100,000.

Recently, there has been an issue about there not being enough female creators who work in genre fiction, specifically with superheroes. I am glad to say that due to the quality of her work, Jennifer Matarese deserves have her name added to the list of those who do.

And if by buying her book means you get to indirectly help save a troubled teen’s life, then that’s something truly heroic, isn’t it?

Posted on June 24, 2011 at 12:00 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
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