Jay would like to remind you that the book is actually about him

I, personally, would like to thank everyone for the absolutely overwhelming response to my Marcy Shawl pattern. I went about it thinking it would be a fun little diversion that maybe ten people saw, and yet … holy cow. Thank you so much!

Jay, on the other hand …

Things I can tell you about Jay: he’s a high school choir director during the school year and the Fresh Coast Killer during the summer. And he does have a hobby, but I’m sitting on that for now. I don’t know if it’s a spoiler spoiler, but … it’s not on the back cover blurb or in the first pages, so my lips are zipped.

It’s also not a hobby that I share with my character, like knitting. It’s actually one of my husband’s hobbies.

This quote, however, is from the first pages. It’s one of the first things Jay says to Marcy: “You’re where this all ends.”

At that point she doesn’t know he’s a serial killer. She just knows she’s alone on this island with Jay, and he’s looming over her and saying ominous things like “You’re where this all ends.”

After she woke up from a drugged sleep to find herself shackled, that is. Which was pretty darn ominous by itself. She’s a young woman stuck alone on an island with a strange man who clearly doesn’t go out of his way to make himself less creepy.

Sorry, Jay. I’m talking about Marcy again.

Jay mostly talks about himself – that’s the whole point of his plan – but every so often he has to acknowledge that he’s talking to a person and not a tape recorded. He wants Marcy to write his autobiography (and make it a bestseller) and every so often he has to stop the monologue about his life and recognize the current situation. Jay may have chosen her for the position, but Marcy doesn’t remember auditioning, so sometimes he has to chide her along.

I’m not saying this works. Put a serial killer across from a televangelist’s daughter telling her “We’re the same, and you know it,” and that’s probably not the most inspirational thing Marcy’s ever heard. Most people probably wouldn’t want to be told that a serial killer sees some kind of kinship between them. (The Mindhunter guys might be an exception here.)

Jay chose Marcy because he thinks Marcy can truly understand the real him (NBC Hannibal vibes, anyone?) and then write about him in a way that can make the rest of the world actually understand him.

Which might be easier for Marcy if he didn’t keep mocking her and throwing verbal barbs her way … and especially if the aim on those barbs was just a little off.

Take the title of the book: Not Your Mary Sue. Jay knows exactly what a Mary Sue is: the idealized fictional character of female fandom fame. And it’s Marcy’s public, in-front-of-the-camera name. Her father, the famous televangelist, calls her “Mary Sue” because “Mary-Rose Suellen” is just a bit too long. Only a handful of people call her “Marcy,” even if that’s how she thinks of herself.

Even Jay doesn’t know she’s really Marcy to start off. He calls her “Mary Sue” and mocks her for it, especially her social media handle of @NotYourMarySue. Jay likes to play armchair psychiatrist and he picks apart why, exactly, she chose that name, denying herself and her identity.

And I can’t say he really cares about how Marcy feels about these throwaway comments that don’t seem really throwaway to her.

Not Your Mary Sue comes out June 7 from Aesthetic Press. Preorder your copy here:

Amazon – Kobo – Google Play

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