When it came time to write my next manuscript after A Fantastic Mess of Everything in October of 2016, I opted the work on a superhero fantasy/drama that I had outlined three years prior. I named the draft All the Stars on Fire, and hired a cover artist and professional editor during the writing process as motivation to complete the project.
However, after struggling with finding the same groove with Stars on Fire as I had found early on for Fantastic Mess, and after receiving some wonderful notes from Constance, my editor, I danced with the idea of setting the manuscript aside to write something else. This scared me and I worried that I was giving up too soon, but I was also struggling and needed time away from the manuscript to reflect on the story I wanted the world to read.
Then another idea had captured my attention. It would be a comedy about a sixteen-year-old girl determined to reclaim her virginity after news spreads that she and her boyfriend had sex for the first time over summer break.
I had been questioning my own sexual identity as a woman. I had been pondering over questions like: When is it okay to sleep with someone? Am I suppressing my desires by limiting the amount of people I engage with intimately? Will a man “run away” from me if I sleep with him too soon? Would I be viewed differently if I engaged in intercourse with more people, more casually?
Then I wondered, why do I even have to ask these questions? My sexuality is my business and I don’t need to discuss it with anyone, nor do I need to defend my choices and beliefs; they are my own.
That is how Going All the Way was conceived (pun intended); to shed light on the pressures that women face when it comes to something so private and so our choice. My book is not intended to persuade young girls to have sex early, but to assure them that if they are with someone with whom they feel comfortable and are being safe, it is totally fine to do so. You are not a slut for having sex one time if it felt right. You aren’t even a slut if you want to do it all the time with the same person. There isn’t even such thing as sluts. It’s a really lame word meant to shame others, particularly women. With Going All the Way, I hope to end the slut stigma for young girls early on, so that shame and sex are not correlated with one another when it comes to their sexuality.