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Friday, April 4, 2014

{Blitz} THE ONLY BOY by Jordan Locke -- with interview, excerpt, and giveaway!





The Only Boy by Jordan Locke
Published: December 2013

Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.

Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.

Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.

Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.


Jordan Locke lives in Connecticut with his wife, two lively daughters and a well-behaved whippet. A graphic designer by trade, his creativity spilled over into the literary world. After years of writing, reading and learning the craft, his fifth novel, The Only Boy, brought him offers of representation from two well-known agents. Now, after the dog is fed and the kids are in bed, you will find him tapping away at the keyboard.




Were you always good at English?
Honestly, English was not my best subject in school. When I was younger, I never, ever thought I would someday be writing novels.

When did you decide to become a writer?I had an idea for a scene for a book or movie, wrote a few pages and stuck it in a drawer. Four years later, while listening to a radio show about books, the ideas started coming, and I HAD to write them down. In a couple of weeks, I wrote the entire plot.

Do you write full-time or part-time?I write at night and on the weekends. Most of us writers have day jobs.
Do you work to an outline or plot, or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?I have a very rough idea of a plot and characters and just start writing.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?About a year—a few months for a first draft, and then six to nine months of editing.

Tell us about the cover and how it came about.I’m a graphic designer in my day job, so I designed the cover myself. The idea, a graphic depiction of rows of females and only one male, came to me while I was writing the book. When I designed the cover, I added the teenage boy holding the page to give it a human touch.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?Definitely. It’s a potential reader’s first impression. Of course, it’s the writing that’s going to convince them whether or not to buy the book.
How are you publishing this book and why?My agent was unable to sell The Only Boy to major publishers (many of them had overfilled their quotas for dystopian novels), so I decided to publish it myself.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing versus being traditionally published?Advantages: You have more control when you self-publish, and you can get your book out really quickly. Disadvantages: You have to do everything yourself (design, edit, market, etc.), and your chance of success is much, much lower.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?Persistence is key. Keep reading, keep writing and keep learning the craft.


I stand on the roof, scanning the city. Many of the buildings are crumbling, from centuries of decay. Below me, trash from the hospital circles the compound, piled into a wall. A fuel tanker sits on one side of our water tower, a broken-down car on the other. In the distance lies the forest. I would love to wander through the trees, to search for whatever wildlife still lives, to see if I can find just one flower.

It isn’t the rules that stop me. It’s the Earthers—the women who live in the woods. I saw two of them, years ago, when I snuck out one day and wandered into the forest. A child’s voice echoed in the distance. I hid behind a bush and peered through the leaves. A woman and her daughter approached, wearing deerskin parkas, their skin darkened by the sun. I wondered, without men and without a genetics lab, how was the daughter created?

The girl heaved a spear at a tree, and it fell short of the trunk.

“You need to follow through,” the woman said. “And turn your hips.” She made a twisting motion. “Like this.”

“Why can’t we just eat vegetables?”

“Snow will come soon.” The woman picked up the spear. “The crops won’t last through winter.”

“I’m not gonna kill the animals,” the girl said.

“When you’re hungry enough, you will.” The woman turned my way, and I ducked. Their footsteps grew closer, their voices louder. They were within feet of the bush. I crouched. Leaves crunched under my knees. When the footsteps stopped, I ran. Before I got more than a few yards, my foot caught on a stick, and I fell. By the time I righted myself, the woman hovered over me, holding the tip of the spear to my chest.

The girl ran to the woman’s side. “Don’t kill her!”\

“Get back, Wren!” She moved the spear to my face, inches from my nose, and held a frightening scowl.

The girl pulled on her mother’s skirt. “You’re scaring her.”


The woman’s eyes never left me as she scooped up the girl. With the spear pointed at me, she backed away. Even though my hands were shaking and I could barely stand, I wanted to follow them into the forest. 


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