by Emily Locker
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Pub Date 14 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 21 Feb 2024
In the quaint yet politically charged town of Edgartown, North Carolina, two worlds are about to collide. Meet Annabelle Morningstar, an impassioned, quirky high school activist raised by her news anchor and surgeon mothers, both champions of progressive ideals. Across town, there’s Gabe Delgado, the quintessential all-American boy, molded by his conservative, Cuban senator father. Edgartown is a town literally divided—the Liberal East and the Conservative North coexisting as neighbors but rarely as friends. But what happens when the two sides meet in the least likely of places: a local bookstore?
When employees at Annabelle’s favorite literary haven decide to unionize, she finds her path unexpectedly crossing with Gabe’s. And then they’re tossed together weekly as they get special training help for their beloved cross-country competitions. With their worlds thrown into disarray, the two high schoolers must navigate their complex feelings for each other while wrestling with their polarized upbringings. Can love bloom in the crossfire of political discord?
Running Mates is not just a heartwarming coming-of-age tale. It's a deep dive into the complexities of ideological divide, a vivid portrayal of modern youth activism, and a rallying cry for empathy. As Annabelle and Gabe discover the gray areas in a world seemingly split into black & white and red & blue, they learn that both politics and love require courage, compromise, and a touch of rebellion.
Engaging, timely, funny, and at times poignant, Running Mates serves as a mirror to our times, daring us to question, to feel, to laugh, and above all, to love despite our differences.
A Note From the Publisher
1. Timely Social Commentary: The novel addresses the current socio-political climate, where polarization is increasingly becoming a roadblock in personal relationships. Readers can gain insight into the complexities of dating and friendship in today's divided world, making the story deeply relevant.
2. Rich Character Development: With characters like Annabelle Morningstar and Gabe Delgado coming from unique yet distinctly different backgrounds, the story offers layered character arcs. Annabelle's progressive upbringing contrasts sharply with Gabe's conservative background, providing plenty of material for both conflict and growth.
3. LGBTQ+ Representation: Annabelle's mothers, a news anchor and a surgeon, not only add layers to her character but also contribute to LGBTQ+ representation in literature. This can resonate with readers who identify with the community or seek diverse family dynamics in storytelling.
4. Focus on Youth Activism: Young readers passionate about social justice will find a kindred spirit in Annabelle and her friends. The story promotes activism and advocacy, motivating young people to stand up for their beliefs.
5. A New Twist on Romance: The concept of a love story blossoming in a politically charged environment, especially where the main characters have contrasting ideologies, makes for an engaging and unique romantic plot.
6. A Balanced Viewpoint: By portraying both liberal and conservative perspectives through its characters, the story encourages empathy and understanding. It shows that despite differences, common ground can often be found, which is an important message in today's world.
7. Real-world Conflicts: The subplot involving the unionization of workers at Annabelle's favorite bookstore offers a real-world conflict that readers can relate to. It also serves as a catalyst for the characters to confront their ideologies, making the story not just entertaining but also thought-provoking.
8. Love & Friendship in Politicized Times: Given the state of the world and particularly the way politics is affecting interpersonal relationships, "Running Mates" offers a nuanced look at how love and friendship can cross ideological lines. Thus, readers and reviewers alike will find much to discuss and ponder… and enjoy.
About Author Emily Locker
Emily Locker spent most of fourth grade persuading her friends to reenact scenes from Sweet Valley High. She was raised in Washington, D.C., by two psychotherapists, who often caught her reading well past midnight and who inspired her early interest in the human psyche and relationship dynamics.
Emily moved to New York City after graduating from the University of Rochester to complete a Social Work graduate program at New York University.
Her first job was at The World Trade Center Program, where she provided individual and group psychotherapy to first responders.
She recently returned to Washington, D.C., where she lives with her husband and two young sons.
When Emily is not writing or chasing after her own "lively" boys, she works as a therapist in private practice.
"Running Mates" is her first novel.
“A sheer delight.” —JANE STARTZ, EMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER
“A sheer delight.” —JANE STARTZ, EMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER
The primary targets for this high school rom-com are girls aged 16-18, plus adults and college kids who read YA too now.
Book Discovery Channels
1. Social Media Platforms:
o TikTok: The BookTok community is massive and significantly drives book sales.
o Instagram: Bookstagrammers focus on visually appealing book content.
o Twitter: Hashtags and chats related to books generate buzz.
2. Word of Mouth:
o Recommendations from friends, classmates, and family are highly influential.
3. Online Book Communities:
o Platforms like Goodreads and Wattpad are popular for reviews and recommendations.
4. Educational Institutions:
o Schools, libraries, and reading lists can introduce teens to new books.
5. Physical Bookstores:
o In-store placement and staff recommendations are crucial for discovery.
6. Book Subscription Boxes:
o Boxes like OwlCrate and FairyLoot focus on YA and include thematic goodies, driving visibility and community engagement.
7. Book Blogs and Websites:
o Sites like Epic Reads and YA Books Central have a dedicated following and offer reviews, interviews, and even giveaways.
8. Traditional Media:
o TV, radio, and print media are less frequent but still viable channels for book discovery.
o Book festivals and author tours allow direct interactions between authors and readers.
10. Email Newsletters:
o Less common but still influential among certain demographics.
• Leverage BookTok influencers like @readwithcindy and @monica.kim for promotions and reviews.
• Partner with popular YA-focused book subscription boxes like OwlCrate and FairyLoot to feature the book.
• Collaborate with high-traffic book blogs like Epic Reads and YA Books Central for reviews and author interviews.
• Utilize Instagram and TikTok for visually engaging content, potentially involving popular Bookstagrammers and BookTokers for collaborative posts.