Queens of Geek
Author: Jen Wilde
Genre: YA Contemporary/LGBTQ+
Publication date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Three friends. Two love stories. One convention.
Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
Queens of Geek, an empowering young adult novel by Jen Wilde, is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.
Everything is out of place. I’m imploding, warping like steel under a searing flame. Tightening. Shrinking. Collapsing in on myself. Choking on tears and words I want to say but can’t.
Most people think of anxiety as panic attacks. That’s not entirely accurate.
I haven’t had a panic attack in years. I started to recognize the signs and learned what I needed to do to stop it spiraling. I learned how to internalize it to avoid public embarrassment. Anxiety isn’t an attack that explodes out of me; it’s not a volcano that lies dormant until it’s triggered by an earth-shattering event. It’s a constant companion. Like a blow fly that gets into the house in the middle of summer, flying around and around. You can hear it buzzing, but you can’t see it, can’t capture it, can’t let it out. My anxiety is invisible to others, but often it’s the focal point of my mind. Everything that happens on a day-to-day basis is filtered through a lens colored by anxiety. That nervousness that makes your palms sweat and your heart race before you get up and make a speech in front of an audience?
That’s what I feel in a normal conversation at a dinner table.
Or just thinking about having a conversation at a dinner table.
The fear that other people feel on rare occasions, reserved only for when they jump out of a plane or hear a strange noise in the middle of the night—that’s my normal.
That’s what I feel when the phone rings.
When someone knocks on my door.
When I go outside.
When I’m alone.
When I’m in line at a store.
Everything feels like I’m on a stage, spotlight on me, all eyes on me, watching, judging. Like I’m one second away from total disaster. It’s invisible, it’s irrational, it’s never-ending. I could be standing there, smiling and chatting like everything is totally fine, while secretly wanting to scream and cry and run away. No one would ever know. In my mind, no one can hear me scream. I hide it because I know it’s not understood or acceptable—because I’m not understood or acceptable.
So here I am, hiding it. Standing in a toilet stall, trying to remember how to breathe.
I find my phone and headphones in my pocket and plug them in, turning up the Queen Firestone soundtrack and closing my eyes.
Breathe in. One . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . five. Breathe out.
I close the lid on the toilet and sit down, rubbing my palms over my gray denim-clad thighs as I focus on the music.
Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (AS THEY RISE), witches (ECHO OF THE WITCH) and fangirls (QUEENS OF GEEK). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller.
When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay.
Jen lives in a sunny beachside town in Australia with her husband and their cheeky pug, aptly named Heisenberg.