We’re so pleased to welcome author Alex Whitehall today, on the tour for their new novella, Second Skin. Enjoy Alex’s guest post and then be sure to check out the giveaway details below to enter for the chance to win a $25 Riptide Publishing store credit.
Hello, everybody! I’m Alex Whitehall, and I’m here today touring for my New Adult story, Second Skin, which is about Jay and Roswell, who are on a journey of love, acceptance, and self-discovery.
Anyone who’s familiar with fairy tales know that names have power (case in point: Rumplestiltskin). While in the real world the power of names may not be quite as tangible as it is in the fairy-tale realm, names certainly do have power.
In Second Skin, names play a special role for Roswell and Jay. For Jay, his name signifies how he wants to be presented to the world. To a degree, this applies to everyone, but not everyone takes the opportunity to pick their own name. Probably because changing it is a lot of work, people get used to their name as it is (after all, they’ve had it their whole life), and there’s a lot of pressure tied to picking a name!
Names have the power of first impressions: when you meet someone, you’re likely to make assumptions about that person based on their name, whether you’re aware of it or not. The name Stacy always makes me think of cheerleaders. Michael means you’re a trouble maker. Obviously not every Stacy and every Michael fits this, but from my experience with previous people with these names, I’ve begun to make assumptions about this person based on a name (most likely given by their parent, over which they had no control).
Beyond a person’s personal associations with a name, other impressions can be made with a name. Joey and Bobby sound like the names of kids, while Aloysius is definitely a grown man (despite the fact these people will likely pass through all stages of the aging process). In the same way it’s assumed David is a man and Ruth is a woman. See, names give other people the power to make a lot of assumptions about a person.
Names also give the power of summoning (“Get over here, David!”), the power of threatening (“Michael David Smith, you are in so much trouble!”), the power of respect (“Hello, Mr. Smith”), the power of removed respect (“Hello, lil miss” vs “Hello, Susan”), a show of community (through nicknames/pet names), and probably a boatload of other things I’ve forgotten.
This word we apply to ourselves has so much power, and yet most people barely give it any thought day-to-day.
What does your name say about you? What does my name say about me? What does Jay’s name say about him?
About Second Skin: When Jay heads to the university’s learning center for help with his math class, he doesn’t expect his tutor to be tall, dark, and handsome. But Roswell is all that and more, and their instant connection over cult movies, books, and TV shows quickly evolves into dating.
That’s when things get tricky.
Roswell might claim he doesn’t have issues with Jay being trans, but when he’s constantly insisting they “take it slow,” Jay’s not so sure. He’s been hurt before, and he’s not going to let it happen again.
But then Roswell reveals that he, too, has a few secrets under his skin.
About Alex Whitehall: If there are two types of people in the world, Alex Whitehall probably isn’t one of them, despite being a person. Their favorite pastimes include reading, horseback riding, sleeping, watching geek-tastic television, knitting, eating, and running. And wasting time on the internet. And spending glorious evenings laughing with friends.
While Alex prefers sleeping over doing anything else (except maybe eating), sometimes they emerge from the cave to be social and to hunt for food at the local market. They can be found blogging, reading, and tending after their aloe plants.
To celebrate the release of Second Skin, Alex is giving away $25 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!