Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Guest Post & Grand Giveaway: X-It by Jane George

Original Title: X-It
Author: Jane George
Publisher: Paper Grove Publishing
Release Date: March 28th 2012
Genre: Young-adult


In 1980 NYC, eighteen-year-old J.J. Buckingham is an uptight trendoid. Working as a mannequin painter and a counter girl, she moonlights as a creature of the nightclubs. J.J. falls for aloof, crazy-talented artist and bicycle messenger X-It. In order to win his love, she succumbs to the dark machinations of drug dealer Marko Voodoo. X-It will love her if she’s the queen of underground Manhattan, right? Her plan backfires with horrendous consequences. J.J. must scrap her way out of a maze of drugs, clubs, and danger before she realizes she’s worthy of a better life. And true love might just come in the form of a clean-cut geek in Buddy Holly glasses.


Author and illustrator Jane George lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts and has won awards for her art.

A dedicated writer for over a decade, she produces and publishes her YA fantasy and literary titles under her personal imprint, Paper Grove Publishing. Find out more at: www.Jane-George.com


- Guest Post by Jane George

My novel, X-It, takes place in New York City circa 1980-81, which doesn’t make it quite a historical novel, but we can at least call it a ‘vintage’ setting.

The Big Apple is as famous for how fast it changes as much as for Lady Liberty or Times Square. Screenwriter Nora Ephron referenced New York’s changeability in You’ve Got Mail, when children’s bookstore owner Kathleen Kelly writes to her secret email pal bemoaning the closing of her business: 

“In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it’s a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that’s the sort of thing I’m always saying. But the truth is...I’m heartbroken.”

The tragic events of 9/11, and more recently Hurricane Sandy, remind us that New York City is vulnerable to change from external forces as well as internal ones. This only serves to make the magic of any moment in The Big Apple more precious.

In X-It I made mention of more than one NYC characteristic from 1980 that no longer exists or has been fundamentally changed. One of the most profound is the condition and general ambience, shall we say, of the subway system. I returned to New York in 2009, not having been there since 1984. I felt safer on the New York subways than I do riding San Francisco municipal transit. But what the subways have gained in safety, cleanliness and air-conditioning they have lost in visual interest. The photography of John Conn (highlight his name, insert this link: http://johnconnphotography.com/collections/1980s-new-york-city-subway-prints  ) captured the visceral truth of New York’s subways in the Eighties. The main character in X-It, J.J. Buckingham, takes the F Train from 14th Street to her job in Williamsburg every weekday to paint mannequins. She’s a sensitive soul, and the subway and its environs take its effect.

Several scenes in X-It take place on the rotting remains of the Chelsea Piers. Today, the Hudson River waterfront has been remade into a series of parks and playground on jetties. It’s beautiful, and barely recognizable from its condition in 1980. I took this shot that juxtaposes the old and new piers when I was there in 2009. The old pier is even more deteriorated in the photo than it was when the story takes place. And I’m sure Hurricane Sandy did even more damage. The water level rose above the cement shoreline in lower Manhattan.

J.J. and X-It sit on the rotting pier—it’s their special place— in the evening and watch another long-gone river landmark, The Maxwell House Coffee neon sign of a dripping coffee cup that was mounted atop the Maxwell House building in Hoboken. Here is a photo from the Hoboken Historical Museum of what J.J. and X-It saw. The bright drops have a special poignancy for J.J.

Change does not always necessarily engender some kind of loss. Once in a while we humans can remake something old and decayed into something new but keep, or even enhance, its visual interest and its heart. For instance, see how New Yorkers turned the old Highline elevated track into a community garden, art space, and walkway. This is J.J.’s task in X-It as well, how can she reclaim herself and yet remain true to who she is?


Just follow the rules in the below Rafflecopter widget to enter this awesome giveaway.

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Jane, I love NYC! And I loved this guest post. Thanks for sharing this with us. Looking forward to reading your novel. Lenore Skomal

  2. Thanks, Lenore! New York has a magic all its own. And a big thanks to Books Are Magic for hosting me today!

  3. I've never belonged to a book club. It would be fun though I think.

  4. I do so remember that Maxwell House sign! I grew up in Jersey City, NJ...with a good view of Manhattan and Hoboken.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...