lauren paige kennedy
#TheChange is my debut novel, a commentary on the seismic social shift that’s occurred in the span of a single generation—disguised as a May-December romance. Only this time “December” is a Gen X woman and “May” is a Millennial male, flipping the old trope on its head as it crashes—and clashes—the two generations against one another in a tender love story.
Stevie McCarroll is a vibrant and very married print journalist in her forties who has begun to feel her age—and also some alienation from the digital devices and social networks that increasingly connect and divide us in our rapidly changing times. Stevie’s latest assignment is to interview Phinn Rigby, a rising, mid-20s heartthrob from London who inspires a manic Twitter following of rabid teens with his appearance in a new sci-fi cable TV series. Reminded of her own declining allure, she is initially suspicious of Phinn’s easy charm and radiant looks. But a spark is swiftly struck between these linked lovers. They are soon besotted and, in a world devoted to the instantaneous prying image and tweet, immediately become vulnerable to forces greater than themselves.
In a whirl of passion and heartbreak involving her steadfast husband and aghast teenage sons—who together are forced to watch this dalliance play out on a global stage, and who also must endure the fallout of a love scandal sealed not in ink but burnished for all time on the internet through gossipy posts and fake news—Stevie must decide whether the past can coexist with the future, and if the future is worth venturing into at all.
Written as a romance but intended as both an allegory and a cautionary tale, #TheChange is about all that seduces us right now: the addictive pull of technology, as well as the replacement of true interaction with artificial experiences, anonymous (and often mean-spirited) online commentary, even virtual sex. It presents our collective thirst for fame as a desire to be known and to connect—mirroring the drive behind social networks—as celebrity simultaneously isolates those in the spotlight, who are elevated, hunted, and separated from reality, genuine emotion, and their many followers. It concludes with the realization that an authentic lifespan—one with fixed stages and ages and, yes, even endings, some of them painful—is what makes us fully human.
Watch this space for news and updates on #TheChange.
Literary agent/representation: Barbara Braun Associates, Inc. http://www.barbarabraunagency.com/