I cannot say enough good things about Marie Sexton’s Trailer Trash–I loved this book, it’s as simple as that. Nate and Cody’s story was a well written, emotional, beautiful love story. I didn’t want it to end; I know it will stick with me for a very long time. ~ Java Girl, Guilty Pleasures
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Ebooks, winner’s choice. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at
midnight, Eastern time, on March 26, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries.
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Hello, everybody! I’m Marie Sexton, and I’m here today to talk about my New Adult
novel, Trailer Trash. Trailer Trash is an ‘opposites attract’ story of two high school
seniors in small-town Wyoming in the mid-1980s.
One of the trickiest things about Trailer Trash was getting the exact year just right. I
actually spent the first eleven years of my life in small-town Wyoming. Granted, my town
wasn’t anywhere near as small or isolated as Warren (the fictional setting of Trailer
Trash). We were only an hour from Salt Lake City, which gave us access to certain “big
city” luxuries like shopping malls and concerts. But it still felt very small. I definitely
remember when my parents finally subscribed to cable TV (although we still didn’t have
MTV), how my world view exploded in a big way. My cousin and I stayed up late to
watch Blue Lagoon on HBO, and I’m pretty sure nothing was ever the same after that!
When my family moved to Colorado in 1984, I was eleven years old, and I was still very
much the “hick from the sticks” to my classmates. Granted, the town we moved to was
only 50,000 people at the time, but it was home to a major university, and less than an
hour from both Boulder and Denver. It was hip, and it seemed to me that everybody
knew way more about the world than I did. I had no concept of brand names clothing, or
cliques, or that there were so many different types of music. I didn’t even know who
Madonna was, much to the amusement of some of my new friends. I was, in a word,
So, when I started Trailer Trash, I wanted to capture that feeling. I wanted to write about
living in a small town, in an isolated region, before things like cable, MTV, and the
Internet came along to broaden the world of the average teenager. I wanted to capture
that feeling of being trapped, with no hope of escape.
Technically, that would have put the story somewhere in the early 80s. On the other
hand, I wanted to be on the right end of the AIDS crisis. I remember quite clearly wanting
to go swimming once as a kid in the early 80s and being told no by my babysitter,
because she thought we could catch AIDS from the swimming pool. I didn’t want that for
Cody and Nate. I wanted them to at least be in a time period where facts were known,
even if they were awfully hard to come by in such a small, isolated town.
In the end, I opted for 1986/1987, which was tons of fun, because it gave me all kinds of
opportunities to drop 1980s pop culture references from my own teenage years into the
story. So, whether you loved the 80s, hated them, or are too young to remember them, I
hope you’ll check out Trailer Trash.
About Trailer Trash
It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes
sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his
hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population
2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool,
no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his
graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and
drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.
Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely
lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids
say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact,
he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.
Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the
growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no
place for two young men to fall in love.
Review copy provided for an honest review
I graduated high school in a small town, in the early 80s, and this book really took me back to that place and time. Ms. Sexton captured the social hierarchy and cliques of a small town in the 1980s, as well as the prevailing attitudes of the time. It’s easy for us to forget how hard and dangerous life was (and still is for many in the GLBT community) for those who were perceived as different. The available information about and advances in the treatment of AIDS/HIV has alleviated much of the initial fear and panic, but those of us who came of age in the 80s remember those days. She perfectly conveys a full range of emotions– despair, pain, loneliness, fear, confusion, shame, anger, love, and hope. She tells a great story, full of emotion, without being overly sentimental or too sweet. She doesn’t preach– she simply tells a beautiful story that pulls you into the thoughts, hopes, dreams, and fears of these two young men. I couldn’t help but become emotionally attached to both Nate and Cod; they could have been friends of mine. I just wanted to hug them both and tell them it gets better.
I enjoyed immensely going inside the heads of both Cody and Nate, two young men from very different backgrounds. Both were dealing with more than their share of challenges and issues. Cody’s compassion, loyalty, and work ethic, coupled with his loneliness and rather dire family situation made him a very sympathetic character. It would have been easy for his character to become a stereotype or caricature of the poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks, but he never felt anything other than authentic and genuine to me. Nate’s family, financial, and social situation were very different from Cody’s, but his struggles to adjust to a new life in a new town, and his self-discovery were very believable. I was completely enthralled by their story, and although I couldn’t wait to see how and where they would end up, I truly didn’t want this book to end.
About Marie Sexton
Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular
young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and
enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along.
Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying
what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.
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