“Bully” by Emme Dun explores the issues of LGBT parenting in the US during the Bush Administration. Starting with the events of 9-11 in NYC, the date turns out to mark a very different sort of tragedy for protagonist Wendy when she meets Windy, and they strike up a relationship…This novel centering on lesbian motherhood, and how same-sex parents face rights issues when it comes to a custody battle, in this case a fatal and nightmarish scenario. Author Emme Dun explains more about her book and why she wrote it.
Tell us something about your book. The basics: what’s it about?
Bully is a legal thriller about justice in every sense of the word. Its themes are full acceptance, respect for and equality in our choices and decisions as human beings and parents regardless of our sexual orientation, gender, race, or other status.
What drove you to write this particular book?
As a lawyer and a lesbian, it was killing me watching innocent children and good parents being systematically torn down by the very judges charged with protecting them and destroyed by LGBTQ activist-advocates who should have been lifting them up. I was raised and taught to believe that as Americans, whatever our minority status, we are guaranteed certain freedoms from governmental interference in our lives and, especially, with regard to our private lives and families.
In writing Bully, my goal was to expose the hypocrisy of child custody court cases and how the LGBTQ movement went too far. I wanted to show that we have come full circle from the very dark “Bowers v. Hardwick” days, a bleak era I remember all-too-well, to a time, now, where the courts are back in our homes defining our families for us, simply because we are lesbians or gay people. I wanted to show that even though it appears we have come so far, we still have a long way to go.
I also tried to tell Bully in a way that was provocative and entertaining. In fact, that’s why I chose to name the lead characters “Wendy and Windy.” I suspected this could drive readers a little nutty; however, I thought it was worth it because that’s exactly what our courts are dealing with in this new paradigm of same-sex marriage. In one of the cases that inspired Bully, for example, the parties in the case had the same first name, so even though judges could have just referred to the parties by their last names, they, like some of Bully’s readers/reviewers, seemingly became confused and frustrated by the parties having the same first names.
I love a lot of different authors and their styles including, John Grisham, Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, James Patterson and more. For me, it’s all about the story, so whether the writing is beautifully stripped or heavily detailed, if the story grips me, I’m all in.
Is the book in any one particular genre? Is it a genre that’s familiar to you?
Bully is a cross over social legal thriller and “who-dun-it,” so it’s a bit unusual and difficult to categorize.
How did you come to self-publish? Did you try to get published traditionally? What self-publishing service did you use? Happy with the service? Would you self-publish again? Any words of advice for those looking to self-publish? Any big missteps/successes?
Bully is not the kind of book agents or publishing houses are clamoring to put out there because it’s not exactly a “feel-good read” and its message is against popular trend, so I knew I needed to self publish. My biggest regret is I wish Kwill Books had been around when I first published. Kwill serves a sweet spot in the market because, from my experience, Kwill offers more of a partnership with the author vs. a purely profit-driven experience like vanity publishers. Cate at Kwill gave me the kind of honest feedback I needed and really helped me with editing, a beautiful cover design, trailer and more.
What’s next on the horizon for you as an author?
A follow-up novel with Bully’s “Jenna” as the main protagonist.