Author Interview: The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride by Hayli Thomson
On this final day of Pride, we have an interview with Hayli Thomson, author of The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride, to celebrate! Check out a little about MC Taylor, how Hayli researched the SNL environment, and what readers can expect to take with them after they read The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride, out July 19!
The Comedienne's Guide to Prideby Hayli Thomson
Published by: Page Street Kids
on July 19, 2022
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Young Adult
Wicked funny and hella gay, it's time for Taylor Parker to come out about a lot of things.
Taylor Parker has always been a funny girl--but when she is accepted as a finalist for a diverse writers' internship at Saturday Night Live, it turns her life upside down. If she wants a shot at winning in a little more than a month, Taylor will have to come out about both of her secrets: She wants to be a comedian . . . and she's a lesbian.
With a mom who gave up a career in comedy to raise her, and a comedian dad who left for a younger woman, working in comedy is a sore subject in Taylor's house. To keep her secret under wraps, she sneaks out to do improv and hides her sketches under the bed, and to distract from her anxiety about the competition, Taylor frequents Salem's Museum of Witchcraft to pine for Abigail Williams from the back row.
It's at the Museum of Witchcraft where Taylor falls deeper in love with the girl who plays Abigail Williams--Charlotte Grey, an out and proud lesbian at Nathaniel Hawthorne High. Charlotte radiates so much confidence in her acting and queerness that Taylor can't resist her. So when Charlotte reaches out for help on a school project, Taylor readily agrees. As they spend more time together, Taylor sees what living her truth and pursuing her dreams could bring her, but Charlotte can't understand why someone as funny as Taylor wouldn't go all out to make the most of her opportunities. To live up to her own comedy dreams and become the person she wants to be, Taylor will have to find the confidence to tell everyone exactly who she is and what she wants.
Interview with Hayli Thomson
Tell us about Taylor. What would she bring with her to a party?
This is such a juicy question. I’d say her sketch book to take notes of things she overhears, but I actually think she’d take a spare hair elastic. There’s a scene that takes place at after-school Theatre rehearsals where Taylor does staircase braids and waterfall braids for a couple of girls, and her crush, Charlotte. It’s her party trick. Whether or not Taylor knows it, she likes impressing girls, taking care of them and being close to them.
What was research like in crafting Taylor’s world?
‘Research’ involved a whole lot of bingeing Lucille Ball clips, and Gilda Radner clips, and women in comedy clips, so research was a terrible, very painful ordeal, as you can imagine. To come up with a lot of the snarky material Taylor writes about her town, I did have to look deeper into the history of the witch trials in Salem. But most of my research involved scouring maps of Salem so that I could take Taylor all over the place. At this point, I think I could draw a map of Salem with my eyes closed!
What do you hope people take with them after reading The Comedienne’s Guide to Pride?
Confidence. I’d like people to think about the good that can come from taking risks.
Pride Month Giveaway
All month, we are hosting a giveaway on Instagram with 4 winners! Win a stack of 4 queer books by entering on the post below!