Camryn Garrett, an 18-year-old New Yorker never saw the experiences of a teen living with HIV reflected in literature.
So she wrote the book herself.
On Friday morning, Camryn announced via Twitter that her debut novel, Full Disclosure, will be published by Random House in September 2019.
According to Camryn's website, the book will offer a peek into the life of Simone Garcia-Hampton, a fictional black teen raised by queer parents who's coming into her own (and coping with a serious crush) while living with HIV. The novel addresses themes all teenagers can relate to, from love to fear to confidence to sexuality, and even touches on the FUN parts of growing up, too — something most books whose characters have HIV never address.
"It was really important to me that a marginalized teen like Simone got to have a fun story where she didn't suffer the entire time," Camryn told Teen Vogue. "I feel like so many stories about marginalized people focus on all of the negative aspects, like racism and homophobia and ableism."
"These things should definitely be included in stories, but they are just one facet of many that make up people's lives," she added."
Camryn was inspired to write the book because she, herself, often wondered how to approach love and sexuality. She also recognized that most books about living with HIV are from the '80s and '90s, and they paint a rather "bleak picture of the future," she said; things are different now.
Amazingly, Full Disclosure will be Camryn's third book — though it's her first published piece. She tells Teen Vogue that she began writing it for National Novel Writing Month in November 2016, found an agent, then completed the manuscript around December 2017. Publisher Knopf BFYR, an imprint of Random House, offered her a deal within 24 hours. No big deal.
*This article has been amended for purposes of factual accuracy.