INTERVIEW: Mariah MacCarthy on Writing Messy Complex Characters


Writer and creatrix Mariah MacCarthy’s debut YA novel Squad (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) tackles the growing pains of high school with grace, femininity, and just a splash of queer romance.

Squad’s protagonist, Jenna, is self-involved turned scrappy when she loses the trust of her best friend and abruptly quits cheer squad. Without cheerleading—the driving force of her life and relationships—Jenna struggles to define herself. Along the way, she dates James, a trans boy and senior. Their relationship is lovesick and lusty as the pair negotiate boundaries, communicate consent, and get in over their heads. But the core of Squad isn’t James or any other boy, but rather Jenna’s relationship to her transforming self. Squad is a refreshing and well-deserved departure from the typical teen novel because nothing is tidy. Jenna’s mess is her own, and as she cleans it up, you root for her with all your heart.

I spoke with Mariah about writing Squad, being a gender cyborg, and why teenage girls deserve better.

Read the interview at Lambda

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about twiin flame art collective

twiin flame art collective

twiin flame art collective is a collaboration between queer southern-based artists. we are poets, photographers, visual artists, printmakers, and zinesters.


check out our etsy page here with zines and prints!

for zines and a full selection of prints, visit Instagram @roman.pace


Find Us!

Miami Zine Fair 2019

Paper Jam Book Fair 2018

Metro LGBTQ Womxn’s Art Exhibit







all art reflects the collective’s values as leftist and loving.

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want to connect? we love to chat with other queer artist folx!

send us a message on the Contact page