Adding an "ex" to "ex-gay"

When I submitted the manuscript for my second novel, Thinking Straight, to my editor at Kensington Publishing, he read it and then asked me, “Are you sure parents would actually do this to their own kids? How much of this is fiction?”

Thinking Straight tells the story of a gay teen whose parents send him to a religious “ex-gay”* camp for the summer of his sixteenth year. It was inspired by the story of a real boy, Zack Stark, whose 2005 MySpace blog shone a light on what was happening and resulted in major protests. As soon as I read Zack’s story, I knew I had to write about it. And while the “ex-gay” camp I created for my novel was fictional, the answer I gave my editor was, “Yes. Lots of parents do this to their own kids. And only the names have been changed.”