Meet FREJA NICOLE WOOLF, a UK-based writer and recent graduate of the London College of Fashion, who has just published her debut novel! Never Trust a Gemini is a heart-warming love story that is hitting shelves this May. Writer Rachel Denham-White caught up with Freja to talk about it.
Never Trust a Gemini follows Cat Phillips, a young high school student who is busy navigating the complexities of crushes, relationships, and astrology. Cat is struggling to move on from her unrequited feelings for her best friend Alison. She was determined to run headfirst into love this school year. But first she has to scramble through a fake-dating situation, a housefire and an unexpected Christmas romance to find her happy ending. And there’s no way she can admit to herself that she’s crushing on a Gemini!
Never Trust a Gemini is the LGBTQ+ love story that Freja always looked for as a teenager, but never had. So she decided to write her own.
First things first, it was important to Freja that she create a typical, bubbly teenage girl. As a 26-year-old emerging author, she candidly admits that she’s too old to be TRULY cool in the eyes of a Gen-Z reader.
‘Sure, I can try – just today I wore enormous sunglasses!’ she admits.
It can be hard to keep the slang contemporary when you’re no longer living in that world. Especially with the microtrends of TikTok and Instagram sweeping the globe. So Freja compromised. Cat and her friends have their own in-jokes and ways of speaking. Entirely unique to them. Which (hopefully) keep them sounding young and authentic.
But where does astrology come into all of this? Freja, a self-proclaimed Pisces stereotype, admits that she was a little suspicious of star signs as a teenager. But the practise of astrology has really opened her mind since.
‘We live on a planet where the moon is a powerful force, controlling the tide and sea. Is it really so strange to think that the galaxy we come from could impact us internally? My chart reflects me, whether it’s “true” or not!’
She found that plotting her character’s full star charts helped her to get inside their heads, and opened up new possibilities about the choices they make throughout the story. After a little while, the characters just wrote themselves.
Cat is a Libra, and dedicated to her ‘Bible to the Stars’ for guidance. She relies on the stars way too much So Freja describes how her personal story is about her needing to come back down to Earth. ‘She gets herself in a tangle trying to fulfill each part of her horoscope and make the “best” decisions,’ Freja describes. ‘But really, she needs to take charge of her life a little more, and not simply relinquish all responsibility to some external force!’
Never Trust a Gemini is a lot of things, YA and middle-grade story, a high-school slice of life. But most of all, a romantic comedy. Freja decided she needed to write a rom-com because of how relatable they are. After all, ‘We are all embarrassed and embarrassing in love!’
Freja’s book is absolutely going to bring better representation for LGBTQ+ people. Especially for teens, as the sapphic shenanigans lead themselves perfectly to the rom-com format. It was important to her that the story was a realistic look into the lives of queer people.
‘Life as an LGBTQ+ person doesn’t mean your life will be a tragedy’ Freja firmly maintains. ‘Things will be embarrassing and funny, no matter who you are, and the beautiful awkwardness of first love is absolutely a universal experience, regardless of who you’re crushing on.’
Freja wanted a story where the queer characters aren’t just the comedic gay best friend or the good-looking ‘disappointment’ the hero/heroine almost falls for. ‘Don’t get me wrong, I love Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, but imagine if it were two Hugh Grants … That would be one VERY chaotic film.’
Freja has been writing since primary school, and she is so excited about the release of her very first novel. ‘Quite honestly, I want people to read it for enjoyment’ she gushes. ‘I want them to laugh and soak up the good vibes and walk away feeling like they’ve had a positive experience. And if it can help normalise being LGBTQ+ along the way, just a little bit more, that would be amazing!’
So if you’re a fan of the Hearstopper series or We Are Totally Normal and you’re looking for the Sapphic version, then you should definitely be excited about Never Trust a Gemini. In the words of the author herself, you can look forward to ‘Endearingly chaotic shenanigans.’
Explore more from Freja Nicole Woolf HERE.