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State government spokeswoman moonlighting as YA lit sensation

Gwenda Bond of Lexington is author of the best-selling young adult book Girl on a Wire.
Gwenda Bond of Lexington is author of the best-selling young adult book Girl on a Wire. Herald-Leader

Gwenda Bond watched as her young adult novel, Girl on a Wire, moved through the list of best-selling young adult ebooks on Amazon.com

The novel about a daredevil heroine coming up in a modern circus inched passed other books having bigger current pop culture moments — Divergent, Fault of Our Stars, If I Stay, The Maze Runner, The Giver — to finally land at the No. 1 spot.

"It is surreal," says Bond, a Lexington author who writes fiction in addition to her day job as a spokeswoman for the State Cabinet of Health and Family Services, "very surreal."

Bond's circus-themed launch party for the hardcover print version of the book will have a big-top flair as the author does a reading Saturday at The Morris Book Shop.

Bond, author of The Woken Gods and Blackwood, said choosing a favorite among her novels is difficult. But, she said, Girl On A Wire is special.

"I've always loved the circus," she says, but she didn't think she'd ever write a circus book.

Most circus books focus on some kind of fantasy circus. She wanted a circus story based in both real life and centered on family.

And, she says, the characters took shape after she began building a story about the passion and mysteries under the big top around a high-flying ballerina and teen trapeze artist named Jules Maroni. Bond likes that her central character is a female daredevil.

"There are a lot of adventurer daredevil boys, but not so many daredevil girls," she says.

Not everyone will like Jules, Bond says, because she is passionate and focused, and that can come off as selfish.

Those characteristics are standard fare with male characters but can be interpreted differently for women.

"I did worry that heroines get beat up for things that their male counterparts can get away with," she says.

But so far the reception has been positive, as the book's climb up the charts shows.

While Bond says she is "very much in touch with my inner teenager" and shares Jules' love of 1930s screwball comedies, don't expect her to be completing any high-flying feats anytime soon.

"I am the klutziest," Bond says, who is keeping her day job despite the burgeoning literary success.

While her books are classified as young adult novels, Bond has found a wide audience drawn to her work.

But, she says, teen fans tend to be the most enthusiastic because "when they love it, they love it with their whole hearts in a pure way."

Following Saturday's launch there will be a tour to support Girl On A Wire.

Bond is already getting attention from fans eagerly awaiting her next novel, Fallout: Lois Lane, due out in May 2015.

DC sought out Bond to tell the tale of how Army brat Lois comes to put down roots in the big city of Metropolis. It was so hush-hush that for a long time Bond could only refer to it as "my secret project." Just the reveal of the cover became an Internet sensation with coverage ranging from The Guardian in London to the Hollywood Reporter.

In Fallout, as in Girl, Bond is pleased with the strength of her female leads. Lois, in Fallout, is Superman's love interest but also his equal.

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