"How does it feel to be exposed to the world?"
The unexpected but completely legitimate question was posed to me by a Signature Books executive after he learned of my recent book release.
"I guess you would know about that," was my reply.
"Was it a hard decision, or did you even realize it was happening?" he countered.
"At first, I didn't get it, but eventually the reality of what was happening became clear enough that I had to decide whether to consciously hold back or not.
"So, ...what did you do?
"I cut loose, ...figured if I was pure in what I included, then people would feel and relate to me and my message on a deeper, and more personal level."
"Oh it was worth it for sure."
In visiting with readers and media, one of the most popular story lines in Search For Yesterday continues to be the romantic back and fourths between Kid, Gena and Nell.
"You have stated that Kid's character is based on you as a young teen," a journalist asked, "...can we assume that you once had two girls fighting over you at the same time?"
"You now it might sound funny," said a single father of two boys, but one of my favorite things about your book was the deal between the two girls and Kid, ...I loved that!"
"...and all that stuff with the girls?" gasped the overly dramatic woman behind the County office counter, "...oh my gosh! How could you know to get the girls so right? ...I mean you're a guy!"
"Have I exposed myself?"
To answer the questions "I "Was I that guy?" ...I'll say definitively, ...not at sixteen or even seventeen. Many details included in the story are without a doubt biographical, but anyone knowing me during those years would attest that I was at least a hemisphere away from being in the situations in question.
"You felt it didn't you," I replied, answering the woman fanning her face as she recounted her reading enjoyment of Kid saying goodbye to the two girls before leaving for Abilene.
"Are you kidding me?" she laughed, "...you had me wishing it was me!"
I was happy to hear that this particular feature of my story, though more fictional than a lot of the others, still had managed to convey the powerful and raw emotions experienced by people everywhere tasting love, especially conflicted love for the first time. As to her question, "How could you know get the girls so right?" well, ...as I told her and her friend, I had some help. Ashley Lucket, a "Woman" who did my editing helped with some of the phrasing, but I owe most of the credit for properly representing a young girl's romantic view point, to my daughter Kristine. It is no secret in my household, that I do not get girls. I struggle with areas of sensitivity, don't get the emotional ups and downs, and over all craziness that can kick a man in the groin at almost any moment. So, when contemplating the inclusion and development of Kid's little love triangle with Gina and Nell, I went to my romantic, sensitive, emotional and sometimes slightly crazy daughter, for her expert opinion. Boy, ...or should I say Girl, did she deliver! Thank you so much Kristine!
Like most of my writing's content, the romantic play in Search For Yesterday is in part based on very personal experience, other parts getting their umph from from things I've seen, while still others are simply products of my imagination. Which parts are which shall mostly remain my secret, but regardless I'm very happy you are enjoying wondering about it as you read.
To any who have not yet read Book One, and might be wondering after this if the content is appropriate for you or your children, I don't hesitate to say that it absolutely is. That aspect of my writing is perhaps what brings me the most satisfaction. Even though the story is an adventure strewn with situational drama ranging from both ends of the spectrum, it remains inoffensive to the innocent while still rewarding the reader with powerful emotional stimulation.