One in Ten, Chapter 1 Excerpt

While One in Ten has a Sci-Fi element, mixed with a dystopian setting, at its base, the story is about addiction. I spent a significant amount of time reading about heroin addiction, watching documentaries about heroin addiction, and having conversations with various individuals about heroin addiction.

It’s not pretty stuff, but no addiction is. It just so happens that many teens are finding themselves using heroin, either as an option when OxyContin was no longer available, or simply as a party drug to try.  One in Ten captures the physiological and psychological demands of being addicted to and trying to get clean from this terrible drug. Therefore, here’s a video depicting a scene from Chapter 1 of the novel, in which Kenny, the protagonist, is home from his latest treatment facility, but finds his parents haven’t cleared out one if his stash spots. If you want to read the entire excerpt, it’s below. Enjoy!


I rifle through my desk drawer. I noticed yesterday that they’d cleaned it, but they didn’t remove everything. This is not exactly a clean slate. You think they would have learned. Or, maybe I was just good at covering my tracks. Either way, the flat-head screwdriver is still in the bottom drawer. What do they think I use it for? 

I take it and go to my closet. The baseboard appears the same, but there’s only one way to find out. My heart begins to trot inside my chest. I can hear them talking about me just beyond the door, and I’m careful to keep an ear trained for anyone calling. I bend over and my face feels like a mask as blood pounds in my ears. My chest is tight and my eyes bulge. I can make out the Velcro from here. I get on one knee and my heart is thrumming. 

The screwdriver slides in neatly and I pry. The section pops loose and reveals one of my stash spots. Apparently, one they never found, because either I’m hallucinating, or there’s a baggie still inside.  

I rub a hand over my face. It slides over the tacky sweat that has blossomed. The fear I felt is gone, and only in this moment I realize how alive I feel. Not uncertain, not insecure, not bumbling around hospital hallways and cafeterias and therapy rooms. This is me, kneeling before a year-old bag of heroin, happier than Theo was to hand me a future. I’m pleased with my past self. I know him so much better. 

P.S. I hope to have pre-order links by next week. I intend to have the following options: ebook, paperback, and hardback (that’s for my library friends) However, the work is not as simple as you might think. I have a newly found appreciation for all that my book cover designers and editorial assistants have gone through over the years in order to make the outside and inside of books shine. So, wish me luck!

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