Today is release day for One in Ten! Feel free to go snag an ebook, paperback, or hardback copy now, and then come back and read the rest of this post (the ebook is free all week). I’m not going anywhere. Many of us aren’t going anywhere.
Normally, I’d be writing about all the reasons why One in Ten is awesome and how you should tell everyone. But today is not a normal book release day. No day, recently, has had much normalcy. Therefore, let me suggest that in One in Ten, and in fact within all of my novels, you will see characters who could handle today, the today of our new world, and it is my belief that if they can, you can, too.
I don’t write about well-adjusted teenagers dealing with run-of-the-mill conflicts. My characters are flawed and facing insurmountable challenges. Yet, they rise to those challenges. Tony, in Tap Out, faces a homicidal biker gang. Ben, in Dare Me, faces his own ego and fear of death. Greg, in Press Play, faces a corrupt and violent athletic system. Avery, in Look Past, faces a town’s loathing and a killer’s desire. And now we have Kenny in One in Ten. He faces a government seeking to erase him.
My purpose with these stories is to demonstrate that life doesn’t wait until you are ready to throw itself at you. It does so whenever and however it wants. I force my characters to understand that no one can control this fact. All they can control are their reactions to whatever has been thrown at them. My characters, for all their flaws, embrace this, lean into the mess, and seek to find a way through. Let them be examples for you. Right now, especially Kenny.
In One in Ten, Kenny is an addict who has all of his choices taken away. He has nothing left, except a desire to see the truth of the rehabilitation program he’s been tossed into. He trusts his experience to know something isn’t right, and because of this he takes on the impossible.
Right now, all of us are struggling to know what to do with the world, our country, our state. We don’t know if we have the ability to handle the next turn. You do, though. You are prepared for this day. And for the next. Because there was no way to prepare, and so you already have all that you need. You are now like my characters. Therefore, trust yourself. Be resourceful. Recognize what is true and what is false around you. Protect who you love. Do not give up.
I hope in reading One in Ten you see the strength in Kenny, not in spite of his faults, but because of them. You have to get knocked down to know how tough you are, to know whether or not you can get back up. We have all been knocked down recently, and I hope you have all found your way back up. If not, don’t fault yourself. Instead, respect yourself, who you are and what you need. And if that need is strength to carry on, feel free to look to my characters, who are the embodiment of the human spirit, which rises up, regardless.
I hope you are all well. I hope you all weather this storm with the least amount of harm. I hope you find the will within yourself to forge through wherever this path is leading. I hope your hearts aren’t hardened toward one another. This is not a zero sum game. So, stay at home if you can, work, stay informed, binge, read, stay healthy, and know you are prepared.