Tony Edmondson is a loyal fan and friend and he was kind enough to pose a few questions to me for Omorphi's blog tour. HARD questions, Tony!
Tony: Omorphi is a story about a young man’s self-resurrection after suffering years of abuse and how love can help guide the healing process. I enjoyed it very much. You wrote a remarkable book.
Cody: Thank you, Tony! And thanks for interviewing me on my blog!
Tony: I understand that you volunteer to work with traumatized youths. How do you feel about scars and why? Do you think they add to or detract from a person’s appeal?
Cody: In my mind, scars are no different from any other physical characteristic, except in one respect. They are permanent reminders to the person who wears them.
Sometimes the reminders are good. I have two scars, one on each shin, from a sailing accident. I used to race catamarans. Once, I was hiked out on a shroud and we were on a beam reach (sailing nearly perpendicular to the wind - more friction in the sails, more speed) and the pontoon began to lift.
I didn’t weigh enough to keep the pontoon reasonably off the water and the boat pitched suddenly, the mast buckled (it’s supposed to be flexible), the shroud snapped, and I was airborne! What goes up must come down. When the mast straightened and the shroud was taut once more, Cody came down. Hard. Having no idea where I would land, I curled into a ball. My shins hit the dolphin strikes and they sliced through my wetsuit and into my shins. Nonetheless, we won the race - 1st place!!! One of the guys we raced against was an ER doctor. Stitches on the beach. Definitely a first for me. I like those scars. They tell a great story.
Sometimes the reminders are not-so-good. Some of the scars I have tell another story, and I don’t like those. And I don’t like them even more when people stare. That’s very hard for me, so I’m pretty mummified in clothing when leave my home.
Tony: That’s a great sailing story, Cody. I hope you focus more on the scars from sailing than the others. What advice would you give someone who suffers abuse, and has asked for help, and not received it?
Cody: DON’T GIVE UP! There is hope and there is help. Tell someone else, someone you can trust. If you don’t have anyone in your life that you can trust, call one of these numbers:
RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
The Trevor Project 1-866-488-7366
If you are not in crisis, and need help finding people who can help and support you, go to ReachOut.com.
Tony: This is another two-part question. When writing stories about abused youths, do you feel your abused character’s emotional pain, and does feeling his or her pain cause you to feel emotional pain?
Cody: As an author, I don’t believe that you can’t write a story about an abused person and not feel your character’s low sense of worth, shame, humiliation, guilt, isolation, loss, anger, betrayal, and fear. I remind myself that I’m writing and that it isn’t me in the picture. Yet, sometimes it becomes difficult and I must remind myself that abuse does not define me and not to judge myself by what others have done to me.
Tony: Do you base the abused characters in your stories on real people or are they purely fictional?
Cody: I have to preface this answer by saying that I write fiction! That said, in the case of Omorphi, Christy is made up of a good portion of me.
Cody: Yes. I’m a firm believer in life is what we make it. Sometimes it isn’t fair and sometimes it can be downright cruel but it’s up to us to change life for the better, not only for ourselves, but also for others. Kindness is powerful. And that means being kind to yourself too. I also believe that everyone will find true love. Somewhere out there, there is someone looking for exactly what you have to offer. Dare to imagine. Dare to believe.
Tony: Do you have a schedule for writing or do you write when the mood strikes?
Cody: I’m a rebel. I refuse to write on any particular schedule. I simply know that I must write daily. When I don’t, my dreams become nightmares and depression sets in.
Tony: As you know, I like to end my interviews of you with a silly question. What are your three favorite foods?
Cody: Three? I must choose only three? That’s so hard, Tony! 1. Bittersweet chocolate 2. Garlic bread 3. Beef prime rib.
Thanks for your time, Cody. It’s always great to interview you. Omorphi is a touching and epic novel, and I have no doubt that it will fly off the shelves. Your friend always, Tony.
A little about Tony: Tony hails from North Carolina where he and his partner share a home with a number of pets. Tony is an incredible cook and keeps their home immaculate! Tony “friended” me on Facebook, is a loyal fan, and has become an invaluable beta reader. Tony is, without question, the epitome of what every author dreams of having in a fan. I am fortunate to count you among my friends as well as fans, Tony. You're one seriously awesome guy!