As many of you know, one of the subjects I write about is the tough subject of abuse. Hope takes on this subject with great care and offers young readers that frail, illusive thing called hope—often the only thing a survivor has to hold onto. It is my pleasure to welcome Hope Ryan to my blog and her debut novel, The Geek and His Artist!
First and foremost, thank you so much to Cody for giving me space today! I really appreciate it!
When I sat down to write The Geek and His Artist, I’d originally intended for it to be a short story. That doesn’t seem to work well for me—I am simply not someone who can write short stories. In this case, as I got into the story, I realized exactly why this was a good thing.
Before I got very far, I realized one of the biggest conflicts in the story was Simon’s abusive home life. As I approached the word limit for the anthology I was writing for, I knew there was no way I could do Simon—and his abuse—justice in such a small number of words. I felt it was too important to portray something like that carefully, so I set Geek aside and wrote my other story, Blue Eyes. That turned out more serious than I’d intended, but it worked for the anthology and gave me the opportunity to give Simon the time and attention he deserved.
Writing about abuse is a scary and big responsibility. I knew going into it that if I was going to tackle it, I had to be careful. I didn’t want to downplay anything. I wanted to give it the seriousness it deserved. At the same time, though I wanted to show the horror that anyone living with abuse faces, I had to be just as careful to not overdo it.
I have been extremely lucky in my life. I’ve never had to deal with abuse like Simon did. I’ve known more than a few folks, though, that have and I wanted others to know how terrible and hard and scary that can be, especially for a kid (even a teenager like Simon). It’s so easy to say “hey, just go, there’s other places to go,” to someone. But when you’re in the situation, been told layer upon layer of lies, it’s not so easy to do. Even when you have someone you love telling you to go. Even when you have the promise of so much better.
Abusers are masters at making the victim feel like they deserve it. Or there’s no way to get away. Or there’s nothing better, that anywhere they go will be the same (or worse). Or that even if they do get away, they’ll be brought right back. And so much more.
I hope I handled it well. It passed my betas and editors. I hope that someone will read it and take something from it, even if it’s the comfort of seeing a character going through what they are and making it out the other end.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek inside why and how Geek came to be! Be sure to leave a comment for an entry into the grand prize drawing for the signed paperback and $25 at Harmony Ink! One commenter today will win your choice of a Geek character trading card!
About The Geek and His Artist
Simon Williams spends his lunch periods drawing his geek and trying not to think about the terrors waiting for him at home. He needs to get away from his abusive father before he suffers the same grisly fate as his mother. Because he's learned the hard way running away doesn’t work, he’s counting the days until his eighteenth birthday.
Jimmy Bennet should be spending his lunch studying so his senior GPA is good enough to get him into college, but he can't seem to focus thanks to his distracting artist. When he’s given the opportunity to tutor Simon in Trig and discovers Simon’s home-life nightmare, he wants nothing more than to get Simon out of danger. This need becomes more urgent when Simon comes to school the Monday after their first date with bruises, but it takes a broken leg before Jimmy can convince his boyfriend the Bennets really want him.
But the danger Simon thought was past shows up at the most unexpected time, and he must stand up to the fears he’s held so long to protect not only himself, but the man he wants to spend his life with.
Get Geek here:
Enter the Tour-wide Giveaway here!
(separate from post giveaway):
Hope Ryan is an out and proud bisexual, wife of a loving guy and mother to three, including an amazingly brave gender fluid son. She loves to write about the tough stuff, but also wants to see her characters happy in the end. She feels strongly about showing there is hope for everyone, no matter where you come from, how you identify your gender or who you love.
Hope likes to play board and card games and can often be found playing God with her Sims or running around, fighting monsters in a virtual version of Middle Earth. Her TV and movie preferences lean towards anime, sci fi and fantasy, though she’ll never turn down a good happily ever after love story, either. As long as there are explosions or action, she’s happy. She loves to read books of all kinds, though prefers stories about love in its many forms.
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