Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's out! Mia Kerick's THE RED SHEET! and today I talk about writing the foreword...

Mia Kerick is one of my all time favorite authors. She has an innate ability to tell a story about tough issues in a way that we can all relate to. When she asked me to write the foreword for The Red Sheet, I was rendered speechless. To write a foreword for another author is a privilege. To be asked to write one for an author I admire is not only a privilege, but a honor of the highest degree. Thank you, Mia. I will forever be indebted to you.

Writing a foreword is a tough challenge. You must not only know the story to the nth degree, but you must be able to encapsulate it and bear out in few words the essence and value of the story. With Mia's works, that's a tall order and I welcomed the challenge. The Red Sheet isn't only a story. It's a lesson in life.

Without further ado, I give you the foreword that I wrote for The Red Sheet. A book that everyone should read for myriad reasons. Above all, it and teaches us that forgiveness is essential to and for all of us.

Thank you, Mia, for the honor and privilege of writing the foreword for your wonderful book.


“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds
on the heel that has crushed it.” ~Mark Twain

To bully is to commit an act of violence, even if only in subtle ways. From the nasty homecoming queen who accuses you of transmitting a virulent disease when you accidentally brush her backpack in the hall; to the creep who knocks your book off your desk, then kicks it down the aisle in class–then kicks you where it counts when you bend to retrieve it; to the cool guy in school who is certain you’re diseased and says “get the hell away from me” when you try to sit next to him–in the last open seat on the bus; to the loser who punches, kicks, and shoves you repeatedly simply because you’re there; make no mistake, bullying is the most prevalent form of violent abuse in society.

Until you have endured the violation of abuse, whether by a single, violent act of cruelty or a chronic condition of suffering, you cannot know the meaning of self-loss. It isn’t only the obliteration of your belief systems; it is the annihilation of your human worth. Painful beyond description, debilitating, and tragic, bullying leaves everlasting, invisible scars. To say that you will recover from bullying is a myth. You can only survive and compensate for it when and if you are able.

Hi, I’m Cody Kennedy, and it’s no secret that I like stories that give readers hope. As the author of several stories about reclaiming yourself after abuse, I try to find new ways to look at what makes each story unique and, at the same time, universal.

Courageous, heartrending, and almost mystical, The Red Sheet tells the engaging tale of a privileged, self-centered jock named Bryan who loves a beautiful boy named Scott in secret. When Bryan wakes one morning after a party and has no recollection of his past, he finds himself with a profound sense of responsibility for others and is nothing like the jerk he was before. With his newfound heroism comes an extraordinary need for... red sheets. Through Bryan’s anguished narration and witty cynicism, this story unfolds as his memories return to haunt him. What first appears to be an almost magical change in him turns into a critical and deeply painful self-examination.

For his part, Scott suffers unspeakable cruelty. Helpless to prevent it, he endures repeated abuse from the girls who falsely befriend him and the jocks who bully and assault him in inconceivable ways. But that isn’t the worst of it. Shattered and suffering the crippling effects of abuse, it is all Scott can do to hold himself together during school. After Bryan unexpectedly rescues him from yet another brutal assault, Scott begins the excruciating task of rebuilding himself from the tattered remains of who he once was.

A masterful wordsmith with an exceptional talent for bringing to life the contradictory truths that exist within all of us, Mia Kerick doesn’t shy away from the cruelty and ugliness, yet kindness and brilliant resiliency inimitable to the human spirit. She builds love into a story against all odds and in spite of them. Through The Red Sheet, she shows us that seeing ourselves for precisely who and what we are allows us to overcome even the worst of our mistakes and that forgiveness, whether of ourselves or of others, is vital to all of us.

Cody Kennedy
Los Angeles, California
February, 2014

Now available at Dreamspinner Press

One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape. 

Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it. 

Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations. 

Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “super-jock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s new-found virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.

Find Mia on Goodreads or stop by and chat on Facebook!


  1. Cody- I am the one who is indebted; you created an amazing foreword to a book that means the world to me. And I want everybody who reads this to know that prior to actually writing this fabulous foreword, Cody sent me a pages long explanation of my "rights" and what my expectations should be as an author who has requested a foreword from another person. He takes every opportunity to teach me things like that- if he even senses that I don't understand something, he explains it patiently and gives examples.

    Cody Kennedy is a good man. I used to think he seemed too good to be true, but it is true. All of it . All of him.

    Thank you, Cody.

    1. <3 Mia <3 My privilege and pleasure, I assure you.

  2. Wow I really want to read this book! Cody did a really great job on the forword, howerver I believe that with such a great forword the book must be incredable. Waiting patiently for this book.

    1. It's a wonderful story, Nancy! Thanks for dropping by and commenting! It's always great to see you here.