Trig Speaks Up! Bonus Burn Baby Burn Baby Material!

BURN BABY BURN BABY has been out for almost a year now! During last year’s blog tour I wrote this post AS Trig… The narrator’s best friend. Here it is copied in full here. TRIG SPEAKS!

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Hey. Trig here. I’m the best friend guy from Burn Baby Burn Baby. First off, my actual name is Zach Triggs. I just read Francis’s story. He only used my real name, like, one frigging time in the entire story. I know it wasn’t my story, or anything…but still. Holy. I guess it’s okay though, considering even the teachers call me Trig. My real name doesn’t even register. Okay, so he’s off the hook.

I’m not here to complain about that. I just…I have so many feels about what I just read. Francis is my boy, dude. I would kill for him. Like, literally kill you dead kill for him. And not just because of what his brutal non-human ‘rent did to him, either. We were tight long before his father went psycho and set him on fire. Seeing him go through that shit, though…it changed me.

Truth? I sometimes think about those days, back when he lived in the hospital going through all those grafts and operations, and I just sit and bawl like a baby.

I never tell Francis about that, though. Hell, I don’t even tell my girl about those times. Georgia and I are soul mates. We’re together forever, but I try not to talk to her about France. I just have a never let them see you crylife policy. It’s hard sometimes, when I think of the hell my boy Francis has been through. So I save my crying for when I’m home alone.

Everything Francis talked about in his story was the truth. Man, he laid out his heart. He goes on and on–and on and on–about how he’s gonna take me with him to the Oscars when he goes to accept his first award for Best Director. But for real, maybe he could write the stories that get made into movies. With a little practice, you never know…I might get to go to the Oscars one day for real.

What I really wanted to say is that Francis was way too hard on himself in his story. When you read it, try to remember that in real life we don’t see all the emo stuff. His inner dialogue is clearly pretty heavy. I didn’t know he was so negative, to tell you the truth. In real life he’s more guarded about the stuff that hurts him. It kind of tears my heart open to know he’s in such turmoil all the time. He really should cut himself some slack. He’s a way cool dude. I love him like a brother.

Oh. Speaking of brothers. Please don’t think Francis is a douchenozzle for all the stuff he said about Paul Simon. I think he really comes off kind of bad there. But I can tell you firsthand, those boys are the sun for him. He loves them like mad crazy. You remember the part in the story where he made a mental note to pick up glow in the dark stars for Paul and Simon? Yeah. We spent a day looking for those damn things. A day! I told him we should just take the ones from his ceiling and put them on their ceiling. Dude, I thought he was going to cry. Apparently Seventeen-year-old boys still need the universe above them while they fall asleep at night.  He is such a little boy.

Before I go, just two more things. Number one…I am not an Anger Management poster child. I don’t know what Francis was talking about. I’m not this ready-to-blow-volcano-of-hostility. If anything, you can just consider me passionate. Yeah, passionate…I’d be happy with that. Number two…the Shakespeare stuff. I’m guessing you probably want to know how I feel about that? It really hurt my feelings. A lot. You know a guy your whole life and you think you know everything about him until he starts quoting every damn word Shakespeare ever wrote. I was like, what the hell? But I guess I’m over it. So we don’t tell each other everything. Maybe he’ll keep writing his story and I’ll find out the things he doesn’t tell me about that way.

Anyway, Francis. He’s my best friend. My boy. If you haven’t checked out Burn Baby Burn Baby yet, you should. Not like I’ll beat the crap out of you if you don’t or anything. Like I said, I’m not as hostile as he makes me out to be. He’s just a great guy. I think you’ll like what he has to say. Trig out.

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You can visit my author page on Amazon to read the first couple chapters of BURN BABY BURN BABY! Download it today! Or order the paperback wherever books are sold.

Pride Must Be A Place – Rise Up

As novel titles go, I kind of like it. Pride Must Be a Place. I thought it spoke to the struggle my latest main character, Ezra Caine, dealt with in his journey to coming out and being out in his high school. Ezra, along with a couple old friends and some new ones, starts a gay-straight alliance club in his high school. Why? Because he’s had enough of the bullshit. Will Severe has attacked Ezra’s friend Alex Mills one too many times. Sometimes, the only way to have things around you change for the better is to create the platform and environment from which that change can eventually happen.

I think there are some fantastic LGBTQ young adult books in the marketplace today. Quite a few of them are amazing. But…there’s not enough. I think there’s room for more LGBTQ young adult novels. The issues facing young people, both in their high schools and at home, are perhaps better than they were twenty years ago…but they’re not good enough. There is still bullying. There is still homophobia. There is still suffering.

I think a great place to begin a dialogue that will hopefully bring about change in the landscape of the future is through literature. We, as humans, have been doing this for millennia. I have been dealing with YA issues for a few books, now…I thought it was time I tackled this particular issue. Like Ezra, I feel that it’s time for a change.

I wrote about half of Pride Must Be a Place at last month’s Muskoka Novel Marathon. It was my eighth such novel writing marathon. I went in with the hopes of some grand story wherein Lorraine Segato of Parachute Club makes a cameo at the end. I was even able to secure her blessing…not to mention the fact that she gave me some great ideas about what her ‘character’ would potentially do.

But then the inciting incident which would have opened the door for that ending wasn’t as big as it had to be in order to make that happen. As is often the case, the story got away from the idea and it went off on a tangent and changed wildly from the original vision. I had to admit to myself that the place where I brought the story to did not allow for Lorraine’s cameo. And it was going to be a legen–wait for it–dary cameo.

BUT! I did keep to the original vision that had my main character, Ezra Caine, obsessed with the 1983 hit RISE UP. That hit was an anthem for so many groups. It was Pride, though, that latched onto it in a big way. Ezra was called to action mostly because of the hassle his friend Alex was receiving at the hands of the bully, but also because of the power of the lyrics of his favourite song.

I finished the novel at the end of July. I’m excited about it…I haven’t yet had the time to worry over its scars and blemishes. It was one of the easier novels I ever wrote…the message was an easy one to write about. But I did face the most difficult challenge the YA author has when dealing with YA-issue story-lines. What’s that? Writing a novel with a message without beating the reader over the head with the message. People want to be entertained. Nobody wants to pleasure read only to find that they are being lectured to. It’s such a thin line to skate…harder when you’re close to the issue you are writing about.

It’s in the vault now…only time will tell if I treated it correctly.

For now, it’s on to the completion of other projects. I’ve had a lazy year and a half-ish. It’s time to finish the three or four other novels on the table waiting for my attention. With the success of getting this out of my system, I think I’ll be good to go on the next, and the next, and the next. To think…two short months ago I was considering the fact that I might be finished as a writer.

But I still have a few stories left to tell. Pride Must Be a Place is only one of them…

Rise Up – Parachute Club

#YASaves #BooksSaveLives With Faith We Can Move Mountains…

Just what makes that little old ant think he’ll move that rubber tree plant? Anyone knows an ant can’t move a rubber tree plant.

If you were alive in the ’70s you will remember Laverne & Shirley singing that song…possibly even more than you would remember Frank Sinatra singing it. You see…it was their TRUE theme song. Not the show’s theme song, but Laverne & Shirley’s theme song. Whenever anything seemed hopeless, one of the two would remind the other that anything is possible. Laverne would start the first few lines to spur on the defeated Shirley…and within a couple lines Shirley would catch the bug and come to believe it…soon they’d be singing in unison…

HE’S GOT HIGH HOPES!

And high hopes? Well, they were enough. High hopes would see the girls through all their trials and tribulations. And as a kid watching my favourite show, I’d buy into it. I’d feel their hope…and the ant’s hope. I always knew an ant could move a rubber tree plant. IF he tried hard enough.

My high hopes as a writer have ALWAYS been— SAVE ONE PERSON.

That’s it. Make one single solitary reader walk away from my novel lifted. Saved. Understood. I truly believe that we can spark change in fiction.

This past weekend I submitted my newest novel, PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE, to my agent. I’m hopeful that the message in this new novel is heard by someone who needs to hear it. #YASaves and #BooksSaveLives We have to believe this. Why else do we write?

Happy Book Birthday to ME! Half Dead & Fully Broken is Now Released!

It’s been a long time coming! Half Dead & Fully Broken won the 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon’s BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL AWARD. Slow-forward almost 5 years and here we are… RELEASE DAY! Carter Colby was one of my favourite characters to create. I’m so happy to finally get to share him with readers. You can 1-click Half Dead now at Amazon and start reading right away! Click on the cover below:

cover2500Here’s the synopsis for Half Dead:

Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen at Jefferson High. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school.

When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers the one thing more painful than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful: wearing his dead brother’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead, everybody turns away from him in mourning. How can he blame them? He can’t bear to look in the mirror.

When Carter begins to see Marcus’ ghost, Mr. Wonderful’s quest to save the world and spread happiness may not be over after all, even in death. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Melanie, Marcus’ mourning girlfriend, was also hit hard by the tragedy. Marcus wants to make things right before it’s too late.

With Marcus’ help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. But is Mr. Wonderful’s helping hand enough for Carter, Melanie, and Justin – three kids fully broken by the tragedy – to save one another?

LOOK FOR THE PAPERBACK VERSION TO BE AVAILABLE ANY DAY NOW! (-: It will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters, etc.

Add Half Dead to your GOODREADS SHELF.

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