Since I’ve been slowly letting you all in one post at a time, I thought today would be a good day to give you a taste of my novel. Just a little taste—more like a whiff of the 350-pages I’ve written. I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not I should share the subject/topic and a blurb from my novel. Why? Many reasons (copyright, judgment, turnoff), but I *think* in order for me to gain a following, you as readers need to know what you’re following.
If you were to read the back cover of my book (WOW, what a thought) it would probably say something like this:
Nicole Brown, a twenty-year-old college dropout leaves the cozy, monotonous city of Bangor, Maine, with her best friend, Eric, and moves to Boston. In the big city, she hopes to find something different and more exciting than what Bangor has to offer. What does she find instead? An addiction to heroin. A disease that manipulates her mind, kills her goodness, and destroys her future. “…I had convinced myself that I could stop using, like dope was something simple like chocolate. But the two were nothing alike. Heroin was my air. It had a hold of me like we were chained together. And those shackles weren’t just around my wrists, they were tied around my brain too. At the end of the high, all I could think about was getting my next fix…”
So now you know (if you didn’t already know, but most of you do) my novel is about addiction. Written by a person who doesn’t even drink (and the reason I don’t drink is not because I’m an alcoholic) this may sound like a bizarre topic for me to choose. Let me explain. Addiction has always fascinated me in the way that a drug, so powerful, yet so evil, can completely take over your brain and body, making you do the crudest, humiliating, and self-loathing things without a care of being caught, arrested, or hurting those who love you. Just because I don’t have any experience with addiction—doesn’t mean I’m not bona fide to write about it. I’ve put in months, yes, months of research, I’ve interviewed addicts and recovered addicts, I’ve watched documentaries, I’ve read dozens of books, hundreds of articles and interviews—you get the point. And I’ve witnessed friends and family, past and present, struggle with this disease. I took everything I’ve learned/experienced and created a character: Nicole Brown.
Nicole’s an interesting mix of traits. She’s self-conscious and naïve with a heavy dose of youngest child syndrome. But what makes Nicole a likable addict is her ability to love—love the people who love her back and even the people who hurt her.
By no means is this a self-help book, or a true story (hence the fiction classification), or a book to aid in the grieving of addiction. This is a story about a girl, who like many addicts, comes from a supportive and loving family. But instead of thriving (in all the ways a person can thrive), she chooses heroin and ends up—HA! Did you really think I was going to tell you what happens to Nicole? You’ll just have to read the book to find out.
My editor told me, “It’s kind of depressing to follow a heroin addict’s descent into addiction, but readers will do it if there is something new and fascinating in the story.” I’ve tried really hard to make this story original versus all the other fiction and non-fiction addiction books out there. I’m not saying my competition isn’t original. All the books I’ve read on addiction have been so incredibly wonderful in plot, writing style, and characters. But my story had to be different from theirs. And by creating something original, I mean writing action-packed scenes, a well-paced plot, unique characters, and a narrator (Nicole) who *shouldn’t* do the *things* she does.
So now that I’ve given you a whiff of the 350-pages I’ve written (and re-written, and re-written again) I hope I’ve at least sparked your interest or better yet, I’ve hooked you. And if I haven’t sparked your interest or hooked you, tell me! I mean it, this is a learning process for me, so if there’s something I can do better or what you’ve read (so far) is cliché, please, please, please share your thoughts with me. Comment on the post or you can find me here.