Wednesday, March 16, 2016
EXPLORING THE BULLY
COMFORT (sequel to BLUE) has a bully. Rob Walker is not a huge part of the story but he manages to make Ann Fay's life with a disability extra challenging. What we don't see in COMFORT are the factors that influence Rob's mean behavior.
While writing AIM, my forthcoming prequel to BLUE, I had the opportunity to explore Rob's life. His older brother, Dudley is our window into Rob's world. Dudley's behavior toward protagonist, Junior Bledsoe is bullying at times. And even Junior acts thoughtlessly and with a mean spirit a time or two in the story.
What Junior doesn't expect, is that he and Dudley have more in common than either of them imagined. And that explains a lot about Rob, too. As it turns out, a mean-spirit can pass right on down a family line. Which is certainly not to say that meanness is in our genes - but that our family circumstances can make us hard.
Every bully begins life as an innocent babe. Then something happens. Or a series of somethings. That's what I wanted to explore in AIM - when hard things happen, do they have to make us hard? Or can we choose to be positively shaped by them? Junior Bledsoe finds himself faced with these questions.
For more on bullies and literature, check out the latest issue of Talking Story.
AIM will be released Oct. 4, 2016 but you can pre-order it now!