Some people are surprised to learn that I write teen and young adult fiction since I am decades removed from my teenage years. The answer is because I remember. I remember what it was like to be a country kid in a school full of town kids, not having the right clothes, not knowing what music was popular or where the parties were. I remember taking the bus after volleyball and getting home hours past dinner because we had to drive out to every little village to drop people off. I remember notes on my locker teasing me for my big 80s hair and skipping school to hitchhike home because I just didn’t fit in.
The young adults of today, of course, have their own unique challenges that I can only observe and empathize with. Guns in schools and online bullying were not a part of my experience but fear is fear no matter what is causing it. I remember finding out about a student’s suicide over the PA system. I remember hearing the sound of half our school walking out to protest not having a francophone high school. There is one there now. I also remember good times because, no matter how bad it gets, there are always good times: high school dances, creative writing class and teachers who took extra time to help a struggling student.
I want my books to be a place young people can find characters like them who face the same challenges and find a way forward. I want to offer hope in the chaos, a hand to hold, a light in the darkness because I remember.