Since that book is almost finished, what’s next for you?
If you had asked me this a week ago, I would have said, “I have no clue.” But, when winding up the draft of OVERCOME, I realized I wasn’t ready to let my characters go, even the minor ones. One of the minor characters is a girl named Lori, who through Orion’s death befriends her archenemy, Olivia. My next book will be Lori’s story. It will not be as in depth about Orion’s death as Ollie’s story, but will focus more on her hardships she faced living with an abusive father, a mother who did not know how to help, and her new friendship with Ollie. Of course, Orion’s death will be a part of the book, but will be toward the end. I am excited to show her story. After that, I will be writing the book, OVERCOME: DREW’S STORY. Drew is another minor character who was friends with Olivia and Orion. He is gay and it was very briefly mentioned the judgment he faced because of that. His book will go into more detail.
My kids love reading Sarah Dessen books because in each book, a character from another novel shows up as a minor character. I think that helped me make this decision, but more than that, each character has a unique and important message to tell – a story many other teens know too well. Teens need books dealing with important issues, and because of my passion, compassion, and understanding of their lives, I hope to give them what they need most – hope and acceptance.
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