Friday, December 5, 2014

Suffering in Silence


On an early September day in 1979, Jamie Wilson hobbles down the sidewalk on crutches, her broken leg aching. As the school buses rumble past, some jerk yells “Faker!” out the window. 

Jamie flips the bird in response. 

Big mistake. 

She pissed off the wrong egomaniac, and this bully rules the school. 

High school becomes a daily nightmare when her tormentors wage psychological warfare, starting with a physical attack in the hallway meant to terrorize. With only a three-day suspension as punishment and the threat of expulsion for any further physical attacks, the bitch squad change tactics, relentlessly lobbing verbal hand grenades at every opportunity. 

Words are powerful weapons, especially when the school offers no protection against verbal assault. Suffering in silence is Jamie’s only choice if she doesn't want to end up in ICU. 
But silence can become an equally dangerous agent of self-destruction. 

This book is perhaps the hardest story I've ever put down on paper, and let's face it, I've written some pretty disturbing stories.  But everything before this book was pure fiction. Making up crap is easy compared to dredging up old and unwelcome memories, even if it occasionally prompts some nasty nightmares.  

The only other true story ripped from the pages of my life can be found in the short story collection Glimpses. Pollywogs and Water Moccasins was based on the day we moved into our home in Connecticut when I was seven.  

Silence is, at it's core, a true story, wrapped in the pretty packaging of fiction. It tackles a social issue that is still prevalent today. Perhaps, the means are different these days; instead of verbal assault, it's now cyber attacks. Either way, bullying is bullying and it takes a strong core to constructively handle a bully. 

Is standing up to a bully the right course of action? Sometimes it is, especially if you are equipped with self defense training or a sharp, quick wit.  But when that approach could land you in the hospital...or worse, silence may be the only option. 

However, remaining silent for extended periods of time can be self-destructive. That build up of hostility, anger, frustration, and all the other emotions that go along with being a victim, must be released in some manner. I would advocate finding a healthy release, even though that is not the path I took. 

Surviving high school can be challenging in the best of circumstances, but when you pile on bullies and other social issues, it can seem next to impossible. Silence is a walk alongside the darkest days of my life and for those that are on that same path today, you may just find a sliver of hope within these pages.

Silence will be released on December 17, 2014, however, it is currently available for preorder at the following places:  AmazoniTunesBarnes & NobleKobo and Smashwords

Until next time,

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