Hello everyone! TGIF to you all! Today I have a fantastic post from Indie Author Renee Pace, author of Off Leash – a boy, a dog and a complicated friendship force a teen to make difficult life choices. I'm just going to let Renee tell you her story.
Renee is kind enough today to give one lucky commenter a free copy of Off Leash. So don't be shy. Join the conversation and leave a comment for your chance to win!
Did I imagine at this time when I journeyed into developing my 15 year-old character Jay in Off Leash that I’d encounter dealing with my eldest son’s rebellious teen years? No way! Here’s what I envisioned—writing this book while applauding my teenager as he tackles making straight A’s in High School while encouraging him to go onto university. Here’s the reality—crying many nights silently in bed worried sick about the thought of him sneaking out of the house so he could get high, dealing with his in your face drama when I’d put my foot down, taking away privileges and grounding him for his inappropriate behavior. There, I said it. I wrote it. In fact it’s much worse than that but I could take up five pages to write about my motherly angst, and like many mothers there are books to read but living it is entirely its own hell. What I decided to do was add all those angry feelings he certainly was expressing to me when I laid down my rules into the development of Jay’s character.
And as I wrote Off Leash I realized something very personal. I never got over the death of my childhood friend Sissy who died of cancer, so I added those feelings into Jay and let him show those emotions when he interacted with his sister, Fay. Let me add here that in my small fishing community Sissy was my one and only friend. Life there got very lonely for me after she died. To say this was hard to write would be an understatement. Writing the scene where Fay goes back into the hospital I actually started crying in Starbucks. In fact, I wrote her death scene a few different ways but in the end I went with Jay getting the news over his phone and I think there’s that pivotal switch for the reader when you totally sympathize with him as he lets loose his emotions as he clutches Ollie, the dog, totally unaware he’s being watched.