Sunday, June 22, 2014
Today, I had the opportunity to visit a location which features prominently in my book, My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain. As part of an interview (premiering soon) I did with longtime YouTuber Curt Phillips - we'll talk about the challenges of living in Los Angeles—and about the book itself.
One of the conscious decisions I made when writing the book was to avoid too-specific descriptions of Alexander's school. My hope was that the reader would visualize the school based on their own experiences, and so make the story more personal.
Naturally, the book was inspired by my own experiences, and I did have Portola Middle School (then, it was called a junior high school) in mind. We stopped by the front gate this Sunday, a location that features prominently in the novel. It's a place of perceived danger by Alexander, and the site of a climactic confrontation.
Of course, since I walked daily through those gates, generations of kids have come and gone—and I'm sure that Alexander has been among them in an entire series of variations. Some things, including unfounded fears, are universal to kids of a certain age.
Still, as I stood there, I felt that I not only shared those experiences with all of my predecessor and successor students, but with Alexander as well. I could, if pressed, take you on a walking tour throughout the grounds of the school, and map out precisely where every action in this fictional book took place.
If you've written fiction of this sort, you'll understand: Now, this is very much Alexander's school, too!
"My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain," and a short story featuring Alexander, "Why Do You Think They Call It a Ghost Town" are available from most online retailers. I'm currently working on a follow-up novel. Thanks for you support.
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