Monday, May 19, 2014


Realistic YA
62,000 words


At sixteen, Jason is ready to end his life. In the year following a chance encounter with Kurt Cobain mere days before Cobain killed himself, Jason realizes he might have more in common with the singer than passion for music. Undiagnosed bipolar tendencies have left Jason isolated, but when the love of his life moves on with his former best friend, he takes to the road. If he can make it to Seattle and retrace Cobain's final days, maybe he can stop himself from following his idol's footsteps to an early grave.

Several states over, sixteen-year-old J.D. is ready to get a life. He's tired of living in the shadow of an older brother who committed suicide, leaving his mother catatonically depressed, and his father . . . well, if he knew where his father was, life would likely be very different. When a sombrero-wearing-Christmas-elf card arrives with Dad's return address and all, it's time for an old-fashioned road trip. J.D. isn't looking for help so much as a way out. If Dad will agree to take Mom off his hands, an independent life outside the shadows may not be such a ridiculous idea after all.

Two guys running from the long-term side effects of suicide, destined to cross paths. If either stands a chance of living a happy life—or any life at all—they'll first need to lower their walls and accept the help offered along the way.


Mom was awake, if you could call it that. The sun had barely broken over the roof of our trailer, but from where I stood in the yard, I could see her through the window gearing up for another busy day. She sat on the couch, her ratty nightgown on. Existing, breathing, staring. Yep. That was one packed schedule she was working on for sure.
Ugh. Here I was being sarcastic as snot yet again. I’d sworn to myself this morning I’d be a better person than that. If I was failing at it already, I was even more hopeless than I thought.
I couldn’t let this mood follow me inside. It wouldn’t help. I climbed the steps to the porch, shifted the grocery sacks to one side, and then fumbled with the lock.
"Mom, I’m—" Before I could get the rest of the sentence out, my boot caught on the loose threshold I’d been meaning to fix for ages. With all the grace of a two-legged giraffe, I stumbled into the living room, slamming my elbow hard against the wall in the process. Three boxes of mac and cheese tumbled out of one of the overstuffed sacks, but I somehow managed to stay upright without dropping the eggs or smashing the bread. "—home," I finished with a less-than-manly whimper, kicking the door closed behind me. "No need to get up or anything. I've got it all under control."
And okay, so maybe the sarcasm did help a little. My better-person-building would just have to wait until after my elbow quit throbbing.