For today's Christian Fiction Friday post, I'm including a snippet from my bonus materials ebook to go along with Paralyzed, my upcoming Kennedy Stern novel. The bonus materials ebook takes you behind the scenes, like I do in this character study:
I never set out to make Kennedy’s novels into my own quasi-autobiography, but that’s sort of what has happened. No, I’ve never been kidnapped. I’ve (thankfully) never suffered from PTSD. But I did have fun throwing a lot of minor details into Kennedy’s story that come straight from my own college days.
Take the Craisins and dry Cheerios, for example. Those were my two staples in college. I probably made it through three or four days at a time without eating much else.
I was also a pre-med student in college and just as studious and uptight as Kennedy. I actually had a condition I self-diagnosed as “reverse procrastination.” I would kill myself the first half of each semester to get ahead on my reading and research so I could relax and take things easy by the end. Professor Adell, with her funky way of erasing the blackboard while she’s writing notes with her other hand, is modeled after my first-year chemistry professor.
Kennedy’s dad is over-protective (at least in Kennedy’s mind), and even though my father never mailed me pepper spray or called me up in the middle of the night to ask me if my door was locked, I was definitely taught to keep safety in mind. I can’t say I did a great job of that, however, as I remember taking the T home from college after midnight by myself on more than one occasion. Kennedy’s propensity to disregard basic safety measures (like locking herself in for the night) mirror my own sense of immortality I carried around with me at that age. (I did, however, do a better job than she does of keeping my cell phone charged.)
On a more serious note, Kennedy’s spirituality is very black and white at this point in her life. She’s got this notion that if she just prayers harder and readers her Bible faithfully, she’ll automatically be anxiety-free. It wasn’t until my family went through a traumatic birth experience that left our newborn on life-support with a very dismal prognosis that I realized Christians suffer despair and trauma no matter how disciplined they are in their faith. Even though Paralyzed was intended for entertainment, I’m glad I got to touch on a few of these issues like PTSD in my suspense novel.
Random Fact: The college I went to had a castle for a dorm. There were even secret passages, including one that led to underneath my roommate's bed.
If you would like a free copy of Paralyzed when it's released, please click here.