Readers have called my young adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen “edgy” and had a lot of questions about the characters profiled there. Some of those questions have been, well, edgy themselves. With only a chapter spent with each, readers fiercely want to hold the characters accountable and make sure they get the respect they deserve.
1. What would you say are the most likable aspects of your personality? Which of these do you think Marshall was attracted to?
2. What does a “normal” life look and feel like to you? What would you leave out?
3. Whenever you’re alone with Marshall, you seem like you’re an inch away from bolting. Why do you get so nervous around him?
4. You were having such a good time at the prom, and then at the Whip In afterward. But you got nervous again when Marshall brought you to the pull-out and asked you to close your eyes. What happened?
5. What were you thinking about when Marshall kept rambling on out there in the pull-out?
6. What were you thinking about on the way home from prom, when you saw the moon slip behind a cloud and wished with all your heart it would come back out?
Readers have also seen themselves in characters or seen their friends in the pages. Some of things they see about themselves and others make them curious, some scare them, and some offer hope. Each set of questions is followed by some websites and organizations where you might get answers. I call them “resources” for lack of a better name. But they could also be called a lifeline, a revelation, or evidence of things not seen. Don’t be afraid to look for answers.
Have questions about healthy sexual development but are too embarrassed to ask? SexEtc has lots of great info, much of it created by teens for teens.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an abusive relationship, the people at ChildHelp are awesome or call 1-800-4-A-CHILD
The folks at CalYouth can help too or call their 24 hour confidential hotline at 1-800-843-5200.