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Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You Won't Stop Laughing When You Read This Blog



What a fine day it is when I can invite Stuart West back to my blog with the third release of his Tex the Witch Boy series. Here I go again, reading into the quiet hours of the night, stifling laughs so big, I need to wrestle with myself, so as not to wake my boys, my husband whispering over and over, “Turn out the light, turn out the lights!” And my answering, “No. Just put on your eyeshades.” Anyway, and if you leave a comment, you might just win an e-book copy.


Thanks much, Suzanne, for inviting me back. You rock. Your husband must hate me, though.
Pull up a bean-bag. Light the fireplace. Settle in, get cozy, let’s chat, maybe go on a road to self-discovery. Or at least kill a few minutes.

Well, haven’t got a bean-bag, but I just turned on the fire. (Don’t you just love being able to turn on the fire?)

Lucky gal! Our fireplace has been shot for about ten years. Now it functions as a raccoon trap. Don’t ask!

When Suzanne asked me to come back, she said “just be yourself.” Really, I thought? All writers are a tad bit schizophrenic, crazy people. Surely I’ll offend someone. Actually (childish titter here), I sorta like upsetting people from time to time. Gotta get your kicks where you can. Okay, yes, I am a teenage boy at heart. I am “Tex.” Tex, my teen, awkward, male witch protagonist who’d rather just sorta hang out instead of getting thrown into crazy murder mysteries the universe throws at him
The third book in my Tex, the Witch Boy series just launched. Tex and the God Squad is the definitive finale in the series. Things get ugly, characters die, all storylines are brought to a (not necessarily happy) ending. If you’ve read the first two books, you know no one’s safe. Prepare for the worst, hang on for the best.

Well, geez, I’m really worried now.

Worry, Suzanne, worry like the wind. Heh.


But enough hype.

The other day, someone asked me what the books are about. I mean, really about. I told them topical teen issues: bullying, random high school violence, gay issues, teen suicide, broken families, and, of course, dodge ball. But after I finally finished the trilogy, I realized what the triptych is truly about. A theme that encapsulates everything I’ve been writing about in the three books, something I’ve been building to--sometimes with humor, other times with anger. Guys, we’re talking open-mindedness.  Didn’t even see it ‘til I dropped the final letter on the third book. I’m getting up on my soap-box again, hollering from the rafters that difference--whether it be in life-styles, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, cereal choices, whatever--shouldn’t matter. 

Or I guess you could say ‘tolerance’.

That’s it! 

The Big Bad in Tex and the God Squad is an evil religious sect. The absolute worst close-minded villain in the world.  I haven’t been exactly shy about saying they’re based on the heinous “Westboro Baptist Church.”  Trusted (and wiser than me) pals have said I should keep my big mouth shut. Sigh. If you know me, that ain’t gonna’ happen, the proof is on the page. I had to do it, almost feel like I should apologize since the WBC is a byproduct of Kansas. Sorry.

OMG, I just looked them up and look what I found. Is this frightening or what?

  
Yes, it is. And unfortunately, freedom of speech is a two-way street which allows idiots like the WBC to voice their ugly opinions. But, hey, I’m a big advocate of freedom of speech. Just don’t like what I hear sometimes.

But the book’s not all a searing indictment about religious hypocrites. There’s plenty of fun to be had (although I doubt Tex would see it that way). Let’s see…we have a tornado attack, a hooded murderer, a vengeful witch, a sadistic supernatural cat, a deadly paintball competition (it’s complicated), horrible food, and, of course, doubts about his post-high-school future. But the “Clarendon Baptist Church” is his worst obstacle. Mostly because they’re real.
“Close-mindedness.”  


I want teens to know they’re not alone in their isolated feelings. Forget about jackasses who think their way is the only way. They’re ignorant bullies, whether they be misguided individuals or organized groups disguised as a “church.” Just believe in yourselves, forget the idiots, and know things get better.


I agree. Who are we to judge others, right? 

Right. Okay, Merry Stressmas, y’all! I’m out! (Drops a microphone like a rock star).

Thanks Stuart. As usual, it’s been a blast having you on my blog. Readers don’t forget to leave a comment so you can giggle long into the night and use up a box of tissues wiping your eyes. And here are Stuart West's links so you can buy his books. And I highly recommend that you do. You won't be sorry.






24 comments:

  1. Great post. I love books that make you think but also have a touch (or more than just a touch) of humour. Life is inspiring. Sounds like a great plot. The good the bad and the comical. Best of luck
    Heather G - the Natasha Saga

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    1. Thanks, Heather! "The good, the bad, the comical." I like that! Um, is it too late to change the title?

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    2. It is inspiring, but oh, so funny too.

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  2. Very good, interesting, and different post. Folks, I have read, Tex, the Witch Boy and I look forward to reading this one.....Congrats, Stuart

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    1. Hi Penny. Hope you enjoy this book. It was certainly the most ambitious of the trilogy, I think, regardless of whether I pulled it off or not! And flinging mud at the Westboro Baptist Church was a gas!

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  3. Great interview and you're so right about freedom of speech and other freedoms that are slowly being taken away from us. But please, don't lump all Bastists in one basket. I'm a Southern Baptist and we do not judge others. We may not like their lifestyle or the choices they make, but that's their decision. We love everyone, as God loves us. At least in the church I attend. OK. I'll step off my soap box now. Just exercising my rights. :) Looking forward to reading this book as I love the other two. Congratulations and best wishes to you, Stuart.

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    1. Hi Beverly and thanks as always for your kind words. Now I'm not lumping all Baptists together! Quite to the contrary, I, too, was raised as a Baptist! No, I'm just setting my literary guns on the Westboro Baptist Church. They deserve it. Actually, in the book, I think I'm quite fair to all sides of the issues: believers, agnostics and atheists. It's not a religious book, not really, but issues are discussed and play into the plot.

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    2. Hi Stuart. I haven't heard of the Westboro Church, but I know there are some that go overboard and believe they're right and everyone else is wrong. Didn't mean to stir up a hornet's nest. We, and especially young readers, need books that face the issues straight on. I'm sure yours is fair. Again, congratulations. I'm curious to see what Tex is up to next.

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    3. No worries, Beverly! I like when the hornet's nest is stirred on occasion. Look up the Westboro Baptist Church. You won't believe what you read.

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  4. Oh, Beverly, I have fine friends who are Baptists, and you're right, it is a wonderful church. Unfortunately, these knuckle-heads don't practice their faith like you do. I know how you feel since I'm Catholic and sometimes get lumped in with fundamentalists. I'm really proud of my faith and so should you be. As Darius says, in my novel, "It's in the eyes." You have those eyes of integrity!

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  5. I know, Suzanne. A few bad apples give the whole group a bad name. I have grandchildren that are catholics and they're precious and don't judge others. (My daughters -in-law are Catholic so my sons go with them.) I love Darius.

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  6. I love Darius too, but we're supposed to be talking about Stuart's new book! Yikes!

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  7. Wow! This sounds like a great series. I haven't read a lot about teen witches before, but this series sounds full of angst and humor--a great combination if you ask me.

    Wishing you only the best,

    Cheryl

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    1. Hey there, Cheryl. Yep, angst and humor, pretty much a high schooler's ordinary day! You've come to the right place.

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  8. This sounds like what we need, a little perspective through the eyes of a "child" or with the direct clear vision of a young as yet un-jaded observer. I'd love to read it!

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    1. Hi Julie! Hope you enjoy it. Tex does have a unique "voice," I think. And, shh, Suzanne! Let's not let the world know I'm "Tex!"

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    2. But you said it in the blog, remember?

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  9. And the interesting thing is that child is really Stuart.

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  10. Oh, Stuart, love your voice..saying what needs to be said in your own twisted way. LOL Great job. Don't ever lose that child in you. Your book kills off characters and there's sadness and loss..oh my. Where's the HEA ending?? Never mind. I'll read it and discover for myself. Go get 'em, Stuart! Suzanne, you presented this interview so cleverly and I love the photos. Lots of fun. PS--get a kindle fire and you don't need the lights on to read. Good for hubbies trying to sleep.

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    1. Hey, J.Q! The books aren't all doom and gloom. Even with the awful things that happen in them, there's plenty of hope as well. That's one thing I tried to impart: a sense of hope for confused teens.

      And I second the Kindle Fire, Suzanne. I read long into the night while my wife slumbers!

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  11. SO SAD TO SEE THIS PROTEST AS EVERYONE THAT KNOWS THE BIBLE KNOWS THE TRUTH! PLEASE ENTER ME IN YOUR CONTEST.

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  12. I didn't know Stuart was such fun. I'm glad I read this and hope you lots, Stu. Great post Suzanne.

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