I suppose I wouldn’t be much of an author if I didn’t have a book to talk about. The funny part about being a writer, though, is that as much time as we spend creating works that we desperately want people to read, we recoil from the job of actually telling anyone about it. What’s your book about, I often hear. And how do you respond to such a question? How do you tell someone that it’s a multi-layered, young adult, family saga-esque story that focuses primarily on a character who wants, throughout the story, to die? How do you tell someone that it’s told not from their point of view, but from the perspectives of the people who love her? How do you tell someone that it contains plentiful swearing, blood and sex, yet is primarily about teenagers?
Well, a little bit like that, I suppose. Welcome to A Gothic Symphony. It tells the intertwined stories of Amy, a severely depressed sixteen-year-old high school student, and of her parents’ history, how they met, and why they resent their daughter so much. Throughout the first two acts, we learn about Amy only from two perspectives: a distant, third-party observer, or the first-person views of the people who are closest to her. Only in the final few chapters do we finally hear from the girl herself, and about the secrets she has kept throughout all her life.
A Gothic Symphony started in late 2005 as a way of expressing the extent of my teenage depression, of finally writing down how it felt to live every day as though it were your last. I didn’t have much concept of where it would go, but I knew it was a story I had to tell. I knew that, even if it took years, I needed to reach out to the young men and women who still struggle today to make it through their own, difficult lives. The world is cruel enough without the added burden of mental illness, and sadly far too many of us suffer in silence. This is my way of speaking out.
It is now in a complete final form, though it undoubtedly needs some TLC to make it it’s absolute best. But I’m proud of what I’ve created, and I think it’s some of my best writing to date (not that my writing is anything to, ahem, write home about as it is).
I’ll be sure to include more information about what happens in A Gothic Symphony—this is merely an introduction. Don’t worry—we’ll get to know Amy intimately by the time all is said and done. For now, feel free to follow this blog so that you can learn more about my ongoing progress, and stay up to date with all the excitement of trying to get a novel published!