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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, July 6, 2015

a lone survivor - Fractured Memories (Jagged Scars #1) by Jo Schneider

Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor.


Description:

Publication date: May 20th, 2015

Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor.

Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.

The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult.

GUEST POST
About a girl with PTSD

Okay, so I'd written the story twice before I figured out that Wendy had PTSD.

Let me go back a bit. A few years ago, I was on my way to a writing retreat with two other writers. We're driving on the freeway, and my sister calls. This is what came out of her mouth.

"I just finished Mocking Jay, and if you ever write a character like that, I will kill you."
"Uh, hi, how's it going?"
"Disown you."
"I haven't read it yet."
"Don't. I hate her. I hate the author. 'l'll disown you then kill you."
"Uh, okay."

After I read the story, I had to agree with her. Suzanne Collins is brilliant, and she totally got her point across, but I didn't like the characters in the last book. This is not the reaction I want from my readers.

Fast-forward a few years, and I'm at a writing retreat. At the same place, coincidently. My friend runs it, and she was short a few people, so I'm pretty much there for moral support and to be a warm body. Plus, she's a chef. Hello, delicious food? Yes, please.

There was an agent from New York there who was going to review whatever we sent her. I sent the first chapter of Fractured Memories, which I wasn't really working on at the time. Not because I cared about what she said or thought about it, but because my friend told me to.

Well, it's a good thing I didn't care, because she ripped it to shreds. Most of her analysis was spot-on, the other part of it was complete B.S. Mostly because she'd skimmed it and missed stuff. I think she took my dispassionate reaction to her rant as offense, so she backpedaled and asked me a few questions about the story.

I told her about Wendy's compound getting completely destroyed and Wendy waking up with strangers, alone and with a memory full of holes. She seemed interested in that, so I went on and told her that Wendy didn't remember the attack and therefore didn't know who betrayed them. She has flashes of memories, but nothing substantial.

This editor, bless her heart, look at me and said, "Have you read the Hunger Games?"

"Uh, yeah."
"I hate the third book."
"Me too."
"Good, then you won't be offended by this. Your character has PTSD. Katniss had PTSD, but the author didn't do a good job of explaining it to the reader. Please don't do that. Do your research and make sure your readers get it, or they'll all think your character is as bad as Katniss."

Noted.

New Sight, my fist series, has undertones of addiction. I don't have a history of mental illness, but lots of people around me do, and I think it's an area that a lot of people deal with. It kind of fascinates me, and that comes out in my books.

About the author:
Author of Babes in Spyland, New Sight-YA fantasy out April 2014, wearer of a black belt in Kempo and always in search of the next cool place to visit!


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