Something happened when Roy and I were revising Orphans. The characters creeped me out all over again.
I’m quite fond of my home town. I wasn’t always, and there were tough moments there like anywhere else. When I look past those moments, I see a place with space to think and become an individual. In fact, support from teachers and friends kept me typing out words instead of giving up.
Several people wrote in my yearbook that they couldn’t wait to see my name on the cover of a book. It feels pretty good to make that come true.
When you go to a rural school, it’s pretty hard to hide. You get called on. There’s always a spot for you on the team, even if that spot is the end of the bench. I tried to be shy at my first middle school dance, but my friend stopped a girl I had a crush on, told her to dance with me, and after the song ended I waited by my next crush until another metal power ballad started.
Some men do disappear in small towns, though, if they find a place deep enough inside themselves to hide. People knew their names, but everything after that disappeared.
The sheriff, principal, and mechanic in Orphans aren’t real people Roy and I know. For me, those three men started when I thought about living a lonely rural life, and getting more and more lost. I wanted to see how far they could go, so Roy and I found a few paths into the quiet, small town night.
We can’t wait to share the way with you.
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