I am so pleased to have author Mia Kerick on my blog. She is here talking about her newest release ‘Inclination’ that released from “Young Dudes Publishing (Cool Dudes)” today! Read on as she shares some interesting stuff here and find the details of the giveaway contest soon at the end of this post 😀
Why is Anthony Del Vecchio of Inclination the perfect Young Adult literary hero?
by Mia Kerick
Ever since I was a teen, I enjoyed reading about the selfless, totally devoted and exquisitely tortured hero in adult romance novels. I really didn’t know much about Young Adult books then, so I scoured the library for adult books featuring these tormented men, who could be saved only by romantic love. It became easier to find these kinds of books when I could search for “books with tortured heroes” online. And back when I read just M/F romance, I only chose historical romances with seriously tortured male heroes. (There are a surprisingly large number of them.) Once I found M/M romance, I started to prefer contemporary romance. But still—I found plenty of tortured souls to fall in love with and root for!! LOL.
But a hero in a Young Adult book must be different… and more.
Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio of my new release Inclination, is the perfect Young Adult hero. First of all, he is a teenager. Anthony, a sixteen-year-old junior at Wedgewood High School, is the perfect age for a Young Adult main character. And Anthony has a conflict, which is also mandatory. I’m not talking about a minor, “something is troubling me” sort of problem, but a major “my life cannot go on until I figure this out” kind of conflict. Furthermore, all of the events that occur in Inclination revolve around Anthony’s struggle to resolve this conflict. Also necessary to Anthony’s heroic nature is that Inclination is told from the perspective of the actual boy who is enduring this struggle—it Anthony Del Vecchio’s first hand account of the pain and growth that comes from a major coming-of-age struggle. And in the manner I have always appreciated, Anthony is quite a tortured soul, but his struggle will lead to him to more than the satisfaction of romantic love—it will lead him to growing up.
Let’s look at the details.
In Inclination, Anthony has finally accepted what he has long suspected: he is gay. His sexual orientation provides the central conflict of the story, as Anthony soon learns that homosexual behaviour is not acceptable in the Catholic Church, to which he is devoted. He is forced to swallow the notion that if he lives his life as an actively gay man, in a committed same-sex relationship, he will be a sinner in the eyes of his church. He will be condemned. In the early stages of his struggle with this conflict, Anthony makes attempts to solve his problem by trying to “not be gay any more”—by attempting to change his sexuality and be heterosexual. Upon realizing that his attempts to change himself in this way are fruitless, his desperation in regard to the conflict increases, leading to huge challenges.
In the course of Anthony’s journey (that he describes in first person depth in Inclination by detailing his most personal thoughts and even his dreams) to decide what he should do in regard to his his sexual orientation, he must bare his soul in ways he had never before dreamed of. He suffers the cruelty of public isolation, the bitterness of bullying and prejudice, and the unpleasantness of self-disgust. In suffering these things, Anthony is forced to be visible when what he craves is anonymity. On the brighter side, though, this struggle opens Anthony’s eyes and heart to the abundant compassion coming from places he’d never before imagined—the Goth emo rebel he always kept his distance from and the lesbian outcasts who are obviously sinners and the Jewish kids who he had long thought “missed the boat” as far as religion goes. His struggle opens his eyes to people he has never before made an effort to see. Anthony’s shaky progress through his conflict is not merely about his survival, but is about him becoming a better person. A true Young Adult hero.
The conflict necessary to create the coming-of-age types of changes in Anthony could come in many forms. It could be through a struggle to make a certain sports team or to survive a battle or to win a bet. However, Anthony’s conflict reflects who he is: a devout teenager who desires to live his life in a manner that pleases God. Through his struggle to determine if he can be both actively gay and pious, he faces more than just a question of right and wrong in regard to his sexuality. He faces who he has been and considers who he wants to be, and finds the maturity and wisdom to make very difficult decisions. Anthony sets new priorities as a thoughtful young man, and no longer as an obedient child. He finds the Grace to trust in himself and in his friends and in the God he knows. Over the course of this struggle, Anthony grows up.
Sixteen-year-old Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a nice Catholic boy with a very big problem. It’s not the challenge of fitting in as the lone adopted South Korean in a close-knit family of Italian-Americans. Nor is it being the one introverted son in a family jam-packed with gregarious daughters. Anthony’s problem is far more serious—he is the only gay kid in Our Way, his church’s youth group. As a high school junior, Anthony has finally come to accept his sexual orientation, but he struggles to determine if a gay man can live as a faithful Christian. And as he faces his dilemma, there are complications. After confiding his gayness to his intolerant adult youth group leader, he’s asked to find a new organization with which to worship. He’s beaten up in the church parking lot by a fanatical teen. His former best pal bullies him in the locker room. His Catholic friends even stage an intervention to lead him back to the “right path.” Meanwhile, Anthony develops romantic feelings for David Gandy, an emo, out and proud junior at his high school, who seems to have all the answers about how someone can be gay and Christian, too.
Will Anthony be able to balance his family, friends and new feelings for David with his changing beliefs about his faith so he can live a satisfying life and not risk his soul in the process?
ABOUT MIA KERICK
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
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~ CONTEST ENDS 4TH MARCH, 2015 ~