Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Broom(stick) in Town!


Hey y’all!  Welcome back to Flowers on the Fence Country.  Today one of my best cyber buddies visits to celebrate the release last week of Tex, The Witch Boy.  Tex is in high school.  And I don’t know about y’all, but if somebody told me I had to go through high school again, I’d run screamin’ to the nearest insane asylum.  ‘Cause the first time just about drove me crazy.  I wouldn’t survive a repeat.  And I’m thinkin’ Tex’s experience isn’t all that much better, am I right?


Hi Gail! And thanks for allowing me to visit and talk a little bit about my book Tex, The Witch Boy.

Yes, let’s chat about high school. Even though I’ve been out for (ahem) quite some time, I still have nightmares about it. The cliques, the ongoing quest for acceptance. Dodge-ball. But mostly, I still remember the cruel unnecessary bullying.


Richard “Tex” McKenna, a high school sophomore, faces these challenges every day. Really he just wants to survive high school along with his small, but loyal, group of friends. But Tex has got bigger issues going on. He’s learned he’s a witch. Not even a warlock or something cool like that. He’s a bonafide witch. Now you’d think witchcraft powers might make his high school life easier. You’d think wrong! 


Sort of a supernatural trouble magnet, Tex finds himself deep in mystery and danger when someone starts murdering the high school bullies. The sadistic vice-principal, the police, and fellow students believe Tex is involved. He has no choice but to use his new-found witch powers to uncover the murderer. Before the murderer targets Tex and his friends.

Whew. And you thought your high school days were tough?

Tex, The Witch Boy began life based upon a handful of bullying incidents that happened to either me or a friend of mine in high school. They were a particularly cruel and violent bunch. Sadly, bullying hasn’t changed since my tenure in the hells of high school. My daughter recently finished high school and supplied me with updated tales of bullying. I wrote the book to try and reach bullied teens. I want to let them know there’s hope and to hang in there. 
And there’s nothing wrong with finding a sympathetic adult and telling him what’s going on.

So I guess you can say Tex, The Witch Boy is kinda, sorta a true story. Except for the witchcraft and serial killer aspects, of course! It’s a murder mystery, suspense thriller, comedy-drama, romance, lightly paranormal whatsit.

Here’s Tex now. I’m going to let him tell you about the first time he met his friend Olivia…




I’d only known Olivia since the start of our sophomore year, but already she was one of the few people I could honestly call a friend. One week after school started, a short girl wearing a beat-up jean jacket, a Clash T-shirt, and a streak of orange adorning the long black hair hanging over one of her eyes burst into speech class. She carried a folded-up piece of paper and a sense of excitement about her.

After Miss Swanson studied the paper, she announced, “Class, this is Olivia Furman. She’s a new student here, so please make her feel welcome. Olivia, go sit over by Richard.” Since I was short on friends and “school cred,” several seats were free next to me.

Once Miss Swanson assigned the latest group project (which I always hated, since I felt like the overweight kid, always chosen last in gym class), Olivia turned to me and said, “Okay, what’s the deal with that Hastings Nazi?” Arville Hastings was the notoriously scary, hard-ass vice-principal of our beloved school. Right then, I knew Olivia was someone I wanted to know and have in my corner.

“What happened?” I asked.

“I just came from that jerk’s office.” Her one visible eye lit up. “He spent forty-five minutes telling me I needed to stay away from the stoners, the slackers, and the freaks, and if I wanted to make it, I should dress more appropriately and get to know people like the cheerleaders and the football team and…” Olivia had been listing off every notation with her bejeweled fingers. She was so out of breath with indignation, it took her a minute to stop and notice I was laughing. Suddenly, she burst into a loud guffaw, attracting the irate attention of Miss Swanson.

“Is there something funny about our group project, Richard?” Miss Swanson asked.

“No, sorry. We’re just trying to come up with a topic for our group speech.” I leaned in closer to Olivia and said quietly, “Welcome to sophomore year of ‘Nazi High.’ I’m Tex, by the way.”

“I thought your name was Richard.”

“Well, I suppose technically, it is. But Richard’s such a stupid name, and I’ve learned the nickname for Richard is something far worse…”

Olivia stared at me until she realized what I meant and bellowed out another donkey-laugh. With lightning speed, Miss Swanson stood over our huddled heads, arms akimbo, attempting to intimidate us into silence.

“Do you have a topic for your group speech, yet?” Miss Swanson barely kept her anger simmering under the surface of her matronly manner.

“Yes,” screamed Olivia, “teenage anarchy!” And with that, we both did our worst at stifling the rush of exploding laughter. We also knew a friendship was forged from the fires of speech class. Literally saved by the classroom bell, Olivia was spared another visit to her new friend, Arville Hastings. The fates were kind to us that day.


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stuartrwestwriter

19 comments:

  1. As usual I am enchanted by Gail's blog and your visit Stuart. I was the object of such bullying so love to see authors putting as spotlight on it and a solution. As a former teacher I got to see it and when able to, put a halt to it. I taught children born with Downs...the "normal" students were merciless until I instituted a buddy program with the teachers of the "normal" kids that assigned one of the "normal" kids to one of my kids. For an entire day that "normal" kid came to my class and spent the day with his "buddy".

    The "normal" kid learned my kids might have challenges, but the faced each one with a smile and more courage than the "normal" kidthought (s)he possessed.

    This didn't break the misery of bullying..it would take teaching parents to make REAL progress in ending bullying.

    Best to you Stuart, and Gail...tiy knos how bri8lliant I think you are.

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  2. Sorry about the errors in my last posting...that last statement is SUPPOSED to say: "and Gail...you know how brilliant I think you are. I'm dyslexic so I routinely create my own language."

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    1. I have no trouble understandin' you darlin'! And creating a language is very handy when writing an alternate world theory, so you've got an added advantage! Thanks so much for coming by!

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  3. Stuart, great interview. I love the premise of your book two. I have mentally retarded brother who is a wonderful loving human being. My friends accepted him without question but every now and then an outsider would try to bully him. LOl, Tim used to say when I got mad, "Ignore them, they are the ones with the problem." I learned a lot from him.

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    1. should have too (typing can't keep up with the mind. LOL

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    2. My best friend growing up had cerebral palsy. I've pushed a wheelchair many a mile, handed off crutches, locked braces and toted many an extra lunchtray. And looking back, we were blessed. Because I can truthfully say there wasn't a child in our grammer school who didn't consider her as normal as the rest of us!

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  4. Hey Lin and Marian! Thanks for dropping in to read! Yeah, bullying's awful, isn't it? But with your great attitudes, let's take these bullies down one at a time. We can make a difference. I'm hoping my book can reach at least one troubled teen and give him/her hope.

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  5. Love the blurb, love the excerpt, love the topic. I don't remember being bullied in school, except once and I was taller than the girl. I told her to go pick on somebody her own size. I believe she did. I think it's more of a problem today than when I went to school, sad to say. Anyone know why?

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    1. I think a lot of it is just the media as to the attention it gets now. It's always been there and unfortunately always will be, I'm afraid, to some extent or the other. I always hark back to "A Christmas Story" and Ralphie just finally wailing the dickens out of the bully. Especially since my grandson in Pre-K finally pulled a "Ralphie" near the end of the year after the class strongarm took one too many toys away from him! And just like Ralphie, that settled that! (And no, like Ralphie's mother, my daughter didn't say a word to my grandson about it! Other than to re-impress that it was a "when all else fails" solution, of course!)

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    2. Gail! I think everyone who's bullied should "pull a Ralphie." Just sayin'.

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  6. All I know is I wouldn't mess with you, Heather! LOL. Dunno why bullying seems more prevalent these days. Could be back in the day (before cable TV, so long ago), kids kept their mouths closed as to the terrors they faced. I did. But these days, they're more vocal. Which is great.

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  7. Hey this book is sprinkled with lots of interesting elements for teens and us old folks. Great premise and admirable mission to help those kids who are bullied and just might speak to the bullies too! Best wishes, Stuart, with your new release!

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    1. J.Q.! Thanks for stoppin' in! Love you, girl!

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  8. Great interview for a great book!
    I bought it last week and couldn`t put it down.
    Stuart`s description is perfect :0)

    `It’s a murder mystery, suspense thriller, comedy-drama, romance, lightly paranormal whatsit.``

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    1. Hi Tammy! Thanks for the kind words! (Like your book a lot as well).

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  9. Hi Gail (hugs), hello Stewart - loved the excerpt and your whole reasoning for writing Tex's story:) It sounds like an amazing read.
    I had a Miss Swanson as an English teacher in 7th and 8th grade...she was long-limbed and very serious with dagger-like fingernails. I loved her slow pronunciation of dialogue, but was very happy when she left our school system:)
    Congrats on your release:)
    Gail - it's always nice to swing in and visit at your place.

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    1. Kay Dee!! HUUGGSS!!! I swung by your place today too!! I had a Miss Parker in the 7th grade. Never learned a bit of grammar after that. Because I never needed to! I can hear her now. "A noun does NOT name! A noun is a WORD that names a person, place, object or thing!"

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    2. Hey Kay Dee! I think everyone had a Miss Swanson. Part of life, isn't it? Torn between admiration, strange unhealthy teacher crush, and unholy fear. Thanks for your kind words!

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