The most common question asked of me after people read my book is “When is the next book coming out? I want to know what happened to your brother, Joe.” At first I wonder if I should feel offended that they don’t care about what happened to me but if they are asking me this question personally, they basically already know what happened to me. Since answering the second half of the question would spoil the next book, I have decided that I maybe need to come up with a realistic, legitimate answer to the first half of the question. I have asked Joe to write something for me about his journey that I can include in my sequel with the goal of being able to finish writing it this coming winter and to have it in my reader’s hand by next July. There is my answer – look for the sequel by July 2015. Now I have to keep my word.
The most unusual question I have gotten is, “Why didn’t your older brother, Paul, stand up to your father and help you and Joe?” An interesting question and not one that I have ever entertained before. He did have the status of the favored son but neither Joe nor I saw Paul as having any more power to change things with our father – maybe because Paul himself never recognized the power he actually had. Paul never stood up to our father in any aspect of his relationship with him. He was simply passive- aggressive. If Dad said no, Paul just went behind his back and did what he wanted anyway. And he never had any need to get off the farm and do other things. Maybe he learned early that to challenge Dad was useless or maybe his desire to farm and to eventually have the farm overrode any normal underlying desire to be a person in his own right.
Maybe not a question but the biggest assumption that I have had to deal with that causes misunderstanding in promoting my book is that those who are helping me with promotion all make the mistake of wanting to say that this is a book about growing up. It is not. It is a book about being a young adult and struggling to become what an adult should be under a father who cannot let go of his role as a parent and in that role, feels it is his right to have his “children” do what he wants. My childhood was “normal” by most standards. The problems begin in adolescence.