Book Themes

I attend University of Tennessee as an English Major working on my Bachelor’s degree. Currently I’m taking a class on Shakespeare. One of the things we discuss everyday are themes of each, in this case, play. The fact is themes are a big part of stories whether it’s a novel, a short story, poem, play or anything else. It got me thinking about the themes in my own work, especially as Destroyed releases in about 6 weeks.

One of the major themes I keep coming back to in Destroyed is friendship. Though I suppose I should relate this more to relationships in general. Either way my point remains the same. In our lives, we typically come across two types of people. Those who pass through and those who stay in our lives. We can come across the ones who stay at any time in our life – childhood, preteen, teen, and even adulthood. Now, I’m the type of person who doesn’t make friends easily. I question motives and I judge before I truly open up. There are some people that when you meet, you just know.

Take for example, my best friend Leigh. She and I met in 2004 when we started at Heritage School for Massage Therapy together. We hadn’t known each other before then, but we hit it off and we’ve been friends since. We now live hundreds of miles apart, but we still talk and try to hang out when I’m down her way. Her daughter is the closest thing I have to a niece. My sister has friends like this as well.

Then you have those people who pass through. I’ve known several people like this. We were friends at one time, but for one reason or another, we no longer talk. I’ve learned with these type of people, you simply have to learn to read the signs.

Let me jump back to my friend Leigh. We’ve known each other for 10 years now and one of the things I love about her is that she has stuck by me no matter what. She has been a shoulder to cry on, she has forced me to stick out the consequences (if you’re reading this, you know what I’m talking about), and she has stood by my side no matter how stupid the decision. Then you have those who pass through. I think of these people as those who take advantage, put you down, and generally don’t know how to be honest or open about anything.

While writing Destroyed, this was a big to do for me. Initially I started the book where the main character (Bella) didn’t really have any friends, but it felt wrong. My theory is everybody has at least one person they call friend. So I created a character roughly based on someone I know as Bella’s best friend. To me, this character is a combination of things: direct, supportive, and funny, but serious when necessary. Like any good friend, she sees things Bella tries to hide and she tries to help, even when it isn’t asked.

As the story goes on, relationships change because it happens in real life. Sometimes for the better, even when it seems for the worse. It hadn’t really occurred to me how major this theme was until about a week ago. Things in my own life changed and got my brain churning over all the work I’d done on the book over the past 5 weeks. Needless to say, I know Destroyed will have a huge impact on how Punished (Book Two) will be perceived.

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