Let’s start with a checklist.
*Tex is a student at a suburban Kansas high school. Check.
*Tex is socially awkward and uncomfortable in his own skin. Um, check.
*Tex’s dad is in a wheelchair and his mother has cancer. Yes. Check.
*Tex is unpopular and physically and verbally bullied. Unfortunately, check.
*Tex is in love but to afraid to do anything about it. Sigh. Check.
*Tex is a teenage male witch. Wait…What? Run that by me again…
*There’s a serial killer running through the halls of his high school. No! Where’d that come from? Stop! Maybe this checklist isn’t such a good idea after all!
I’m not a witch and obviously, we didn’t have a serial killer in our high school, but I doubt if anyone’d care to read a straight-up autobiography. So I gussied the novel up with what I hope are entertaining elements. Things were changed, of course. Tex’s dad has multiple sclerosis and his mom has breast cancer. But unlike the book, the outcome’s different. My father passed away years ago and my mom’s still alive, a proud two-time cancer survivor. Why did I change it? Just seemed right for the story. I thought the dynamics would work better. Plus, I wanted to portray a strong, handicapable character in Tex’s dad.
The bullying events in the book may seem strong. They are. But they also happened to either me or a friend of mine. Sadly, things haven’t changed much since my high school days. Two years ago, in a Kansas suburb, a group of sociopathic bullies set a boy on fire because he went to reclaim his stolen bicycle. Horrifying and tragic.
“But, Stuart,” I hear you asking, “what is the book about?” (Okay, maybe you’re not asking me that. Maybe it’s a voice in my head. Issues, I have issues.) Regardless, this sums it up nicely: Being in high school sucks. Just ask Richard “Tex” McKenna, a Kansas sophomore. Dealing with bullying, burgeoning love, the loss of parents, and dodge ball is bad enough. To top it off, he's just found out he's a witch. Oh, and fellow students are being murdered. The suspicious eyes of local law enforcement are looking right at Tex and his loyal group of friends. And so are the killer’s. Will Tex's new-found skills prove helpful? Or cause even more problems?
Tex, The Witch Boy is about tolerance, bullying, growing up, making right decisions, diversity, friendship, and love. Oh, and it’s a young adult, paranormal, murder mystery, suspense thriller, comedy romance. There’s also a kitchen sink in there if you look carefully. I wrote it to appeal to males (woefully underrepresented in YA books today) and females of all ages. It’s also for anyone who’s ever been bullied or have children who are being bullied. And to exorcise my high school demons.
It’s the first of a trilogy, the second one slated to come out from MuseItUp this summer. All of the books deal with topical issues based on real events and are supernatural murder mysteries.
Official Tex, The Witch Boy Trailer: