All Because of Chickens

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tex, The Witch Boy And Me

 They say you should write what you know. I incorporated a lot of autobiographical detail in Tex, The Witch Boy, my debut book. I still remember the pain, suffering, bullying, cliques, and social structure of high school all too well. And the occasional victory that somehow pulled me through every day.

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:


  1. Great post Stuart!

    I loved this book.

  2. Thank you, Tammy!

    Your book's pretty darn good as well.

  3. Stuart, interesting how the stuff from your real life and your imagination mixed up in this book.

  4. Margaret, it was a strange process. In many ways it was easy to write. But also emotionally draining at other times.

    1. I can believe it. I wrote a chapter book about a little boy who loses his mother in a fire -- in the real event that prompted the story, my friend lost his wife and all four of his children.

  5. "Issues, I have issues." What good writer doesn't? (wink)

    Great post. Just love the cover of this book. Tex is so compelling.

  6. Thank you, Kai! Wait until you see the cover for the second Tex book. I think cover artist extraordinaire Charlie Volnek outdid herself on that one!

  7. Great post. I've got Tex on my Kindle, ready to read :)

  8. Read, Beth, read like the wind! I'll check out your work as well. Always happy to help out other authors.

  9. Great post! I also have this on my TBR list. And I am sure Charlie did a great job on the cover. She is so talented!!!

  10. Stuart-- Great post! I enjoyed the trailer very much as well! Tex is on my "to-read" list! Can't wait!

  11. You did Tex and yourself proud, darlin'! LOVE the trailer. The music ROCKS!

  12. I love the idea of your book and think it's a great subject for teens. A copy is waiting for me to read on my iPad. Soon, I hope.

  13. Thank you very much, ladies. And for the mothers amongst you, Happy Mother's Day.


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