Someone once told me that there is truth tucked into every joke, every comment, and every piece of fiction. Thus, fiction and reality go hand in hand.
After releasing Scary Modsters … and Creepy Freaks, I had a hard time getting traction on a new story. I strive to be original, which is in no way easy, and it felt like every time I sat at my computer the same old love story popped out. Maybe I just wasn’t inspired, or maybe the universe had not yet spoken. Then one day the universe screamed.
I was chatting with a friend online—a grown woman—who was being bullied over her physical attributes—by a grown man. Worse, the guy thought he was being clever, or maybe he wanted to be indiscreet, and did it in code—on Facebook, right on his wall, using the public setting—for her and the rest of the world to see. He spoke of a group she was a part of and the friends she had. He even directly spoke of our activities. His friends joined in—friends who were also grown men and women. Their childish behavior, and who it was aimed at, could not have been more obvious.
Fortunately, my friend is a survivor who knows how to roll with the punches. She could have fought back, and while I do feel there is a time and a place for it, it was clear that these people just wanted someone to pick on—someone to make them feel superior. In the end, she felt it best to ignore the idiots. Naturally, when she failed to fight back, they called it quits. After all, what fun is it for a bully when his victim doesn’t play along?
That incident drove me to start writing, and while it took a lot of other elements to make Something To Dream On something other than an average story about bullying, the fire had been lit. Something To Dream On is my way to show people that they can be stronger—be they victims or bullies. We can all overcome our insecurities and use our passions to make the world a better place.
So in getting back to the truth in fiction, Something To Dream On came out of a real event that was brought on by someone being a real jerk and a friend who took the high road, thus making the world better by not feeding the bully machine. Sadly, the guy who did the teasing still seems to be an ass; however, the person he attacked taught me how to be a better person. For that, I will always be grateful.