Thursday, November 21, 2013

Minority of One - Contest

Pain is temporary,
Pride is forever.
I first saw the quote on a cross country runner's T-shirt. I understand it has been used as the title of a documentary film, and is the title of an eBook. it's used by coaches and personal trainers.

And by a character in my new book, Minority of One.

Neill Mallory feels he has three strikes against him, he is young (17 years old), black and gay. He is also intelligent, thoughtful, a good friend, and a runner, and those qualities are getting him through the jungle of high school and helping him deal with the loss of his boyfriend. He's good in school, except for English, which is why an assignment to write an "ode to spring" leaves him skipping his morning run and tearing out his hair to get something on the paper and avoid a negative grade. With the help of Carl, his former boyfriend, Neill comes up with a poem about something that defines him, Running.


I run.
Because I have to.
Every morning, of every day,
I rise before the sun.
Rains refresh, snow exhilarates,
Sunshine warms, winds push me on.
Never bad weather, only different types of good weather
When I run.
I pass night shift workers trudging home
Who shake their heads, unable to understand.
Sane people hit the snooze button,
Or maybe sip their morning coffee.
But fueled by sweat, determination, and guts,
I run.
Because pride is forever.


I needed days to write this. As I told a poetry workshop I taught earlier this year, the poem was once much simpler
Life sucks,
And not in a good way.
But over time it changed and expanded as I took inspiration from real runners and other athletes. A few weeks ago I read an excerpt of Minority of One to my critique group. That passage included the two boys working together to develop this poem while fighting off their still strong feelings for each other.  The people in the group told me they could feel the sensuality and the heartbreak, and the still lingering attraction between the two boys.  One asked for a copy of that poem so she could use it as inspiration.

Hard to believe sedentary me wrote the thing, and it only took me almost forever.

Minority of One is a multicultural YA story that not only follows the travails of Neill and Carl, but also gives readers a second romance, between new girl in school Sheila Galliano and basketball phenom Julian Morales, one of Neill's friends (it's practically a bromance). The friendship that develops between Sheila and Neill transforms them both, until her mother is found dead and his brother is arrested. Hopefully the identity of the real killer, and the uncovering of the connections between all parties, will leave readers satisfied and hoping for the future.

Contest:  The book will not be available until next spring. But I have a limited number or ARCs, including one for someone who leaves a comment on this blog. For a chance at an early Christmas present leave a comment below.  I will pick a winner at random  on December 4.
Check back then and see if the winner is YOU!!

5 comments:

Brenda said...

I would love to read more about these two guys. contact info- klb.bab@prodigy.net

Don H. said...

I read the first book in your series, and did not know about the second one, or this. I will be looking for it next year.

Janice Hansen said...

I like the idea of a story with different ethnic characters. I especially like the poem, because I am a runner myself. i would like to see more of this book.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Wow, sounds like a great book! I'm not a runner either, but your poem helped me understand the attraction of the sport.

Sharon said...

I like the idea of this book. I have a gay nephew, I would love a chance to let him see it. I'll be back Wednesday with my fingers crossed