I never really intended this to be a book. I have a friend who was kind of like everyone’s kid sister in my high school group of friends. After many years of not hanging out with that group, we friended each other on Facebook and I began to notice her posts were always very sad. I sent a message asking what was going on. She wrote that she had just gotten out of an abusive relationship after a year of prodding from this guy she knew. The two of them eventually ended up in a relationship which was a very positive one. He was a really good guy. He was also a navy seal stationed on the east coast. She was going to take a little trip to see him, meet his family there, and start school for journalism. Unfortunately, two days before she was to leave, he was killed in combat. I could only imagine how lost she felt. Still, she went to meet his family and to be there for the funeral. Then she stayed on the east coast and started school.
When I messaged her, all of this had already happened, and she was very homesick and lonely. I told her I thought I had a story that she might relate to if she was interested in getting it in small chunks. So I sent a little bit of it each day. Eventually, she looked forward to the next installment of my story at the end of most days. It cheered her up, particularly coming from someone she had known fairly well, and gave her something else to think about other than all that she had just gone through. I think in a small way it confirmed her getting out of her own abusive relationship as well.
She loved the story so much that I thought maybe I should just put it out there and see what would happen, so I fixed it up as best I could and self-published it in 2012. It was an exhilarating move, even though the book didn’t garner much attention at first. After all, I had just quietly published it, saying nothing to anyone about it.
After about six months I was approached by a publisher and signed some papers around Christmas last year. I waited, and in the meantime, continued on other projects. In August, I asked my good friend Brenda Perlin if her publisher might actually move on a book like mine since my publisher was doing absolutely nothing.
I had no idea I would be getting myself into such a good situation with Master Koda. Thanks to Kim, Brenda, Rebbekah, and a few other people that I will probably learn of in the future, I was taken in and given another shot at sharing my story which is just one voice in the effort to send some hope and love out to those who are in abusive situations. And quite frankly, there aren’t many voices out there for guys who have been taken advantage of, so I hope to start a few conversations about that as I go.
Thank you for being a part of the kick-off to this book series. The more voices we can get out there, the more the conversation about abuse and bullying will perpetuate itself, and the more help we will be to each other.
Love & Mercy,