The Imperfection of Kim
I first wrote this blog post for a guest slot on Monica LaPorta's blog last year. However, I thought it was pretty apt to share today, as Reaper's Rhythm (The Hidden Series Book 1) is being re-released by Realmwalker Publishing.
When I started writing the Hidden series, I knew I didn’t want to shy away from topics that affect teenagers. Right from the start of Reaper’s Rhythm, the heroine, Kim, has to deal with grief, under-aged drinking, boys and bullying.
These are topics that often make adults uncomfortable. We don’t want to think about our children (not even teenagers) having to worry about them. We all like to think our children are perfect, that they’ll never be swayed to give into temptation and try something they shouldn’t, such as smoking or drinking. But if we shy away from these topics ourselves, too nervous to discuss them, where are teenagers going to get their education in these topics from?
School teachers? Yes, to a certain extent. In the UK, all pupils are given citizenship lessons, which include sex education, alcohol awareness and so on.
From their peers? Definitely. Whilst this can happen in a positive way, it can also happen in a negative way. I’m sure we all know how strong peer pressure can be. Most of us experience it on a daily basis, either in school, at work or within our friendship circles. Peer pressure is not age exclusive and depending on how firm we are within our own identities, it can be hard to resist.
Teenagers are going through a period of self-discovery. They are starting to explore who they are and what they want out of life. As a result, peer pressure can be all too easy to succumb to. The desire to fit in and be part of a group, rather than an individual is a compelling one.
Another place teenagers turn to is fiction, be it books, TV or films. They look for role models. Not perfect teenagers, but those who make mistakes and learn from them. They look for role models who are human, believable and whom they can relate to.
That’s what I wanted to achieve when I began writing Reaper’s Rhythm. I wanted Kim to be a multi-faceted character who makes mistakes. A girl who could be the reader’s best friend, peer, or daughter.
Kim is far from perfect. She makes mistakes. She does things she regrets. She unintentionally hurts others. But she learns and changes. She becomes a better, stronger person as the series progresses.
Will she be perfect by the end of the series? Of course not. None of us are and, to be honest, that’s what makes us beautiful individuals.
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