This past October I was in the United States for a holiday, as well as to attend two incredible signings. While there, a few people asked which of my books was my favourite. I have to admit, like any good parent, I hadn’t thought of it. How do I choose from six books I have poured my blood, sweat, and tears into?
If I’m being truthful, I do have a favourite and it is Breaking Out. And not only because it’s my latest book!
As I’ve mentioned a few times, my life hasn’t turned out at all like I thought it would. Fiction writing and being a writer, as opposed to a journalist, were never in my plans. Nevertheless, I’ve taken this direction and run with it. In doing so I’ve travelled all over the world, something I also never seriously thought about. I have seen so many incredible things, been to incredible places, met wonderful people, something I may not have done had things turned out the way I thought they should.
So why is Breaking Out my favourite book you ask? Because it’s the most me. In this book, I have managed to integrate my love of the MotoGP, travel, and music. I’ve also managed to mention some of my favourite cities; Lisbon (birthplace of fellow Hot Tree Author Natalina Reis), Nashville (home to fellow Hot Tree author Amy K McClung), and wonder of the modern world, Venice (home to me if I ever win the lotto!).
Sure, I’ve managed to incorporate some of these things in my other books, but never to this level.
In addition to this, I feel Nia and Chris’s journey is also relatable to me. I’ve been where they, or at least where Nia is. I know what it’s like to want more, to be more, to be different from everyone else. Sure, not on the same scale, but I think trying to find your feet is something everyone struggles with. I wanted to let people who may be going through the same thing that they’re not alone.
Backing me up, as I always find in my life, is an amazing soundtrack. While on my aforementioned trip, I was lucky enough to catch Mike Shinoda, co-frontman of Linkin Park, in concert. Almost a year and a half of the tragic passing of Chester Bennington and Mike is back at doing what I think he does best, making and playing music. I thought the show would be sad, I certainly bawled my eyes out at times and wasn’t alone, but beyond that, you could see the healing it was doing for Mike. I never thought I’d see a smile on his, or any other member of Linkin Park’s, face. But he did. He smiled, he laughed, he joked, and through it all, he healed. I’m a true believer that music can heal all wounds, it certainly has for me. So many of the songs he played that night fit the journey Chris and Nia went on. And just like it did for me, I hope the music healed them too. I hope it heals you if you need it.
Oh, and if you need another reason why Breaking Out if my favourite? Flip to the cover, Dan Rengering can brighten anyone’s day!