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Cheeseland by Randy Richardson (2012, Paperback)
Broken: A Novel. Katie Summers is a fifteen-year-old girl with a bad attitude, which has been brought on Katie Summers is a fifteen-year-old girl with a bad attitude, which has been brought on mostly by her parents' divorce. Katie blames her mother for divorcing her father and has decided to become as much of a problem child as Driver's Education: A Novel. In the tradition of Big Fish, a poignant and eccentric novel about fathers, sons, and In the tradition of Big Fish, a poignant and eccentric novel about fathers, sons, and the power of stories to change the way we see the world—and the people—around us.
Edisto Revisited: A Novel. Horse: A novel. What she finds is Ian, short for Obsidian: the Juliet the Maniac: A Novel. So I, and many other teens like me, would trek to Wisconsin to lead a life that blurred the line between adolescence and adulthood.
Cheeseland | Eckhartz Press
Not surprisingly, this oftentimes led us to get in trouble. The book is inspired by one of those real life road trips across the border, when I joined two friends for a rock concert at Alpine Valley. I handed him the keys to my car and that was the last thing I remember until I found myself lying on a curb outside of a late-night tavern in Kenosha, blood trickling out of my forehead. My friend had crashed the car into a parked car, and I have these hazy memories of the owner of the other car yelling at him for hitting his car while I lay there bleeding and my friend trying to tell this guy that I needed help.
I was very fortunate in that the only physical injuries I incurred were some minor cuts and abrasions to my forehead, which had struck the windshield when the car collided with the parked car. That entire scene gnawed at my for thirty years and developed into Cheeseland. But that second part of the story is really a reflection of the length of time it took me to write the novel and how I was changing.
I was learning how to be a parent as I was writing this story, and it occurred to me that it would be interesting to see how or if these two characters would grow as they became older. I separated them by thirty years because that was how long it had been for me since I was a teen. In comparing the writing process for my first novel, Lost in the Ivy , with that of Cheeseland , they are actually quite similar in that real-life events inspired both novels, and I wrote both without having any kind of outline.
I literally write without a compass. All those twists and turns that the reader experiences were first experienced by me. No one is more surprised than me where these stories end up going. At what point do loyalty and a desire for privacy cross over into harmful secret keeping? Are secrets ever beneficial to a relationship? They avoid talking about these taboo subjects because it is easier not to talk about them.
We see these kinds of stories more and more in the daily news.
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One of the main messages I hope to illustrate in this book is the importance of just talking, openly and honestly, to your friends, to your parents, to your teachers, to your counselors and other medical professionals. A lot of smaller problems can be stamped out early before they grow into bigger problems just by talking about them.
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An Interview with Randy Richardson
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