So I'm really thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL. It's a new anthology of creative non-fiction pieces by authors living in the four Atlantic Canadian provinces, who tackle issues surrounding body image, self-discovery, suicide and fitting in.
One of the authors, Jo Treggiari, stops by to talk about why she writes YA and the raw emotions that fueled Love You Like Suicide.
What is the story about?
A time during her teenaged years when she was dealing with drug addiction, changing friendships and a sudden desire for a different kind of life.
Who will read it?
Anyone 14 + who loves reading dark, gritty creative non-fiction. The full anthology goes on sale September 23, but you can pre-order it here.
And without further ado, here's Jo's post:
I draw from my life in everything I write. How better to capture honest emotion than by remembering — reliving — how it felt to me? So many things happen for the first time during our younger years, which is why writing for teens and about teens is so exciting. First love, first heartbreak, first freedom, first brush with death, first everything.
Although it is only a short piece, Love You Like Suicide was by far the hardest thing I have ever written. Even after all this time, looking back on those young adult years was like taking a knife to an old wound which had mostly healed but not quite. Scars like that fade but never disappear from your heart. Sometimes it feels as if your heart is mostly made up of scars.
I didn’t want to go back there. I struggled against it, I raged and railed because I knew it would hurt. And it did because I also knew that I had to tell it true. No short cuts, no avoidance. I had to face it all again, a complete immersion into the fierce joy of that friendship, that all-encompassing love, and that unbearable pain when it ended.
I had to be brutally honest with myself so that my readers would feel it too — the grimy concrete underfoot, the rank smells, the thrill of living on our own, the tribe we made, the loves we forged, and those we lost.
You can learn more about Jo on her website and follow her on Twitter at @JoTreggiari