Thank you, Delilah, for having me.
Romantic Suspense and Women’s Fiction are usually the genres I write, but when an idea came to me about an online meeting between teens, I decided to explore the possibility of writing a Young Adult story. I am a parent and yet the questions I needed answered perplexed me. How do teens interact among their peers at school? How do they cope with cliques? Do most young people tend to stereotype when meeting new students from different ethnic backgrounds? Who are their role models?
This is what I felt I knew regarding the youth of today. Exposure to technology and social media has become an integral part of their lives. They have become experts at keeping occupied on phones, texting, sharing, trolling, scrolling, and chatting. They tend to concentrate on screens and miss out on what’s going on around them. In my opinion, viewing body language, facial expressions and vocal reactions probably has become invisible.
This quote by E.E. Cummings drove me to keep digging. “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
After doing extensive online research, I headed to the homes of four, male teenagers I know very well, who are close to my heart. The book I wanted to write involved teens, and I needed ideas for the leading character, so with permission, I surveyed their living quarters. It wasn’t surprising for me to see empty snack bags, cans, wrappers and beds in disarray. After that, I did a bit of private shadowing, watching them with their peers. I pretended ignorance as I asked questions about recreational drugs. Undeniably, my previous fieldwork had come in handy, except for teen language. Taking notes on acronyms proved to be the most challenging part of the personal interviews I did with the boys. Finally, after a deep breath, I felt I had enough to begin writing my story. Thus, the YA mystery novella, #heartmatch, came to life.
As readers and/or writers, what do you see as benefits or challenges with social media and the exposure to technology, including computer games? Send me a note with your thoughts and I’ll randomly choose two people to win a #heartmatch free download from Amazon and one person to receive a print book.
Nineteen-year old Jason Bryant, a lost soul, has forgotten how to care anymore. The dad he loves, the friends he has grown up with, and especially his mom have abandoned him. So, he vents while he plays blood and guts computer games every waking moment. He’s out for revenge until he meets Sam.
Samantha Brown calls being home schooled—home-prisoned. Because of a life threating health condition, she lives each day as it happens. Friends have deserted her. The parents she dearly loves are overly protective. Her sterile existence is lonely, so she searches online for a friend. She runs into Jason but refuses to fess up about her condition.
Although they are complete opposites, something clicks between them. Two deprived beings intertwine. Can they save each other?
An excerpt from #heartmatch…
“Let’s exchange numbers,” he typed.
One minute later, Samantha’s phone rang. She answered the Facetime call.
“Hey, nothing’s ugly so far,” Jason said.
She moved her phone around the room. “This is where I live.”
“In a bedroom?” he asked.
“A hospital room.”
His brows furrowed.
“What happened? You have an accident?”
“I’m dying, Jason.”
She moved the phone to her IV, the heart monitor machine, her face.
Her voice trembled with emotion. “If I want to live, someone dies.”
“I don’t get it.” His stare sharpened. His gray eyes darkened. “Sam, I mean ah—” he paused. “I’m not feeling too well. I gotta go.”
About the Author
C.K. Alber, author of The Promise Series and #heartmatch, was born in Indiana and raised and educated in both Indiana and Illinois. An extended move to Europe brought about the desire to write. She had gone from the maze of corn fields and town life to historical buildings, famous paintings, the city, and the seaside. As a “people watcher” her stories and characters began to develop, her imagination went wild regarding the settings and dialogues in her head, thus, Romantic Suspense became her preferred genre. The Young Adult story she has recently written came about because of four teens close to her heart.
Now she lives in Colorado with her beloved, thirteen-year-old, rescue dog Luna. She is a dedicated Pescatarian, loves traveling between Washington DC and Colorado to visit family but is still a worldwide traveler when the occasion arises.
Buy Links for #heartmatch ebook
Print on Demand: https://www.amazon.com/heartmatch-C-K-Alber/dp/1983200859/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1532540725&sr=8-1