So, here he is, Andrew Auseon:
First of all, I want to thank Kimberly for giving me some real estate on her blog, to pass through on my way to greener pastures. (This is very strange. I’m using present tense, even though I’m writing this post several weeks before it goes up the site. So, in a way, it’s kind of like time travel.) She is a very gracious hostess, and I only hope I can do her justice with this post.
I’m here to say a few words about my new novel, Freak Magnet, a romance about a boy and a girl who meet, say goodbye, meet again, say goodbye, meet again, and so on and so forth. (I think you get the idea. Will they end up together? I’m not at liberty to say. Maybe I don’t even know. Wouldn’t that be weird?) The main characters, Charlie and Gloria, have lost their way in life, mostly due to personal tragedies that have sucked the teens into their orbit. Only something unexpected has the potential to break them out of their downward spirals, only something a little… freaky.
When I started Freak Magnet five years ago, I set out to tell the story of two people who bump into each other by accident, and then go their separate ways, believing that’s the end of it. This happens to all of us: we have a sudden, unexpected encounter with a stranger that gives us pause. “Where did that person come from? Who are they? Where did they go after our meeting?” And most of the time, we never see them again. But what if you did? What would you do? Freak Magnet is about such strange coincidences, and about stepping outside yourself to get to know someone else, even when you’re unsure about the consequences. It’s about finding the courage to say, “What if?”
Charlie Wyatt is a talented amateur astronomer seeking a prestigious internship in Chile. Sadly, his social skills have suffered because of his dedication to his science, and because of his mother’s worsening Huntington’s disease. For several years, Charlie has worked hard to stay holed up in his family’s apartment, away from other people. You could say he’s out of practice when it comes to other human beings. Then there’s Gloria Aboud, a beautiful and creative poet who speaks her mind, even if it occasionally gets her into trouble. Unable to break free from the suffocating grief caused by the death of her older brother in Afghanistan, Gloria, too, seeks solace in her loneliness. Then a day comes when they bump into each other, by chance, by happenstance, by whatever you want to call it. And both, sensing something special, wonder, “What if?”
Despite being a realistic novel set in the very real (and very hot) Washington, D.C. area, Freak Magnet is a fantasy. Charlie and Gloria’s world is full of magic, but it’s the kind of magic we can believe in: an undiscovered comet that blazes across the summer sky, waiting to be named; a dead brother’s letters imparting wisdom long after his voice has fallen silent; or a stolen kiss on a rooftop in the eye of a thunderstorm. Life is made up of moments, and sometimes those moments suggest a greater purpose. Probably the most fun part of writing Freak Magnet was acting as the cosmos, leading two lost souls to find each other. I got to tell their amazing story.
Every day, each of us goes out into the world and brushes up against other people—strangers, mostly—and sometimes there are sparks. The story of Charlie and Gloria is about trying to catch some of those sparks to make lightning in a bottle. Magic does exist. It’s called freakiness. It’s called inspiration. It’s called love. It’s memorizing the names of all your date’s friends. It’s hearing a song you hate but singing along anyway, because it reminds you of her. It’s turning your car around and driving ten hours in the opposite direction to be with someone for just one more hour.
And the amazing thing is that I’m not an optimist, or an idealist, or even a romantic. I am a pretty sour realist, a real buzz kill; still, despite my point of view, I can’t deny that every single day I experience at least one “What if?” moment. In fact, my entire personal life is based on a series of insane “What if?” moments where I took a chance, didn’t fail too badly, and therefore decided to take another, and another, and another. Inspiration comes from the unlikeliest of places. In this case, it came from the time I drove nonstop from Columbus, Ohio to Washington, D.C. at three in the morning to tell a girl I loved her to her face for the first time. (And it’s a true story. In fact, I married the girl.) That was the book I wanted to write, but when I sat down to start my work, I instead found myself asking, “What if?” And Freak Magnet was born
I hope you enjoy the novel. Thanks again to Kimberly, for letting me post my shenanigans on her blog. It’s been a pleasure. It’s got a great view of the beach.
YAY! I loved that, Andrew!!! My favorite part: "Magic does exist. It’s called freakiness. It’s called inspiration. It’s called love."
Oh, and that you drove all night to tell a girl you loved her (and ended up marrying her)!!!
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