Bashed is PaParanormalFan Renee! Renee, I will be in touch via e-mail to see what format you want your copy in. Thanks, everyone, for playing! And thanks for taking a day or two to think about a serious issue.
If you didn't win and still want to read the book that was inspired by the incident below, simply click on Bashed for ordering options.
I'm taking part in the Hop Against Homophobia, an attempt by over 250 GLBT authors, reviewers, and publishers to stand together and create awareness of homophobia. Each participating blog will feature a message on homophobic discrimination in its various forms. Today, May 17th, was chosen in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia and we're hoping to get people more involved with this day by inviting them to our blogs, where the visitors have a chance to win prizes.
My prize is a digital copy of my novel, BASHED, which was inspired by the hate crimes perpetrated on GLBT people all too often (and, nearly, on me--read on). Simply leave a comment below with your e-mail address and I will pick a winner on May 21.
Homophobia comes in many forms, some subtle, some not so much. What inspired me to write Bashed is a real-life incident that happened when I lived in Chicago. Here's my story:
I had been hanging out at the Eagle and had stayed late, leaving at close to four in the morning. I had made a new friend and we were making our way to my car, which was parked on a side street that ran parallel to St. Boniface Cemetery. My companion and I weren't thinking about things like hate crimes. But we suddenly were when we noticed an idling old car. The car was a souped-up muscle vehicle and inside were several dark figures, all turning their heads as we approached. Both of us quickened our pace. Even in the middle of a metropolis like Chicago, it was easy to feel vulnerable. And we felt even moreso when the still of the night was broken by the sound of car doors opening.
Suddenly, my friend and I stopped, feeling exposed in our leather, as four young men emerged. They all sported shaved heads and were dressed in baggy jeans and hoodies.
One of them carried an aluminum baseball bat.
They didn't say anything. Their silence was more frightening than if they had hurled epithets our way. To reach my car, we would have to walk by them...and it didn't appear as though they were planning to let us pass. We froze. The four moved closer. One of the guys, the one with the bat, grinned, swinging the bat slightly.
In books, they call what happened next deus ex machina, but at just that moment, one of Chicago's finest rolled down the street, very slowly, toward us. The men got in their cars quickly. And so did we.
Thankfully, I do not know what the outcome of that night would have been had not the police come along. But the incident did stick with me until I dramatized the incident as the opening to Bashed. But in my fictional world, no police car came to the rescue. It’s chilling to think that one of your characters could have been you, a you that might not have survived to tell a tale.
To read more from the other authors, publishers, and reviewers participating in the Hop Against Homophobia, visit its main page.