Wednesday, January 7, 2015

When Creepers Become Characters

Let me set the scene for you.

March 6, 2010. My hometown in Mississippi. The childhood park where the book now known as Chasing Forever Down began.

I'd yet to write my first novel. I had a lot of half ideas, random characters, and absolutely nothing to build on. In hopes to form something similar to a story in my brain, my sister and I traveled back to the place that started a story I was trying to develop.

I clearly remember that I was wearing my shoes that Tony Lovato of Mest had signed and my "I survived the black parade" My Chemical Romance T-shirt. Emily was walking around the park while I sat atop the slide waiting for inspiration to strike.

And then, in a really fucked up way... it did. He was walking with a friend down the sidewalk, and more than anything, he looked like a creeper. Emily made her way over to me as the dude - with his oversized cap and blazer jacket - walked by. He glanced over at us, said, "Nice truck," but continued on, thankfully. Then shortly after, he turned around... and began walking our way.

Complete panic set in because we couldn't make a run for my truck in time. I told Emily to stay calm and let me do the talking. He approached us and introduced himself as Terry. Now, I'll admit - dude was kinda cute but absolutely creepy. He wasted no time trying to get my phone number. Because I like to dig my own grave, I asked how old he was. (Let it be known that I was 24 at this moment in time.) He proudly stated that he was 17.

I told him that he was jail bait. He told me that true love knows no age. He said he wasn't scared of the cops. He actually said he assaulted an officer once. And then he told me he had weed in his pocket and knew where to get alcohol. This guy was just more and more appealing by the moment, as you can see. Once he realized he wasn't getting anywhere, he reluctantly left, and we bailed as soon as he was far enough away to make a run for my truck. Emily declared him "Scary Terry."

In the many years that followed, we drove past the old park where CFD formed, and we always discussed Scary Terry and that crazy day in 2010. I laughed at the time and said I'd someday put him in a book. Later that year, I wrote my first novel (Falling From The Sky). Scary Terry made an appearance. In June of 2014, I released CFD's sequel, where Terry was cameo'd once again.

Next week, I'm releasing a book where Terry is an official secondary character. I have no idea what the real Terry is like or what his story was, but as I cameo'd this character throughout books, I wondered who he was. So I dug deeper, and I sorta love the character he became. I can't wait for you guys to meet him.

So, Terry, wherever you're incarcerated these days - thank you. Thank you for being a creeper at the park who wanted to make me a cougar because you liked my truck. Thank you for all of the inspiration. <3

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