Excerpt from Silver Knight:
“The legion was marching past on their way to besiege Lilybaeum on the coast. I gasped at the sight of one particular soldier—it was Alexander! Near the roadway, a large crowd had gathered to cheer them, throwing flower petals for them to tread on as they went by. He was near the front edge of the men, and though he was some distance away, he seemed to sense my presence. In a flash his black eyes met my startled gaze. For one, single, second, I thought he was not going to come for me. Then hope fled as he leaped into the crowd. Turning, I ran madly, pushing people out of the way in my desperation.”
Escape is a recurring theme throughout Silver Knight. It’s made me realize that throughout my life I have often wanted to escape. I think that’s why I love to read. I didn’t necessarily like where I was or how I had to live. So reading was a release and a joy. Which leads me to the reason for writing. It is really to encourage teenagers to read.
I have worked for many years with what are considered “at-risk” teenagers. They are drug users, drug dealers, and often parents of more than one child. Children having children. Their world is not necessarily so hot. If anyone needs an escape, they do. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that reading can lead them out of their current lives in more than just imagination. They see it as a waste of time, boring, not relevant.
The truth is that the more you read, the better you get at it, and the more it opens up the possibilities for a future. We are judged every day on how we use language. It can mean the difference between getting a job and not getting a job. If you are hiring, more than gender, race, or age, you unconsciously want to hire someone who speaks similarly to you. Language makes you sound educated, whether you went to college or not. Interviews are talking and many of my students would talk themselves right out of a job opportunity simply because they didn’t have the language skills to compete effectively.
Reading. Any kind of reading. They just have to read. So my first book I have written with teenagers in mind. Of course, anyone can read it and quite a few adults have liked it. But I wanted something fun and entertaining to encourage teens to read. To escape.