Welcome to one of the May 28th stops on the blog tour for Not My Ruckus by Chad Musick, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
Writing a naïve narrator for a sophisticated audience
When I was very young, my favorite books were mysteries. Most of these used a third-person point-of-view, but their characters were bundles of brains, amazing in their ability to solve problems. Encyclopedia Brown was stellar in this: Could you figure out what Encyclopedia Brown had? How did he solve these mysteries?
As I got older, my tastes expanded, and I enjoyed world-wise world-weary narrators and characters. They might be a doctor finding cures for tropical diseases, a student surpassing their teachers, or an omniscient but bitter paper tiger (actually, that last is the narrator of a book that will be out from me in the future). The common factor: they knew things, and they had thoughts about those things.
Part of the reason I’ve loved these characters so much is because I know that I myself am on the naïve side of things. It’s part of my autism, but it’s not something that I am sure I would want to change as I would like. Being a trusting person in a cold world doesn’t bother me. Much.
When Clare got into my head – a character who is autistic and epileptic (like me) and an undiagnosed teenager (like I was) – I knew she was going to be naïve. She doesn’t pick up on cues that others would, but because she is the narrator, she still has to notice the signs, even if she doesn’t understand them. My critique partners were helpful with this, but the first pass was simply noting the things available to her senses in each scene. Some of them were included without any interpretation on her part, and others were given a spin that wasn’t warranted by the situation.
Altogether, Clare is one of my favorite characters that I’ve written. She doesn’t see the world the same as most other people, but my neurodivergent readers have sympathized strongly with her, and most of my neurotypical readers have enjoyed her perspective.
About the Book
Not My Ruckus
by Chad Musick
Published 16 February 2021
Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
Genre: Literary Fiction
Page Count: 315
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Folks know 14-year-old Clare isn’t normal, even for a tomboy. She runs too much, talks too little, carries a gun too often, and holds a grudge forever. Only her papa’s job at the bank keeps gossip quiet. It’s unwise to risk the cold anger of the man who knows everyone’s secrets.
Clare feels prepared for everything from fire, to flood, to what her momma calls demon attacks. When her neighbor Esther kisses her, though, Clare has no ready script. Maybe she could write one, given time she doesn’t have. At the moment of that first kiss, Esther’s mom is bleeding out from a gunshot wound.
Clare can read the signs everyone else is determined to ignore. A murder was only the beginning. Esther needs protection, whether she wants it or not, and Clare won’t abandon her friend just because things are hard.
Maybe one day she’ll be forgiven for doing what’s needed.
I was watching the sunlight coming through the clerestory— with the attic gone, its windows got a fancier name—creeping ever closer to the edge of the oriental when the doorbell rang.
I peeped through the hole and opened the door for Esther. Papa had said I couldn’t leave, but he hadn’t forbidden me company. She came in without even a howdy, which is what best friends can do, I guess.
She started crying hard and pulling heavy on my neck and blubbering up her words. Finally I figured out she was saying “She’s dead,” over and over.
Esther just wanted to cry a bit and not talk, so we went back to my bedroom. I pulled back the covers and let her crawl in, and then I covered her up and sat on the bed. The canopy was making the light hazy, and I could see the sunbeam traced in dust. Momma didn’t approve of dust, so I should probably clean it up before she got back, but I hoped she’d understand that your friends are more important.
Cleanliness might be next to Godliness, but people must matter at least a bit.
Esther calmed down after a while, except for the occasional sniffle.
“My mom died yesterday.”
I was the world’s worst friend. I had been so relieved momma was okay that I hadn’t even checked on Esther. Me being upset made her cry again, and we went back and forth like that for a long time.
About the Author
Chad Musick grew up in Utah, California, Washington, Texas, and (most of all) Alaska. He fell in love in California and then moved with his family to Japan, where he’s found happiness. He earned a PhD in Mathematical Science but loves art and science equally.
Despite a tendency for electronic devices to burst into flame after Chad handles them, he persists in working in various technical and technology-related roles.
Chad makes no secret of being epileptic, autistic, and arthritic, facts that inform how he approaches both science and the arts.
Chad Musick will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|Long and Short Reviews
|Full Moon Dreaming
|Full Moon Dreaming
|Travel the Ages
|Fabulous and Brunette
|Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
|Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
|All the Ups and Downs
|The Avid Reader
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