A sexual predator exposes himself to my protagonist, Tray Dunaway (who is fourteen years old), at the tennis court. Tray does not tell her parents for a long time. She tells herself that this is because she’s afraid they won’t let her go back to the tennis court. But there could be other reasons. Deep down she might be afraid that she did something to provoke him, or that other people might think she did. She may feel ashamed.
The Ticket deals with some tough, realistic issues. The situation referred to in the controversial scene is one that arises all too often, and I think it’s important for young women or boys who might face something like this in their lives to know that it’s not their fault. They are not alone. They should not feel ashamed. Ideally, I’d like for my book to open a dialogue within families about how to handle such a situation should it arise.
Let me assure you I do think long and hard about the scenes to include or not to include, both with respect to how a particular incident advances the plot and how it might affect readers. There are many things in this world that I’m uncomfortable with. When I was the age of my protagonist, Tray, I was incredibly naive. Fortunately I never experienced anything like what happened to Tray, and I have no idea how I would have handled it if I had. But, unfortunately, many young people do.
I know many of you have followed the recent revelations in the Duggar family. I think this highlights the fact that no one is exempt. Maybe it’s something we should open a dialogue within families about—how to respond, what to do if it should ever arise.
I would like to invite anyone interested to attend my online book launch on Tuesday, June 9, from 6:30 to 8:30pm CDT. I will post details of how to find the website when I know them.