I'm so thrilled to have author W. Bruce Cameron here with us today. I absolutely loved his latest book, Emory's Gift, and am pleased to share this guest blog with you. Also, you can enter to win Emory's Gift for yourself below. Enjoy!
In my new novel, Emory’s Gift, 13-year-old Charlie Hall comes face-to-face with a grizzly bear and also something even more terrifying: junior high school.
Just as A Dog’s Purpose, my first book, was about a real dog, Emory’s Gift is about a real boy. Charlie’s struggles to survive the social pressures of being a 13-year-old will ring true to anyone who has ever been a 13-year-old. So yes, there’s a bear hanging around his property in northern Idaho. Yes, Charlie, who has lost his mother to a long illness and has a father who has so withdrawn into a world of grief, actually tries to make friends with the bear, whose name is Emory. And yes, when Charlie realizes he must enlist his father in an effort to save Emory from those who would kill the bear, events take a completely unexpected turn. Yet for all that, Charlie cares most that “a torrid wave of making out had rampaged through the school like a fever, but it had passed me by as if I had been inoculated.”
What I wanted to give my readers was a boy who navigates hugely significant events—not only in his life but in the lives of many others—and yet really, honestly, basically, is just a boy trying to figure out how to be a man. His desperate fight to protect Emory is equally as important to him as the idea that a girl named Beth might agree to be his girlfriend. A looming court trial is less critical than the upcoming school dance. This is Charlie, involved in both the profound and the prosaic, placing equal priority on both.
And, just as with A Dog’s Purpose, a spiritual element enters the equation, causing questions that ultimately touch on faith, family, and love. I wanted to do more than write a novel with a page-turning plot, I wanted to raise some issues that are always there but which we don’t talk about, even bringing the word “God” into the discussion. There are so many people who believe in some sort of Supreme Being, and yet we so rarely read references to this fact in our fiction—it’s as peculiar to me as it would be to ignore sex, or love. This is not to say I set out to preach, I just set out to ask some questions, to stir up some thoughts in my readers’ minds.
So we have Charlie giving us his side of the story, a story with all these elements and questions, and yet mostly what he dwells on is what he considers to be the hardest part of his life, which is simple, basic, adolescence.
Perhaps for some of my readers, being 13 years old wasn’t difficult. For me—well, I’ll just say that if, as A Dog’s Purpose suggests, reincarnation can happen, I’ll be happy to be reborn but I’m not ever doing junior high again.
- Thanks to Forge Books, we have one (1) copy of Emory's Gift to give away to one lucky reader;
- Open to U.S. mailing addresses only--no P.O. Boxes;
- +1 entry if you leave a comment on this post;
- Giveaway closes at midnight EST on Friday, September 30th;
- Fill out THIS FORM to enter.