...to listen to those stories...to hear these things...to think about that life...to write this book.
When someone discovers I'm a writer, and finally finds a way to ask what my novel is about, I tell them. It's sort of a delicate dance, continuously abridging the synopsis based on the micro-expressions flickering across the face of my audience. And even then, by the end there is always at least a bit of a furrow along the brow or a single downturned corner of the mouth. And a murmur, "It must've been so hard..."
Well. Yes, it was. The Truth About Sunday Minor is a tough story. But one needing to be told, I think. And writing the novel wasn't nearly as hard as living the life it's based on, I'm sure.
Now here we are, years behind my first reading of the original journals, neck-deep in the #metoo movement, wading in #timesup, and watching the continuous outpour of raw truths like Sunday's almost daily. The timing couldn't be more impeccable. An understanding that the story is not a new one, but a universal truth bubbling under the surface for a very long time, is emerging.
I leave you with two things. One, there is a moment in the story where eight-year-old Sunday is feeling the music in church:
"She could have sworn her spirit was what spilled out from her mouth in a sound that swam through the rest of the voices until it was lost. They way she sounded on her own didn't matter; they were together, blending into one voice. The hymn swirled around her. I am a part of that sound."
This is what I hope for this book - for the story of Sunday Minor to be a voice among the current narrative of change swirling around us.
Two, a social worker paid the Minor children a visit once when their parents weren't home. She told them anonymous reports had been filed. The truth was there, but they didn't - couldn't - have a voice. That young woman, probably sympathetic but not courageous enough, left them there that day.
I'm donating a portion of pre-order profits to Texas CASA to help ensure a voice for those who may need it most. If you're so inclined, pre-orders can be placed here. The trained volunteers of CASA dedicate at least a year with a single child or group of siblings, and weigh in on court proceedings. My goal is to sell 210 books - 10 a day - for the three week pre-order period (Feb 6-26). This would be an amazing gift and an honor to be able to present to such a great organization.
If you know someone who would be interested in reading the book, feel free to share!