Prepare for Therese Fowler's EXPOSURE to take center stage when this provocative, ripped-from-the-headlines novel debuts May 3, 2011. It is the heart-stopping story of what it is like to grow up in love and make mistakes in these tricky electronic times. I am fascinated by the premise and can't wait to get my hands on it.
Therese gave CHOSEN a stunning review when it first came out and has generously donated a copy of her brand new novel for my 50th Book Club Giveaway. Even her bio and the richness of her life experience is fascinating. Please welcome her...
It’s a pleasure to be starting my Exposure tour here at Chandra’s place. If you’ve read Chosen (and I hope you have!) and you read this blog, you know what an insightful and generous person Chandra is. My gratitude to her.
In an early review of Exposure, the reviewer said I’d done a brave thing in writing a story that was inspired by my own son’s arrest for what the media have dubbed a sexting crime. That word, brave, took me by surprise. Writing the novel had been necessary. It had been frightening. I didn’t—and still don’t—feel I’d done anything brave.
I’d been working on a different book when my son, who had just turned nineteen, told me a warrant for his arrest was being issued. That book was under contract, so although life became very complicated very quickly, I felt bound to keep working and meet my deadline—but I struggled with it; the story just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do.
A few months after my son’s arrest, months in which his lawyer had urged us to stay silent about what was going on, the idea for Exposure came to me. I’m certain it grew from my horror and frustration with what was going on, and the effects events had on my son and on our family. I asked my son what he thought about my writing a novel inspired by the situation, and he was fully supportive. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.
In some ways, the writing came easily because the scenario was so familiar and so close. In other ways it was hard, because even though Exposure is entirely fictional—the story inside the book is not my son’s, nor mine—I knew I was putting my son and myself in a position where we would be judged. All the while, though, I was telling myself, Think of what books can do.
I grew up being influenced by novels, and I fully believe in the power of story. Whether invented or true, stories have been the vehicles of lessons and warnings and inspiration for as long as humans have had the means to tell them.
So to craft a novel that might prevent even one person, one family, from having to face a similar or worse crisis was not, to me, a brave act. It was an opportunity to tell a story that reminds us all, “To err is human”--which is especially true when deep emotions are involved. I felt obligated to set aside the other book and write this one, to give you Anthony and Amelia and Harlan and Kim, all well-meaning people whose actions and choices add up to a cautionary tale that I hope will give you, at the very least, many hours of good reading.
Everyone in Exposure makes mistakes—as we all have done at times, and no doubt will do again. It’s what happens afterwards that makes all the difference.
BIO: Therese Fowler is the author of Souvenir, Reunion and Exposure. She has worked in the U.S. Civil Service, managed a clothing store, lived in the Philippines, had children, sold real estate, earned a B.A. in sociology, sold used cars, returned to school for her MFA in creative writing, and taught college undergrads about literature and fiction-writing -- roughly in that order. With books published in nine languages and sold world-wide, Therese writes full-time from her home in Wake Forest, NC, which she shares with her husband, four amiable cats, and four nearly grown-up sons.
author of SOUVENIR, REUNION, and EXPOSURE (coming May 3, 2011)
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