Thirteen years ago I had an important story to tell. My family had experienced six years of addiction, through my oldest daughter. She had just gone to prison, and this mother’s pain, anger and confusion needed an egress. Words were the key. But they had to be the right ones, expressed in exactly the right way.
As a long-time freelance journalist and recent nonfiction author, I was competent at putting words down on paper. Storytelling, however, was different. Yes, I had a story, but what was the best way to tell it? I knew from the start the novel’s audience was young adults, and I understood they’d want to hear from “Kristina,” not me. I started Crank in prose, but the voice was mine, not hers.
I put the project on hold and did a poetry workshop with Sonya Sones, whose memoir in verse, STOP PRETENDING, had recently made quite the splash. The book, about her sister’s struggle with schizophrenia, was hard hitting, real, and close to what I wanted to accomplish with CRANK. And now I knew how to tell it. In verse.~ read more ~