Between The Lines: “A Letter To My Younger Self” by Wesley King

Between The Lines is a sporadic feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which authors and other industry professionals provide further insight into the writing and publishing process in the form of interviews, guest posts, etc. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy as we read between the lines.


About Wesley King

Wesley King is the author of The Incredible Space Raiders From Space!, which Publishers Weekly called “a well-drafted coming-of-age story” that “will keep [readers] turning pages.” King’s first book, The Vindico and its sequel, The Feros, were both Junior Library Guild selections. The Vindico also won a Red Maple Award, a kid’s choice award that involved the participation of more than 250,000 kids in Wesley’s home province of Ontario, Canada.

Find Wesley on: WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

A Letter To My Younger Self by Wesley King

When this topic was first suggested to me, I thought it would be the easiest thing I have ever written. After all, I think about what I would tell my younger self at least a hundred times a day. But when I realized I only had five hundred words to do it, I started to sweat. That doesn’t give me much time to provide detailed instructions on how to write Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and in a move that would surely cause international controversy, 50 Shades Of Grey. Alas, I would have to provide more generalized advice.

That advice also depends on the age. I would tell my sixteen-year-old self to stop being such a jerk to my parents. I would tell my thirteen-year-old self to stop worrying about how ridiculous your frosted tips look, because yes, they do look ridiculous, but so do everybody else’s. And to my nine-year-old self, I would tell him that he is not alone.

Because that’s how I felt. I had these completely inexplicable compulsions and thoughts and fears that began to shape my entire life. I didn’t know what OCD was at the time. I thought I was crazy and unique and I was terrified someone would find out, lest I end up in a white-padded room away from my friends and family. For years that continued, and I felt very much alone.

It would have been nice to know that OCD was a common disorder. That there were other people struggling, and that I could even get help for it. In some ways OCDaniel is a letter to my younger self. It is a reminder that many people are struggling with hidden secrets, and that it is okay to feel different. And it’s also a reminder that the first step to getting help is to talk to the people who understand. I think my nine-year-old self would really like to know that.

Oh, and then I would tell him to write a book about a boy wizard and just run with that.

Title OCDaniel
Author Wesley King
Pages 304 Pages
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness
Published April 12th, 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChapters

From the author of Incredible Space Raiders From Space! comes a brand-new coming-of-age story about a boy whose life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder—until he gets a mysterious note that changes everything.

Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups — and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits — he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he’s crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn’t just notice him: she seems to peer through him.

Then Daniel gets a note: “I need your help,” it says, signed, Fellow Star Child — whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.

With great voice and grand adventure, this book is about feeling different and finding those who understand

Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the OCDaniel blog tour for reviews, interviews, giveaways, and much, much more!

April 12: Pop! Goes The Reader (You are here. Hi!)
April 13: Bookish Wanderlove
April 14: Lost In A Great Book
April 15: One Chapter Ahead

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