I’ve just learned C. J. Omololu lost her long and valiant battle with cancer. Thank you, Cynthia, for what you taught me about being brave with my own writing. This post originally ran in September 2010.
I’ve been thinking a lot about writing that is hard. Not difficult process-wise, but challenging because of the subject matter.
Here’s the question I keep coming back to: How is an author to write about difficult characters and ugly circumstances without losing a reader’s compassion?
Last night, I finished C. J. Omololu’s DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, a young adult novel about a girl who must cope with her mentally ill mother.
Here’s the description from Amazon:
Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable—and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right.