What Defines Us?

981505908359351bdbde29935f7067f6Fans of mine might have noticed that most of my books have an underlying theme:  What defines us?  Are we products of our DNA?  How much of who we are stems from the learned behavior we get from our parents?  Midnight Hour showcases Perry seeking answers from his parents who abandoned him when he was three, and Perry, like me, is left to wonder about what defines him.

When I was young, I used to really think I might have been adopted, swapped at birth, or picked up on a street corner.  I know I write about a lot of dysfunctional families.  Mine wasn’t that dysfunctional.  But I was just different.

I was dyslexic.  I really think that if I hadn’t been dyslexic, I would have been a blatant book geek.  And frankly, no one in my family is a reader with exception of my maternal grandmother.  And, yes, I think I did get a lot from her.

I struggled more in school than my brothers.  However, I also internalized everything.  While I didn’t read, I was already creating stories in my head, yet not once did I consider growing up and writing.  It just didn’t seem like something someone like me would do. Both my parents and my two brothers did things with their hands.  Dad was a contractor and plumber, my mom was a housewife and worked a little as a nurse’s aid.  My older brother loved music and played numerous instruments, while my younger brother was totally into sports.

Yes, I was definitely the odd one in the bunch.  I wanted go to my room or find a spot in the woods and lose myself in my stories.  Now, I do see some personality traits I’ve inherited from my parents.  My dad loves to laugh and tease and I’m right there with him.  My mom is a bit zany and can laugh at her own mistakes.  I certainly got that from her.  But other than that, I’m still the odd one out.

Seriously, neither of my parents read my books, but they are very proud of me.  And they expect copies of every book I write. They just aren’t readers.  And not only am I a writer, but I’ve overcome a lot of hurdles and now I love to read as well.

So, like Perry, I ask myself: Are we defined by our DNA?  Did I get all of this from my grandmother?  Why am different from my family?

What do you think?  How are you like your parents and siblings?  Do you ever feel like an odd man out?

Buy Midnight Hour Early!

51KfobWWWNL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_You can purchase Midnight Hour before it even goes on sale! No, I’m not even talking about preordering it. October 1st, I’ll be at the Texas Teen Book Festival at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. It’s a great event with book signings, games, parties, workshops, a costume contest and a chance to meet many of your favorite authors. And they also sell books–and they will be selling copies of Midnight Hour, so you can purchase them and have me sign them for you before it’s even officially released.

But if you can’t make it to the book festival, you can still preorder Midnight Hour and submit your receipt to St. Martin’s Press HERE. Then, on Oct. 25th, you get a FREE copy of Fighting Back, Kylie & Lucas’s novella. Now, several of you have contacted me saying you’re having trouble submitting your receipt to that page. So, if you have a problem, please try sending it to romance@stmartins.com. Just remember, to get Fighting Back, you have to submit your receipt BEFORE Oct. 24th!





7 thoughts on “What Defines Us?

  1. I found out late in life that i was adopted (after my mom passed). So i know that i am not defined by my DNA. I am a lot like my mom (not my biological one). i didn’t see it when i was little but i see it now. and i am like my dad in many ways too. so my DNA does not define who i am. But the way i was raised and the people who have come in and out of my life has helped define me. My only wish would be that my mom was still here so that she could tell me the truth of what happened with the adoption and stuff. I am grateful for the family i had and so thankful for the way i was raised.

  2. I’m nothing like either of my parents or most of my siblings. I am only like my little sister. We both did well in school, like to read, and follow our dreams. None of the rest of the people in my family have those qualities.

  3. I am an odd one in my family. I’m the only one who loves to read. No one else in my family can get lost in a book like I can. I’m like my dad where I have a short temper and I’m like my mom where I worry about others before myself. My brother and I are both awkward at meeting new people. My sister and I have the same sense of humor. But I’m a little different with some traits. I can get lost in my own little world for a long time. The rest of my family likes to have constant company, but I like having time to myself. I love to create stories in my head, but the rest of my family can’t do that. But it’s alright. I don’t mind being a little different

  4. My family is okay with music. The most they’ll say is they like it. But for me im just super obsess with it. Another thing is I’m crazy about broadways. My parents like it but they think I’m crazy for being crazy over it, like there’s no point being crazy about it. With that, I’m the black sheep among everyone I know as of now. I’ll be finishing high school in late Nov and I’ll start college next year where I’ll be able to learn what I love and meet people like me. But if we’re talking about family…yea still the odd one. The oddest of them all…

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