A warm welcome to author John Goode joining us today here at Love Bytes to share new release “What About Everything ” A Tale in the Foster High series.
I grew up reading comics.
I was introduced early to them by my grandfather. He had never graduated fourth grade so to him, any reading was better than no reading. So he would gather up a handful of Richie Rich comics on his way home and give them to me free of charge, which is the way that all good drug dealers do it.
The first hit is free.
From Richie Rich I moved sideways to Wendy and Casper, all of them well meaning, silly stories that were akin to the comic strips found in the newspapers. I thought this was the height of their power, this ability to make me laugh and to amuse me with colorful pictures, the same way a high school freshman thinks that sneaking a beer from his dad’s stash is the worst thing he will ever do.
Soon enough, those same comics weren’t doing it for me. I was growing numb to their power; every month they reset themselves like some kind of weird Groundhog Day creatures. Nothing from the previous months was remembered. Nothing changed. Those comics cycled endlessly.
I needed more.
One weekend my adventures found me on the wrong side of the street…which is the side other than I normally walked. And there, I discovered in the back room of a pottery store, hidden behind a curtain, the dirty little secret our city had been hiding. Here, in the back, under dim lights and no questions was the den of slackitude that all kids were warned about by parents and teachers.
A comic book shop.
But not any comics I had seen before. These comics were darker, grittier. They had characters drawn like actual people and they were in motion instead of standing still smiling outside of the page. I had never seen anything like them, and I was eager to try them.
“What you read?” the guy behind the counter asked.
The laughter from him and the other guys in the shop told me it was the wrong answer.
“Give up on those little kid comics,” counter-guy said, handing a comic over to me. “Try what the big boys read.”
And that was my first real comic book.
It was a copy of Claremont and Byrne X-men, years before the Dark Phoenix saga. The story was…well it was like nothing I had ever experienced. It was far too dense to take in just standing there reading, so I asked him how much. He just smiled and said I could keep it.
Remember, the first hit is always free.
I raced home, and read the comic. and at the end of 22 pages plus ads was both amazed and confused.
The story was awesome and the super heroes in it were just out of this world, but I didn’t understand a lot of what was going on. So the next day I came back and I asked what the little print in the corner of one of the panels meant. He explained about issue numbers as references to comics that explain what the character talking meant He looked through a white box and pulled out another copy of X Men, this time sealed in plastic.
“See? They met that guy in this issue, and in your issue, they’re talking about what happened when they met the guy.”
“What happened?” I asked, completely floored at the concept of serialized fiction.
“You have to buy the book.”
And I did.
Many, many times.
Stories, well most stories need time to breathe. They need space to roam and to play and to gain confidence as they mature. I leaned that from X-Men. They were better if they were grounded in an established reality, like supporting characters from another book getting their own title. I learned that from Teen Titans. The story was always moving forward, like life. Many things needed to be happening around the characters to keep them moving forward. Events mentioned in one issue might not make sense for another five months and by that time one story elements had been brought up so it was always more and more story. More development, more characterization. I learned that from Fantastic Four.
If you can’t tell I wanted to grow up and write comics in a big, bad way. Instead I write novels but they follow the same concept that I learned from reading comics.
This is the ninth released Foster High book. We have followed Kyle and Brad since their senior year in high school; and the series has many more stories to tell. Along the way I realized that Matt and Tyler had a story of their own that needed to be told. That was Taking Chances and in it, we saw the start of their story but not the end. We saw a little more in 151 Days but honestly, their story has been on hold since their book, waiting to be told.
And here we are…several issues later, getting to their story.
Some people don’t like long series. They don’t want to invest the time and effort into reading all the books to get the entire story and that is understandable. Not me though, I love long series. I love looking at a series and seeing I have five books to read with more on the way. It tells me that there is a in world in those pages to explore with a lot more to come.
And trust me, there is a lot more to come.
What About Everything
Sequel to Taking Chances
A Tales from Foster High Story
No matter how fast you run, the past has a way of catching up with you.
When an accident ruins Matt’s parents’ anniversary party, Tyler and Matt decide a vacation is in order, and they book a gay Disney cruise with Robbie and Sebastian. It’ll be the perfect place to relax and do some much-needed soul-searching. A couple of years have passed since they met, but Tyler and Matt are no closer to getting married. They must take a long, hard look at their relationship and decide if they’re happy with the way things are, or if they want more—and if they can find the courage to take the next step. A difficult choice is made even harder when two people they thought they’d left behind show up to complicate the issue and turn the whole cruise upside down.
John Goode is a member of the class of ’88 from Hogwarts school of wizardry, specializing in incantations and spoken spells. At the age of 14 he proudly represented District 13 in the 65th Panem games where he was disqualified for crying uncontrollably before the competition began. After that he moved to Forks, Washington where, against all odds, dated the hot, incredibly approachable werewolf instead of the stuck up jerk of a vampire but was crushed when he found out the werewolf was actually gayer than he was. After that he turned down the mandatory operation everyone must receive at 16 to become pretty citing that everyone pretty were just too stupid to live before moving away for greener pastures. After falling down an oddly large rabbit hole he became huge when his love for cakes combined with his inability to resist what sparsely worded notes commanded and was finally kicked out when he began playing solitaire with the Red Queen’s 4th armored division. By 18 he had found the land in the back of his wardrobe but decided that thinly veiled religious allegories where not the neighbors he desired. When last seen he had become obsessed with growing a pair of wings after becoming obsessed with Fang’s blog and hasn’t been seen since. Or he is this guy who lives in this place and writes stuff he hopes you read.