Today we bring you a look at Mia Kerick’s newest novel, from CoolDudes Publishing – Scarred
From bestselling author Mia Kerick comes a New Adult Gay Romance that will keep you up reading all night!
Matthew North waited ten years to heal from the devastating wounds inflicted by the man who abducted and abused him as a child. Living reclusively on a tropical island—with no company but his four cats—he merely avoids the lingering pain.
Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back, Matt struggles with a profound hindrance—the scars that deaden his soul. However, on the night he meets lively Vedie Wilson, a local restaurant busboy who expresses his gender by wearing lipgloss and eyeliner along withhis three-day beard, things change.
Gradually, Vedie and Mateo unite in friendship. Through a series of awkward encounters, the pair learns each other’s secrets. Vedie learns that an angelic face can front for a scarred soul. Matthew learns that the line between one’s masculine and feminine sides is blurred. Can they embrace the painful stories behind each other’s scars if they’re to find everlasting love? Or will surrendered love come to be yet another blemish on their souls?
Hello, everybody! I’m so happy to be here today at Alpha Book Club to celebrate the COVER REVEAL of my March 1, 2016 LGBTQ Adult Romance release, Scarred (by Mia Kerick, CoolDudes Publishing.) Thanks to Louis C Harris for creating the dark and stirring cover. Today I’m going to talk about scars —the grit it takes to earn them and how this process shapes your person. And I will start with a poem about people with scars.
From October 11-November 17, 2016, Friends of the High Line (a public NYC park built on a historic freight rail line elevated over the West Side of Manhattan that offers cultural events, art displays, family and teen programs) presented the famous poem “I want a Dyke for President” on a giant billboard. Written by AIDS activist, photographer and sculptor, Zoe Leonard in 1992, the original typewritten poem, complete with scratched out errors, was blown up to 20 by 30 feet and displayed along the public park’s abandoned railroad tracks. It was also read aloud at the White House on October 16, 2016.
Here is the full text of the poem:
“I want a dyke for president. I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to AIDS, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no air-conditioning, a president who has stood in line at the clinic, at the DMV, at the welfare office, and has been unemployed and laid off and sexually harassed and gaybashed and deported. I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a Black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown. Always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss and never a worker. Always a liar, always a thief, and never caught.” – Zoe Leonard.
In her poem, Zoe Leonard is crying out for a presidential candidate who is scarred. And through the suffering required to earn these physical and emotional badges of survival, or scars, Leonard knows that the potential leader will have learned empathy. (S)he will have walked a mile in the shoes of those (s)he will serve. The leader will attack the issues from a place of compassion and full understanding, rather than from the outlook provided by a wealthy and privileged life. Leonard does not want the country to have leaders who stand outside and look in at problems, armed with ideas and strategies to fix them that are not borne of pain and suffering and scars (as are most of our leaders), but instead to be people with first hand experience with the problems—an insider’s perspective.
“I am interested in the space this text opens up for us to imagine and voice what we want in our leaders, and even beyond that, what we can envision for the future of our society,” says Leonard. “I still think that speaking up is itself a vital and powerful political act.”
This profound poem speaks today as loudly as it did in 1992. The names have changed in the political realm, but the issues remain. As stated by Beckett Mufson of The Creators Project, “Leonard’s wholehearted cry for a government that reflects its people still inspires so many.”
In the Huffington Post, Katherine Brooks wrote something that I’m almost certain crossed your mind as you read the poem. “It’s difficult to read those words without conjuring the faces of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, comparing and contrasting the depths through which the candidates had to wade to get to where they are.” I know that their faces were in my mind as I read the poem. Bernie Sanders popped in there a few times, too.
In my upcoming March 1st release, Scarred (by Mia Kerick, CoolDudes Publishing) the two main characters are burdened with scars. The scars on Mateo North’s back are easy to see. He wears ropes of twisted pink flesh from his shoulders to his waist that testify to a past filled with frequent physical suffering, which he must constantly see when he looks in the mirror from certain angles. Vedie Wilson also wears physical scars, though they cover less of his body. In their youth, both men suffered a depth of pain beneath the hands, and the belts, of people who they wanted and needed to trust.
This type of physical suffering changes a person. The physical results are not limited to such conditions as possible brain damage, loss of vision or hearing, and long term residual pain. In addition to physical symptoms, the victims of childhood abuse are at risk of developing emotional and behavioral difficulties, ranging from high-risk behavior to trust issues to promiscuity, and beyond.
At first, Mateo and Vedie’s emotional scars prevent them from building a natural and healthy relationship. In particular, as a result of the childhood abuse that left him scarred, Mateo experiences disassociation when he is under emotional stress. Both men find it impossible to trust each other, as their trust has so often been damaged. In addition, Mateo fears losing the fledgling bond he builds with Vedie to such a degree that he resists forming one at all. For much of the story, their emotional scars serve to divide them.
However, Mateo and Vedie’s emotional scars ultimately serve to bond them, as they have provided both men with a wealth of compassion and a common ground—“a been there, survived that” mentality. From their place as survivors they are able to ultimately connect, just as Zoe Leonard hopes that one day we will have the opportunity to connect with a scarred candidate who truly understand the problems (s)he is trying to fix.
A person’s mental and physical scars are proof of empathy and a testimony to survival. They provide the person with knowledge and compassion. Someone with scars is especially competent to provide us all with solutions.
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another in dance school, a third in school at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. (Mia is a fan of the learning process!) She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-three years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero. There is, at minimum, one of these in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and Evernight Publishing for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
A social liberal, Mia cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.