Tag Archives: Sherwood Smith

Avoiding “Special” Narratives About Disabilities in The Change Series

By Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith

brown-smith-strangerRachel

Everything I write stems from personal experience, even if it’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where people have mutant powers and the trees can eat you. When Sherwood and I first created the world of the Change, we wanted it to feel real and be true to our own lives and experiences. Fiction often shuts out people like us—old women, Jews, people with disabilities—but our actual lives have contained plenty of excitement, adventure, and romance. We wanted to write about heroes who were more like us and the people we knew.

In the Change series, we created some rules of thumb about disabilities to express what we believed to be true. One was that there are no miracle cures. There is a doctor with a mutant power that he uses to heal, but what it actually does is speed up time, to heal a wound quickly. If it’s not the kind of wound that could be healed with nothing more than time, his power won’t help. When young prospector Ross Juarez badly injures his wrist in the first chapter of Stranger, Dr. Lee saves his life but can’t fully restore the function of his hand. Ross spends the rest of the book doing physical therapy and learning to adapt; at the end he acquires a prosthetic gauntlet. And then he spends the entire second book learning to adapt to the prosthesis. Sherwood and I have both done physical rehab for various reasons, and we wanted to depict how long and difficult that can be.

Another world-shaping rule we had is that disability and accommodation to it is common and normal. We don’t normally think of nearsightedness as a disability, but it would be without glasses. (We both are so nearsighted that without glasses, we can’t recognize people from across the room.) So we have characters with glasses. We have characters who use wheelchairs. We have homes built to accommodate family members who can only see ultraviolet. We have characters who are disabled via injury, birth, life experience, or mutation, and show how they adapt and how society accommodates them—or chooses not to.

We also wanted to avoid certain types of narratives. Sherwood has a particular loathing for the cheap sentiment of the inspirational story, where the disabled hero does something heroic and is then exalted as extra-special. It tends to make the disabled person into a symbol rather than a character. We also didn’t believe that one heroic act is enough to get all prejudiced people to drop their biases. In real life, they’re more likely to keep their prejudices but decide that one person is an exception to the rule.

I especially dislike the disability tragedy stories, in which people with physical or psychological issues are ruined forever, typically dying at the end while everyone wrings their handkerchiefs and says it’s for the best because they were suffering so much. Apart from just being the flip side of the glurgy sentiment of the inspirational story, it sends a terrible message to people who do have those disabilities. Do we really want to tell readers that if they have Disability X, their life is ruined and they might as well kill themselves?

I can attest to the pernicious effect of the disability tragedy narrative. In my life, I’ve had severe depression and PTSD. Unlike some disabilities, those have a lot of inherent pain and suffering attached. In my own experience, those are not conditions of life, like being dyslexic or nearsighted, but illnesses that require treatment. So that’s hard to begin with. But you know what makes it ten times harder? When almost everything you’ve ever read with a character with depression or PTSD concludes with either a fake miracle cure, or with them dying and all the rest of the characters saying they were better off because no one who has been through the trauma they’ve endured can ever recover, let alone find happiness.

I did eventually find some exceptions to that narrative, and I treasured them. They gave me hope that it’s possible to go through terrible things, but to survive and find happiness, even if you do have scars. In Lord of the Rings, Frodo can’t find peace on Middle Earth and must sail into the West for his healing. But Faramir and Eowyn, who were also deeply scarred by trauma, find healing where they are. Several of Robin McKinley’s books, such as The Hero and the Crown and Deerskin, also offered the possibility of hope that I could believe in.

In my own personal experience and also in my work as a PTSD therapist, I have found that healing is very possible and very real. It’s not easy, but what worthwhile thing is? So I wanted to show that process in fiction, rather than the fake and cheap choices of miracle cure vs. death and despair. The other thing I wanted to show, in regard to trauma, is that it affects different people differently. Not everyone who goes through a traumatic experience gets PTSD! And for those who do, everyone’s PTSD is different and everyone’s path back from it is different.

In Stranger, our five POV characters all fight in the same battle. But they don’t all emerge with a cookie-cutter set of flashbacks, nightmares, and depression. One focuses on the life she saved, and remembers that with joy and pride. One gains insight into himself and his place in the world. One uses it to reaffirm what she already believed was true. One finds insight and still yet more trauma in a life that was already full of it. And one spends the entire next book quietly falling apart inside.

But in the end, for all of them, that battle and its effect on them was just one piece of their entire lives. PTSD has a huge effect on Ross, but it’s not all he is; trauma will always affect him, but it doesn’t ruin his life. Much like the linguistic shift from “disabled people” to “people with disabilities,” in our books, we tried to put the people first.


brown-smith-hostageSherwood

In the mid-eighties, a conversation with Jane Yolen crystallized my thoughts about a great deal of writing about disabled people. She wished writers would stop submitting variations on “The Special Little Animal With The Broken Tail”: well-intentioned but sentimental tales about an animal that has some kind of disability but whoa, it develops a special power or does something extra heroic, that makes everybody cheer about how special they are!

Those stories have been around for a long time. I read some when I was a kid, half a century ago and more. The “feel good” didn’t feel good past the ending of the story, even to me, as a not-very-savvy kid reader. Once you turned away from the story, the kid in the class who had some kind of problem still had the problem. And what does it say if the only way anyone will like a disabled person is if they get special powers or leap into a burning building and save a family? Even worse, the stories seemed to be saying that one’s ability issue was one’s identity.

Years later, my twenties, I knew people with various disabilities. In those days, society began to experiment with various terms, including differently-abled. A lot of people scorned that as pablum, but the verb that seemed the most appropriate to me was “adapt.” People with various types of issues (including us lefties in a world that is largely oriented right-handed) figured out workarounds. Some small, some awesome, like the paralyzed painter who used her toes. When you saw the end result, you weren’t thinking Blind! Wheelchair! Missing Fingers! Club Foot! You saw the result of the person’s skill or art or inspiration or wit.

One of my regular crowd during those days was a guy with albinism who was also legally blind, who I’ll call Pat. His eyes were also super-sensitive. His thick glasses had plastic extensions that fitted around his face so that no air could get to his eyes. Pat had been a chess champion in high school, and he was a math whiz, carrying everything in his head. If Pat heard it, he remembered it, and he navigated by memory, knowing pretty much the entire bus route of L.A. He fell into our group when brought by another science fiction enthusiast, and he loved the same sick puns and jokes and was also a dedicated Jackson Browne and Bob Dylan listener.

We were all barely out of college and still struggling to find jobs that paid minimum wage, so we all either got rides or drove junkers that were constantly breaking down. One day one of the group, I’ll call him Bob, came storming in to say he needed a ride. He turned to Pat and said, “Hey, if you can drop me at X, then swing by and pick up Y …” Then his mouth dropped open—he was appalled at his own insensitivity. The room went silent until we all saw Pat shaking with laughter.

That moment was proof to Pat that people saw him as Science Fiction Loving, Pun-Cracking, Dylan Quoting Pat, and not Blind Guy With Weird Glasses Pat. He was one of the crowd who happened not to drive because of his eyes, just like Bob was a rotten speller, and Tina was diabetic, and I was dyslexic. (We didn’t know the word “dyslexia” in those days, but everyone knew I could never dial a number correctly, ever, nor could I repeat numbers correctly or do math. So I had to repeat numbers several times, and even then everyone knew to double-check.) Nobody in our group was identified solely by their physical or medical or neuro-wiring issues.

I took that to heart when I became a teacher. Nobody wanted to be the “special kid” … unless they were playing us, which is a coping mechanism like any other. So I never gave talks about “specialness” or let anyone define anyone by whatever their issue was. And I refused to write variations on the Little Animal With The Broken Tail.

When Rachel and I began developing Las Anclas and its denizens, we let the characters define their identities. This was easier because we’d designed a world in which all kinds of variations on human life were seen everywhere—variety was everyday.

Early on in the first book Ross, who has some severe emotional issues, also gets wounded in one hand, which becomes a permanent disability. The other characters don’t see Ross The One Handed Guy, they see a guy who struggles to use a hand that used to be deft. One of the ways he and Mia Lee cement their friendship is her delight in finding ways to engineer workarounds for him.

Jennie’s mother is deaf, and reads lips. Everyone is used to making certain that Mrs. Riley sees them face on when they talk to her, but she is not defined by her deafness. She’s kind, and skilled with horses, and Changed, and African-American, and loves her family, and is deaf. No one attribute makes up all of a person’s identity.

As for Jennie, she’s always been a leader, but being a leader causes her some devastating emotional fallout. Afterward Jennie herself begins defining herself by her emotional issues, until she can slowly get a handle on herself.

Out of all categories of identity, the one that people in our books are most likely to use to define themselves is the Change, which is human mutation. It’s one of the few identities that’s still the focus of prejudice, so people often react to that by either hiding their Change out of shame or fear, or embracing it in defiance or pride. It’s also the identity most likely to have other people perceive as the only important thing about that person. They’re not seen as a complete person, they’re seen as That Changed Girl. Probably Las Anclas has stories about “The Special Little Animal With The Change.”

But we’re not going to write them.


sherwoodsmith-smallSherwood Smith (left) writes fantasy, science fiction, and historical romance for young as well as old readers. Her latest story is “Commando Bats,” about old women getting superpowers.

rachelmbrown-smallRachel Manija Brown (right) is the author of all sorts of stories in all sorts of genres. She has written television, plays, video games, poetry, and comic books. She writes urban fantasy for adults under the name of Lia Silver, and lesbian romance for adults as Rebecca Tregaron. In her other identity, she is a trauma/PTSD therapist.

Stranger and Hostage, the first two books in The Change series, are now available. Rebel, Book 3 of The Change series, is coming in January 2016.

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New Releases – November 2014

Caught Up by Amir Abrams (K-Teen)

Book Description: Straitlaced and a self-proclaimed good girl, sixteen-year-old Kennedy Simms does what’s expected of her and it couldn’t make her parents happier. Still, Kennedy is bored. Good girls don’t get invited to parties and they certainly don’t hang out on the other side of town—the heart of the ’hood.

But now that school’s out, the rules are all about to change—especially when Kennedy starts hanging out with Sasha, her co-worker at the mall and a party girl from the other side of the tracks. Soon Kennedy is rocking sexy outfits, lying to her parents, and has even snagged herself a nineteen-year-old boyfriend. Malik Evans is a bad boy, and he’s about to take Kennedy on a whirlwind ride full of drama and lies that could throw her perfect life upside down…

Revolution (Replica Trilogy #3) by Jenna Black (Tor Teen)

Book Description: In Revolution, Nadia Lake and Nate Hayes find themselves at the center of a horrifying conspiracy in the action-packed finale of Jenna Black’s SF romance series that began with Replica

Paxco has a new ruler.

Dorothy Hayes claims to be the secret daughter of the recently-assassinated Chairman. She also claims that Nate Hayes, the true heir and her supposed brother, was the one who murdered their father.

Nate and his best friend, Nadia Lake, are the only ones who know the truth about what really happened to the Chairman, and more importantly, the truth about Dorothy.

But with Dorothy in power, Nate and Nadia know their days are numbered. They have nowhere to run except the Basement, Paxco’s perilous and lawless slums. But Dorothy is far from content with driving her enemies into hiding.

She wants them dead.

Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith (Viking)

“Yes, it’s another post-apocalyptic series opener, but it’s infused with a generous spirit—call it a utopian dystopia. The small, walled community of Las Anclas bears little resemblance to Los Angeles, whose ancient ruins sprawl nearby. … The five dynamic narrators and action-packed plot deliver thrills while slyly undermining genre clichés. A first-rate page turner that leaves its own compelling afterimage.” — Kirkus, starred review

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

“Eleven short stories about two centuries in the life of everyone’s favorite bisexual, biracial, immortal warlock from Clare’s hyperpopular Shadowhunters series, most previously published in electronic-only editions. … the collection shows compelling development of Magnus from flirtatious playboy to flirtatious playboy with a secret heart of gold to the fashionable-but-serious High Warlock of Brooklyn who throws himself between innocents and danger.” — Kirkus

Switch by Douglas Davey (Red Deer Press)

Book Description: Sheldon Bates wants to share his story — the story of what it was like when he was seventeen. Sheldon was an ordinary high school student until he started noticing something changing about himself. It was then that Sheldon started feeling the same way about boys that he did about girls. It was at seventeen that Sheldon desperately tried to figure out the truth and accept the fact of his bisexuality. And trying to find someone to talk to brought its own set of complications — especially when he found himself at the centre of a scandal that he was ill-equipped to handle. But he also discovered he was not alone and that he would survive his seventeenth year.

Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forster (HarperTeen)

“In this prequel to City of a Thousand Dolls (2013), Forster creates a vast novel rich with Asian-inspired mythologies and an extensive cast of characters. … Fans of fantasy will enjoy the magical elements, while the subtle commentary of the novel’s stratified society lends it a dystopian vibe similar to Veronica Roth’s Divergent (2011, both HarperCollins) that will appeal to readers outside of the fantasy genre.” — School Library Journal

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (Little, Brown)

“Heroin addicts, crime lords and murderers wreak havoc upon the residents of Hak Nam Walled City, a neglected, filthy place in this teen thriller told in alternating viewpoints. Inspired by Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City, Graudin’s prose uncovers a contemporary dystopia where despair is so rampant, ”even the sunlight won’t enter.“ … Readers, rapt, will duck for cover until the very last page.” — Kirkus

Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little (HarperCollins)

“In this novel set in ancient Syria at the time of Hammurabi, 16-year-old Jayden is betrothed to Horeb, future king of her tribe, a contract she views with apprehension. When her mother dies in childbirth, Jayden, her sister Leila, and her father are left behind to bury the dead. While mourning at her mother’s gravesite, Jayden meets a mysterious young man from the south who tells her his name is Kadesh and that he has been stranded in the desert after an attack on his trading caravan. As Kadesh travels with her and her family, Jayden falls in love with him, a forbidden romance because of her betrothal to Horeb. … this is a fast-paced, entertaining choice which will appeal to fans of historical fiction and romance.” — School Library Journal

The Name of the Blade by Zoe Marriott (Candlewick)

“Marriott (Shadows on the Moon) launches a trilogy that draws from Japanese mythology to deliver an action-packed story with a romantic undercurrent. When nearly 16-year-old Londoner Mio Yamato “borrows” the katana that has been in her family for centuries to flesh out a Christmas party costume, she inadvertently awakens an ancient evil. … Strong characters and an intriguing premise make this a solid, enjoyable story.” — Publishers Weekly

The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur (Sky Pony Press)

“At 17, Mementi Genesis Lee and friend Cora are out on the town, their primary worry escaping parental notice and keeping their memory-filled Link beads covered just enough for safety. Someone (suspicion falls on the Populace) has been stealing the Mementi’s prized objects and with them, entire lives. … For readers hooked on earbuds and constant social networking, the storyline should be intriguing, the ambiguities and plot twists reasonable. But it’s the sensitive handling of emotional details and the trauma of too much connection that make this a story of interest. … For anyone fascinated with thoughts of omniscience and total social connection—and who isn’t?—McArthur’s debut suggests fascinating and chilling possibilities.” — Kirkus

Mr. Samuel’s Penny by Treva Hall Melvin (Poisoned Pencil)

“A city girl from Queens, New York, is thrust into the slowed-down homeyness of a small North Carolina town in 1972, but the summer she fears will drag on intolerably soon turns into the mystery of a missing penny and an unknown killer. … A smart, funny pleasure, as satisfying as sipping lemonade on the front porch with a favorite grandparent.” — Kirkus

The Melody of Light by M.L. Rice (Bold Strokes Books)

Book Description: Siblings Riley and Aidan Gordon are survivors. Together, they survived an abusive childhood, and when a fiery accident incinerates all they have—except for each other—they survive that, too. The tragedy leaves them with burdens and pain beyond their years, but it also sets them free to forge their own paths. Aidan’s road to happiness seems smooth and carefree. But Riley continues to struggle, her only saving grace being a passion for music that helps soothe her damaged soul. As their paths diverge and college looms, Riley will have to depend less on Aidan and more on herself. Fear of failure drives her, but will finding love derail her single-minded determination to succeed, or will it open the door to the family she’s always wanted?

Autumn Falls by Bella Thorne (Delacorte)

“In actress Thorne’s YA debut, sophomore Autumn Falls, stuck with a name ”that calls me out as a complete klutz and seasonally challenged,“ moves with her family to Florida after her father’s accidental death. There, Autumn’s Cuban grandmother gives her a magical journal and tells her it ”could change your life.“ … Thorne’s book has a fun premise.” — Publishers Weekly

On the Edge by Allison van Diepen (HarperTeen)

Book Description: Wrong place. Wrong time.

Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have seen two gang members attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, Maddie knows there’s a target on her back.

But her courage has also caught the attention of Lobo, the mysterious leader of a rival gang, who promises to protect her. Lobo might be out for his own revenge, but Maddie knows she can trust him. And even though Lobo tries to push her away, she is determined to find out the truth about him. As sparks fly between them, Maddie is drawn deeper into his dangerous world … until there’s no turning back.

When you live on the edge, any moment could be your last.

Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath (Delacorte)

“Walrath’s debut vividly renders the atrocities of the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century, using multiple first-person narratives in delicate verse. … A shocking tale of a bleak moment in history, told with stunning beauty.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

Slump by Kevin Waltman (Cinco Puntos)

“Derrick ”D-Bow“ Bowen returns for his sophomore year at Indianapolis’ Marion East and this second volume in the D-Bow’s High School Hoops series. … With its deft balance of play-by-play action and off-the-court drama, this series scores.” — Kirkus

We Don’t Need Another Straight, White, Able-bodied Hero

When Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith initially sent their postapocalyptic YA western, Stranger, out on submission, agents asked them to de-gay the book. They refused but persevered, and Stranger has just been published by Viking Juvenile. This is the story of that book’s inspiration.

By Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith

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Rachel Manija Brown: A number of years ago, I was working at the Jim Henson Company (The Muppets; Labyrinth), optioning books to be made into movies and TV shows. But what I really wanted was to create my own stories.

I’ve always loved the images and story elements of Westerns — the stranger who comes to town and shakes things up, the desperate chase through the desert, the man with no name, the tough sheriff, the saloon where everyone in town comes to gossip. But I wanted one where the characters were more like me, and more like the people who live in the west now.

The real California of the Gold Rush was much more diverse than it’s usually portrayed: Jews were there, and free black people, and Chinese people; Indians from various tribes, and people from Mexico, Chile, and Peru. Not to mention a whole lot of incredibly tough women. It was by no means a multicultural paradise. But it also wasn’t a place where everyone was white and women existed only as saloon girls, loyal wives, and prizes to be won by the male hero.

Then I imagined a future west: a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles where technology had reverted back to Gold Rush levels, but which was still as diverse as the real city I lived in. An image came to my mind, of a teenage boy desperately fleeing through the desert, without food or water but carrying something precious in his battered pack. A bounty hunter was relentlessly tracking him, and the desert was full of mutated bloodsucking plants. Could he reach the refuge of a small frontier town before he succumbed to thirst, or deadly wildlife, or a bullet?

I could see that boy in my mind’s eye. He didn’t look like the typical tall, light-skinned, blue-eyed hero of a western. He looked like the young men I saw every day in Los Angeles, the young men who had really lived in the California of the Old West. His skin was brown and his hair was black; he wasn’t tall or burly, but he was stronger than he looked. I wondered what it was that he had in his pack, that he was so desperate to protect…

Years later, I met Sherwood to collaborate on a TV show, and I told her about that idea. By then the young man had a name: Ross Juarez.

Sherwood Smith: I loved it! We talked back and forth, scribbling down our favorite ideas: mysterious ruins and super powers, and taking familiar tropes and turning them inside out. The brainy mechanic sidekick, who’s always a guy, would be a girl who has trouble getting outside of her own head. And she wouldn’t be a sidekick, but the heroine. The tough sheriff would be a woman — a super-strong woman, with half her face beautiful and half a skull! The town was guarded not only by adult men, but by all the townspeople — including teenagers. Some with powers, some not! And if a love triangle developed, we’d take it in a completely new direction.

In listing all our favorite tropes (super-powers! Bad-ass teens! Weird flora and fauna! Interesting food from many cultures!), we discovered that we were also on the same wavelength concerning diversity.

Rachel: I’d volunteered with the Virginia Avenue Project for years. It’s a program to mentor low-income kids and teenagers through the arts. I used to take the kids to a bookstore and let them buy anything they wanted to read. One day an African American girl mentioned that every time she picked up a book with a cover that showed a girl like her, she’d find that it was about gangs, drugs, or teen pregnancy.

“I don’t relate to that!” she said. She wanted to read about black girls who were like her: who read books, who had many interests and a loving family, and who had absolutely nothing to do with gangs or drugs. And she wanted them to have the sorts of adventures that you can only have between the pages of a book.

Sherwood: When I was in high school, I had a friend of color who admitted that much as she loved fairy tales, she wished that just once the heroine wouldn’t be pale, with golden hair, and eyes like sapphires. What would be so wrong about a heroine with brown skin, eyes, and hair?

Because both of us have people in our lives — friends, brothers, sisters, aunts, great-uncles, and so forth — who happen to be gay or disabled, we wanted not only to reflect the patterns of ordinary life in our story, but to write one in which people who seldom get to see characters like themselves as heroes get to do just that. And, of course, in many ways we ourselves don’t fit into the standard heroic mold.

It seemed natural to map our future Los Angeles over the actual demographics of LA. White people are already a minority; 50% of the city is Hispanic/Latino. Today many people face prejudice based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. After an apocalypse, we thought that many old prejudices would die out, once the power structure that sustained them was gone.  But humans being humans, new ones have replaced them, specifically a bias against the mutated “Changed” folk.

We began the story as a screenplay, but the worldbuilding and the story became so involved that we turned it into a book.  Because we wanted the story to be about a community, we wrote it as an ensemble piece. The points of view rotate between five main characters. Selling this book, however, was difficult —

and for unexpected reasons: “Authors Say Agents Try to ‘Straighten’ Gay Characters in YA” (Genreville at Publishers Weekly)

There are two important takeaways. First, it wasn’t just one agent who wanted us to make one of our protagonists straight. That agent was just more upfront about it — and made it very clear that it wasn’t because they were personally anti-gay, but because they believed that no one would buy a book with a gay hero.

The second important takeaway is that when we discussed this in private with some other writers, we got an outpouring of letters from other writers who’d had similar experiences, with agents or editors or simply family members who earnestly warned them that received wisdom stated you can’t sell a book with a gay hero, or a Hispanic hero, or a disabled hero.

Our article prompted fantasy writer Malinda Lo to analyze all YA novels published in the US. She found that fewer than 1% of all YA novels have any LGBTQ characters at all, even minor supporting characters. A slightly larger number have heroes (as opposed to sidekicks and supporting characters) who are anything other than white, straight, and able-bodied.

We are not the only writers would like to see more types of heroes, in more types of stories. If you’re interested in reading more YA fantasy and science fiction with diverse heroes of various sorts, try books by Malorie Blackman, Joseph Bruchac, Sarwat Chadda, Sarah Diemer, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Cynthia Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Malinda Lo, Marie Lu, Patrick Ness, Ellen Oh, Nnedi Okorafor, Tamora Pierce, Cindy Pon, Rick Riordan, Sherri Smith, or Laurence Yep.  And they’re not the only ones writing diverse characters. There are more extensive book lists here.

Our belief is that if these books exist and readers can find them, they will buy them. And that will send a signal to publishers that anyone can be a hero.


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Rachel Manija Brown is the author of all sorts of stories in all sorts of genres. She has also written comic books, short stories, poetry, television scripts, plays, video games, and a memoir. She writes the “Werewolf Marines” urban fantasy series for adults under the name of Lia Silver, and lesbian romance (also for adults) under the name of Rebecca Tregaron. In her other identity, she is a trauma/PTSD therapist.

Sherwood Smith (http://ift.tt/1kXCqRM) is a retired teacher, and the author of many fantasy novels for teenagers and adults, including Crown Duel and the Mythopoeic Award Finalist The Spy Princess. She lives in Southern California.

You can purchase a copy of Stranger here.