It seems a little ridiculous to be releasing a YA novel about two teenage girls going through their own version of "Through the Looking Glass" when the real world we're living in has gone stark raving mad. We've got a reality TV-style presidential election in the works (an election where the headliners from both major parties have dismal approval ratings -- he's a loud-mouth lunatic who's stirring the racial pot, and she's a self-serving career politician who has made a lot of money at the expense of the American people). But this isn't a political rant . . . it really isn't. Because our crazy world is about much more than politics.
We've seen black men and women killed by policemen, we've seen policemen gunned down in angry retribution, and we've all felt the frustration of a divided nation. As Rodney King lamented almost 25 years ago, "Why can't we all just get along?" I don't know the answer to that question. Maybe the things that divide us are just too great. Maybe it's impossible to escape our own history. Maybe we've forgotten how to trust, how to give each other the benefit of the doubt, how to embrace differences as beautiful and important and real. Or maybe we never learned how to do that in the first place.
What does all this have to do with the release of MIRROR VISION? Not a lot, I guess . . . although I've had a hard time talking it up when so much is happening all around us. This isn't a political novel, nor is it about our racial division (FINDING ERIN CAMPBELL got at some of that, but not this one). But it is about what it means to be human. My two protagonists -- Kate and Kay -- are both seventeen. But they've grown up in completely different worlds. One is a world pretty much like ours, filled with people who value money and power and anything that makes life easy. The other is a world completely separate, totally controlled, and totally protected. Or is it?
I guess what's important for all of us is that we're all human -- whatever our politics, our background, our skin color, our upbringing, and our circumstances, we're all part of the same human race. At least that how it should be. And that's pretty much what MIRROR VISION is all about.
I've heard the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." The truth is, there's no evidence that this "curse" has any connection to anything Chinese. But it is revealing. These last few months . . . and years . . . have indeed been "interesting." They've also been sad and disheartening, frustrating and infuriating, and very, very scary. I hope MIRROR VISION is none of these things. What happens to Kate and Kay isn't easy (and it's definitely scary), but in the end it reflects some of the same hope I have for the world we live in today. Because I do have hope. We can find connections with each other. We can touch each other. We can talk to each other. And if we can hold on to those things, we can find a way to live together with our differences. I hope so, anyway.
If you get a chance to read MIRROR VISION, please let me know what you think. And post a review on Amazon! Thanks to all of you for your support in this endeavor of mine. It's a very small thing in a very big universe. But it's my small thing, and I'm glad for that . . . and for all of you.