Friday, June 29, 2012

GIVEAWAY/Guest Post: "The Never Prayer" by Aaron Ritchey

Dude. You're old. You're a boy. What do you know about being a teenage girl?
            So my very first reader, a real, live Young Adult, emailed me and told me she couldn’t believe I could capture how it felt to be a teenage girl when I was a guy getting on in years.  Yeah, I’m middle-aged.  It’s a shameful thing to age, but it beats death.
            I get asked this a lot—how do you capture what it’s like to be a teenage girl since you’ve never been one?
            The short answer is that being human is more important than being our gender.  Being human is hard—boy, girl, rich, poor.  In my next life I’m going to be a dog living with a rich, childless couple in Manhattan, and of course, my owners will work from home.  So all day long my life will be nothing but love and treats.  This life, I’m stuck being one of them crazy homo sapiens.
            In my debut novel, The Never Prayer, I tried to capture a human experience and didn’t really focus on gender.  That’s the short answer.
            The long answer, well, take a seat.  I learned early on that I couldn’t play the “guy” game.  I didn’t like sports.  My brother was God’s gift to women.  I was overweight and underappreciated.  And when the boys started flexing, I knew I was never going to win at that game.
            So I made my own way.  I went where my spirit led me.   I watched soap operas, read romance novels, and I was the dreamy boy who never quite fit in.  A lot of people thought I was gay, but I liked girls.  I still like girls.  I really, really like girls.
            No.  Really.
            As a result of my past, I have a lot of female energy.  I appreciate emotional depth, I understand the yearning to be wanted, I lean toward vanity, and I long for strong connections with the people around me.
            Are men shallow, sloppy, and uncaring?  Well, I don’t want to bash my gender, but male energy is about getting things done, overcoming obstacles, going out in the world and conquering.  What your hair looks like doesn’t much matter, and if I hurt your feelings, well, you’ll get over it.
I do have that part of me.  I run triathlons because when you’re in the last mile of the run, your feelings don’t matter, and listening to your body is for wussy-sissy-girls.  You run that last mile, no matter what.  You git ‘r done.
            One of my goals in life is to experience as much as I can, to be big enough on the inside to hold all the contradictions and paradoxes in life without wavering.  To have both male and female energy.  To be both an atheist and a believer.  To hold it all and accept it all as a part of life.
            I must admit, I would have had an easier time of it if I had been just a normal guy.  If I could have flexed more and been successful at it.  But then, I don’t think I would have grown up to be a writer.
            My next life, though, as the dog, it’s all gonna be far more simple.  Girl dog, boy dog, doesn’t matter.  I’ll be a dog, on my owner’s lap, enjoying a nice pet.  Until then, I’ll write my characters as honestly as I can with what I know.
            And I’ll continue to enjoy a cool pair of shoes, even if they hurt my feet.


Author Bio
Aaron Michael Ritchey has been a world traveler and an endurance athlete, and even considered the priesthood. He dances among the extremes, reading Twilight, Atlas Shrugged, and A Case for God simultaneously. Writing Young Adult novels is perfect for him because that's a time of extremes and firsts, and who doesn't love firsts?

Aaron's Website     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads     Amazon     IndieBound     Barnes and Noble


Shattered by the death of her parents, Lena will risk everything to keep her disintegrating family together. Torn between her love for an Angel and a Demon, Lena thinks she knows the difference between Heaven’s Fury and Hell’s Desire. She never had a prayer…


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