Thank you for reading, for supporting, for everything you are to me. Have a beautiful and blessed New Year!
Got my first negative comment on Weeds of Detroit while running ads for the preorder release. It hit me square on in the weirdest way.
The book was posted only for preorders, and though the paperback was only live for one day at the time of the post, the ebook hadn’t yet gone live, so the man who commented wouldn’t have been able to have a copy shipped to him, read it, and post.
The comment came from a black man (at least the man on his thumbnail was), who lived in Detroit. He shared the ad with one word above it, “trash”.
And I understand.
Weeds of Detroit has been published in this time when racial tensions are carrying a big charge. And here I am, some white girl who spent six months as a runaway in a tough motel, and thinking I have something to say about it. The man who commented on my post must’ve been moved in some way in order to take the time to share the post and criticize a book he hadn’t read.
What the man didn’t know is that Weeds of Detroit is about the 1986 Detroit that I experienced. It is the story of people…black, white, middle eastern, drug-addicted, hard-working, hooking, caught-in-the-system people, who were just trying to play the tough game of life in a way that would win them their survival.
There’s racism depicted in the book–but I depicted it as I saw it: evenly spread around between blacks, whites, and arabs. Weeds of Detroit a slightly gritty read, pulling the edge of the curtain back on drug addicts, prostitutes, even cops who don’t do their job and ones who do far more. But what I hope people get from it all is akin to my girl, Lael, as she stares down the barrel of a gun and comes to a finite understanding of humanity (that trash happened).
So, I’d like you to decide for yourself. If you’d like to try the book, you can download a preview HERE for FREE. You’ll also get signed up for my newsletter, which will introduce you to my teen/young adult Misty Provencher catalog of fantasy reads, as well as my Misty Paquette adult catalog of contemporary romances, literary fiction, and erotica.
And we’ll become friends.
I know a lot of authors worry when they’re putting out a new book. They’re intimidated by what readers will think and many of them report spending opening day huddled in a closet or under a bed. I’m not usually bothered, but this time…I’ve got my spot picked out in the very back corner of my closet.
Why the worry this time? When I finished Weeds of Detroit, I thought, this story may not be what people expect of a Detroit tale. Did I draw back the curtain enough? And doesn’t it seem almost moronic to say a novel is based on true events? What does that even mean? A lie based on the truth? Huh???
Every year since 2009 (when I wrote the very first manuscript of WEEDS) I’ve revisited this story with different ideas of how to write it. In my earliest drafts, I tried writing Weeds as a memoir. I changed the point of view about 80 times, to Will’s perspective, to third person, to look out through Lavina’s eyes — none of it worked. One year, I thought it would be brilliant to get up on a literary pulpit and make Weeds into a young adult novel with a stellar message … one message was that it could be used as a tool to encourage kids to stay in school (sigh … it’s not that) … another idea was to offer commentary on the state of the city (groan … it’s not that) … and another was to address the uselessness of racial tensions (oh, Lord … it’s not that either). I even thought about (and wrote) some extremely over-dramatized versions to make the tale even more, more, MORE super-sized than it already was, with eyeballs hanging out, and gory bedroom scenes, and salacious, salacious, SALACIOUS…because at points I felt like I should try to compete with the 50 Shades of Gray and the Avengers and the EVERYTHING THAT IS BIGGER-THAN-LIFE stories out there.
And then I realized, early this year, that what I really, really, REALLY wanted was to capture the truth. I wanted to write the true emotional experience of being a sheltered teen who was totally unprepared for living in a Detroit hotel. That’s it. Forget the BIG stories — this ain’t no Iron Man. I just wanted to give readers a look into some of the incredible experiences I had, in the context of an interesting story.
So, I began what seems like the zillionth draft of this book, which will be the book you can read on October 25th. I know that it may be dissected for the truth, questioned for the fiction, used as a race-against-race tool to jab each other in the eye … but I sincerely hope that it is none of that.
I just told the story of what it was like to live in Detroit as a naive kid.
I suppose I’ll always wonder if I pulled back the curtain enough, but since the curtain resembles more of a shower curtain than a theater curtain, well … geez … you get what you get. By the way, there is a Note From the Author in the back of the book that separates out some of the fact from the fiction a bit more, if you are interested.
So, that’s the truth. This story was a bugger to write. It is the first book which will have me actually huddled under my bed, terrified, on opening day (October 25th) and, possibly, ever after. I hope you like it and, most of all, I hope the characters ring true, like flawed and glorious family photos of humanity displayed on the walls of a 1986 Detroit.