The other day I had the opportunity to speak to a young reader, who had just finished Vermin in a day and a half! It was such a cool experience, getting to talk to someone about my book, and hearing all of their thoughts about the story and characters.
What really resonated with me from our conversation, was how much they took away from the story. They discussed how much they enjoyed the deeper meanings within the story, what certain characters symbolized, and were pleased to see these messages being presented in a way that kids their age and younger could understand.
I won’t give any major spoilers here, because I know many folks who are just starting the book, or who are only part way through, but it they definitely hit the nail on the head with their interpretation.
During our discussion, I confessed that when I’d initially begun writing Vermin, I was still in high school and that one of the main takeaways from the story was put in there subconsciously. It wasn’t until I was reviewing the early draft of those first chapters in university, that it dawned on me. What I didn’t tell them, was that at the time I’d started writing Vermin, I had been experiencing some of what my character Nicholas and his siblings were going through. As a teenager I found it difficult to talk about these things, so I wrote about them in hopes that I could try and understand for myself, why I was being mistreated by some of my peers. It wasn’t until I began editing the first book in the series, that I realized what I had written.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m being vague about what themes this young lady pulled from the book because I’d like to give others a chance to discover it for themselves. I guess after studying English Lit’ in school all those years, I’ve become a bit sentimental about ones own interpretation. I think that, a personal takeaway from a story is much more impactful than being told what one should have gotten from the text.
I do again, want to thank the people who arranged for me to have that discussion with this young reader. It was my first time discussing my writing outside of a peer review group, and it honestly made my whole day. I’m glad that Vermin had that much of an impact on someone, and I hope that it will have that effect on other readers as well.
Want to find out more about Vermin, or are looking to purchase a copy for yourself? Click one of the buttons below, to be directed to Goodreads or Amazon.