I had hoped to be posting a release day post about Hush Puppy in July, but it seems I'll have to wait just a bit longer. There is a lovely galley in existence now, which means it's getting oh-so close to being published. There's also a blog post, all ready to go on release day, to tell you just how the book came to be. Until then, I thought I might chat a little with you about the themes in the book and what I was striving for when I wrote it. You already know how much I love themes, right?
Hush Puppy could succinctly be described as a coming of age story, but I like to think it's also about growing into one's own sense of self esteem, something many of us don't truly achieve until later in life. In addition to that, the book is about a funny little thing called friendship. It's one of my very favorite themes and it crops up in my writing again and again, no matter what I write.
Friendship is a hard thing to get your metaphorical arms around. If you were to define friendship, how would you describe it? An affection between two people? Is it trust or an understanding and acceptance of another's personality, their flaws and foibles? Is a friend a confidant, a person you can trust with your secrets?
I myself have very definite opinions about what makes a friendship and I wanted to explore that in Hush Puppy. What happens when the trust of a friendship is betrayed? Or when that friendship gets tangled up with feelings of love or dependence?
To me, a friend is someone you can be totally yourself with without fear of rejection or ridicule. Even then, there's a constant push-pull between the two of boundaries, of affection and closeness. Some friends are more distant than others and we're constantly trying to gauge where we stand with them. The friends we're closest to are those that know our inner most fears, those that support us, and encourage us to grow, maybe even against our will.
What do you think makes a friendship? Have you ever had a friend betray your trust? What happened?