The front-page New York Times article “A Girl’s Nude Photo, and Altered Lives,” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/us/27sexting.html?hp is only the latest account of what’s happening to teens who share explicit photos of themselves or others.
As many of you know, one of my sons was arrested and charged with a similar crime. The events inspired me to write EXPOSURE, my third novel, which will be released by Random House on May 3rd.
I answered a recent interview question as follows:
“In some ways, the writing came easily because the scenario was so familiar and so close. In other ways it was hard, because even though Exposure is entirely fictional—the story inside the book is not my son’s, nor mine—I knew I was putting my son and myself in a position where we would be judged. All the while, though, I was telling myself, Think of what books can do.
I grew up being influenced by novels, and I fully believe in the power of story. Whether invented or true, stories have been the vehicles of lessons and warnings and inspiration for as long as humans have had the means to tell them.
So to craft a novel that might prevent even one person, one family, from having to face a similar or worse crisis was an opportunity to tell a story that reminds us all, “To err is human”–which is especially true when deep emotions are involved. I felt obligated to set aside the other book I’d been working on and write this one, to give you Anthony and Amelia and Harlan and Kim, all well-meaning people whose actions and choices add up to a cautionary tale that I hope will provide, at the very least, hours of good reading.
Everyone in Exposure makes mistakes—as we all have done at times, and no doubt will do again. It’s what happens afterward that makes all the difference.”
Early reviews have been overwhelmingly favorable, a fact for which I am grateful.
From Wisconsin public school superintendent Dave Moyer:
“Exposure is a worthwhile and relevant tale about the perils of growing up in a modern digital age where the standards of morality are ever changing. Well recommended.”
From South Carolina school media specialist Kelly Knight:
“Exposure is a very powerful book, particularly because it presents the story not only from Amelia and Anthony’s perspectives but also because it gives a look into what their parents are thinking and going through… I think this story will resonate with both teens and parents on the issues of sexting and using technology responsibly. Exposure is scheduled to be released on May 3rd, and I strongly encourage teens and parents of teens to pick it up.”
From Kathy L. Patrick, of The Pulpwood Queens book club and Beauty and the Book:
“Exposure may be a mother’s worst nightmare come true, but Therese Fowler’s new book is also a book club selection dream book come true! All I know is I could not put this book down and cannot wait to discuss this with my Pulpwood Queen reading nation! Without giving away any spoilers: who knew?
I haven’t been this excited to discuss anything so controversial since my book club kicked off Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson’s READ THIS Book Club on Good Morning America.”
Booksellers have been enthusiastic as well.
From Jackie Blem, of Denver’s Tattered Cover Bookstore:
“This is a riveting story, made more so when you know that the author went through a similar situation in her own life with her teenage son. She is brave in writing it, and I believe that the reader will be richer for the reading of it. This is going to be a HUGE book for bookclubs–there is so much to talk about within it’s covers. Fans of Jodi Picoult will embrace it completely. Fans of Therese Fowler will be blown away by how far she has come in her writing and in her grip upon her reader. This is a story no one will forget.”
Perhaps best of all, the book is resonating with readers.
From Jennifer, who won an advance copy from Goodreads:
“(Exposure is) a well-crafted, intricately woven tale worthy of timeless literature. Therese Fowler has solidly combined the old classics overtones with the modern age, producing a strong love story without overdoing it, creating a network of characters, each whose integrity is severely demanded. All players have been weighed, measured, questioned and found wanting. No-one is allowed to slip the hook.”
(more reader reviews at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9926930-exposure)