It’s March 3rd, which means it’s officially release day for Everyone’s A Casualty! This is a short story with a fairly long history, beginning about the time I got sober. Yes, an urban fantasy story about a writer traveling between worlds was actually inspired by my getting into recovery. But this story isn’t exactly what it’s about on the surface. In fact, as I explained to my editor, the whole story is basically one long metaphor for recovery. Not necessarily from alcohol, either, but from coping mechanisms we have in general that start out helpful and only end up hurting us in the end. It’s a familiar story to many people, not just people recovering from alcoholism.
When I started drinking, alcohol seemed like the perfect solution to my problems: my long-battled depression melted away in an instant, people were suddenly a hell of a lot easier to relate to, and all of the sudden not only could I talk to people, but I was funny and people liked being around me. And all it took was a few drinks to get me there. But like with every alcoholic there came a turning point, a time when alcohol was no longer the solution, but the problem. For me it came a lot faster than most. In less than two years, I’d devolved into morning drunks and passing out by late afternoon, pulling entirely away from other people and living, essentially, for the next drink. Which is an utterly pitiful state to find oneself in at 22, already totally nonfunctional on my drug of choice.
At 22, I went into rehab, and along with rehab came the inklings of a new story: a story about a boy named Joel, who traveled between worlds but was still utterly trapped. Joel isn’t an alcoholic, has no dependencies at all on the surface, but was just as stuck as I was and needed a similar solution: he had to slay the things that were keeping him trapped where they stood. In this story, they just took a much more literal form. Everyone’s a Casualty is about the slow breaking down of poor coping mechanisms ending in the sudden violent upheaval that must come at the end of every road that leads to recovery. It’s also, a little, about the dangers of getting lost in a fantasy world (which I’ll admit I have an illogical fear of as a writer). It’s about how your life can change drastically, between one step and the next, when you realize you have to make a change to save your own life. It is, as such, a very personal story for me, far more than Dandy ever will be. But it’s also one I found, despite all the troubles writing it caused me (and it took me nearly two years to produce), very worth the telling. I’m hoping people will enjoy what is essentially a close look at my personal psyche in written form, and that, perhaps, the story will resonate with someone out there who needs to read it.
Everyone’s a Casualty
Summary: Joel is more in love with a fantasy world, and one of his own characters, than he is with his own life. He spends his days slipping between reality and the world on the other side of his bedroom door, drifting from day to day with no sense of direction.
But something is haunting the world he’s created, and when it slips out into the real world Joel must choose: surrender the world he loves, or tear it down.
And now for the giveaway! Comment below to be added into a giveaway for a free ebook copy of Everyone’s a Casualty. Just include your email address so I will have some way to contact you if you win. Winners will be chosen by random number generator after 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 8 and contacted the following day. So get your comments in before then. Good luck and happy reading!