The title of this post reflects an email I received from a fan after he read The Value Of Rain.
And while I very much appreciated the sentiment behind his words, I never wrote Rain to do anything other than make people think and feel. As one recent reviewer wrote “If you are looking for something light to read, then The Value of Rain isn’t for you, but if you want to read a story that will wrench your heart and make you feel something, then give it a go.”
And please don’t misunderstand, because I enjoy escapist writing as much as anyone else. I’m a massive sci-fi fan and will quickly chomp down a series like a fat greasy cheeseburger, licking my finders and all!
But when atrocities come close to home; when you become witness to suffering that you could never imagine, then a voice must be made, a voice must heard. The Value Of Rain is a voice; the voice of people I knew and of things they suffered. It’s also voice of my own conscience trying to deal with the horrifying sorrow of what they felt comfortable talking with me about. And yes, several of the characters in the book are/were real people; some of the most humorous and some of the most tragic. I will leave you to decide for yourself which are real and which are fictional, and will not discuss that further.
And, if for any reason you think that you can deny the barbarity of some of what you read in Rain, then watch the video below, pick up your newspaper, look at the investigations into the youth warehousing programs we call juvenile justice. It’s all there; all of it. And that is the fucking tragedy.
The most poignant reminder of just how real Rain is comes from when I, or my readers, must wave potential readers away from it because of all the triggers it contains. (This just happened yesterday, and I sent a quick note thanking that fan for waving someone away from the book.)
I will make no more apologies for those triggers. I am tired of crying over this suffering, tired that it still exists and more tired of all the excuses I hear about why we continue to tolerate those that perpetuate the myths and the bullshit that add to this suffering. And if for a moment you believe that the lgbt community is not just as complicit in this tragedy, then… well, we honestly have nothing more to say to each other. Your conscience is still asleep and these tragedies will continue.