Cody Kennedy’s Slaying Isidore’s Dragons
I’m beyond excited to have Cody join me today. His newest book Slaying Isidore’s Dragons will be out April 9th. I cannot wait to read this book! If you haven’t read anything by Cody Kennedy yet, you absolutely need to. His work is amazing. Cody joins me today for an interview where I ask the toughest question of all. Will there be a sequel? After the interview read all about the book plus there’s a link to where you can read chapter one of the book! At the very bottom enter for a chance to win a copy of Safe.
Interview and Amanda asks the evil question: Will there be a sequel?
Amanda C. Stone: Good morning, Cody! I’m beyond excited to have you join me today. *squishes*
Cody Kennedy: I can’t thank you enough for having me, Amanda! What a great place to be with my new book, Slaying Isidore’s Dragons!
ACS: In all of your books, you deal with difficult topics such as abuse or passing of family members. Do you always go into writing with the goal of broaching those tough topics? Or does it happen naturally as the story progresses?
CK: It goes without saying that when I set out to pen a story, I have topics in mind. But that doesn’t always indicate how the story will evolve. In Safe, the evolution of Caleb’s mother’s cancer wasn’t anticipated. It evolved because I wanted to show the human factor in that it’s tough for kids to deal with their own lives; and to befriend a victim of abuse is taking on additional responsibility. Plainly stated, some kids won’t befriend a victim because they don’t want the emotional upheaval. I wanted to show that it was possible; also, that parents can be, and often are, a world of support. In Omorphi, I vacillated as to whether I wanted Yosef in the picture at all. Perpetrators view victims as chattel and nearly always return for their “property” in real life. Again, I wanted to show the human factor—the very real fear that abusers will and do return for their victims. In Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, I wanted to show that though Isidore is a victim with the relevant devastating psychological impacts, he isn’t incompetent. He can contribute to relationships; and handle complex thought. He wastes no time in stepping up to the plate to help a friend who is abandoned by his family for being gay.
ACS: You always do an amazing job of putting the human element, along with the emotions, in your stories. What was the hardest scene in Slaying Isidore’s Dragons for you to write? Why?
CK: This book opens during the time that Isidore is suffering abuse, whereas in Omorphi we meet Christy months after his freedom begins. Two short scenes in the beginning of the book reflect some abuse. The first reflects Isidore’s condition immediately following abuse; the second we have a glimpse of a brother being physically abusive. I don’t like to write on-page abuse. Setting aside that any recollection of it is painful I suggest that showing physical abuse on-page can detract from the psychological toll it takes on the victim. However, in Isidore’s case he’s facing down multiple very real odds. He is psychologically abused by his father and physically and sexually abused by his brothers. There is no safe place in Isidore’s life after his mother’s death, no respite, no reprieve at all, and the abuse sets out from the beginning of the story just how it is possible for Isidore to cling to Declan immediately.
ACS: I haven’t read the book yet, but I am confident that you handled those topics respectfully, and in a way that is exactly how younger readers will understand. The book covers some things that not many people have to deal with, or have experience with. Did you have to do tons of research about embassies, ambassadors, rules and all that? Or do you have some kind of personal experience there?
CK: I do have experience with nearly every facet of Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, save run-ins with the law. Strike that. I often face down, as it were, agencies and authorities in my efforts to advocate for abused boys. In my post on Charli Green’s blog I mention the diplomatic corps, cotillion, and knowing two ambassadors in my youth. The mental institution that Isidore’s father continually tries to commit him to is a medley of the institutions I deal with when advocating for abused youth. They are horrid places. MacLaren Hall in Los Angeles is one of the worst and I couldn’t be happier that it has been closed.
ACS: I’m amazed that you have such a wonderful knowledge base to use for this book. Are Declan and Isidore at a point where they can be sure of a lasting happiness, or do they still have demons to overcome?
CK: They arrive at a place of wonderful happiness because I only write Happily Ever Afters. Isidore knows he has a long row to hoe before he is better, but he’s beginning to feel and see it by the end of the book. On the other hand, Declan will do whatever it takes to help him and Sorcha isn’t about to let anything happen to her sons. I see nothing but good things for them.
ACS: Last question! Will there be a sequel?
CK: This is a wrap!
CK: Though, if I did write a sequel it would be about Declan and Isidore recruited into the Secret Intelligence Service. No! I said NO! And I mostly mean it.
ACS: I’d totally read about Declan and Isidore being recruited into the SIS! Hmm, now to figure out how to persuade you to write it! Thank you so much for stopping by Cody. I loved having you and talking about your latest book!
CK: Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Amanda! Can’t wait to return!
5 Best friends
4 Vicious brothers
3 STD tests
2 Guys in love
1 Car bombing
Nowhere to run
Follow the burgeoning love of two teens during the worst year of their lives. Irish-born Declan David de Quirke II is the son of two ambassadors, one Irish and one American. He is ‘out’ to his parents but to no one else. French-born Jean Isidore de Sauveterre is also the son of two ambassadors, one Catalan and one Parisian. His four half brothers have been told to cure him of his homosexuality. Both teens have lost a parent in a London car bombing.
5 Weeks of hell
4 Attempts on their lives
3 Law enforcement agencies
2 Dead high school seniors
1 Jealous friend
A love that won’t be denied
Declan and Isidore meet at the beginning of their senior year at a private academy in the United States. Declan is immediately smitten with Isidore and becomes his knight in shining armor. Isidore wants to keep what is left of his sanity and needs Declan’s love to do it. One is beaten, one is drugged, one is nearly raped, one has been raped. They are harassed by professors and police, and have fights at school, but none of it compares to running for their lives. When the headmaster’s popular son attempts suicide and someone tries to assassinate Declan’s mother, they are thrown headlong into chaos, betrayal, conspiracy, allegations of sexual coercion, even murder. And one of them carries a secret that may get them killed.
5 New family members
2 Extraordinary Psychologists
1 Courageous Mother
A new beginning for two young men in love
Read Chapter One on Cody’s blog.
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.
Stop by Cody’s Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind.
Find Cody on Facebook, Twitter @CodyKAuthor, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, Ello, Goodreads, & read Cody’s free serial story, Fairy
Feel free to follow along the blog tour here.
Comment for a chance to win a copy of Cody’s book Safe. Increase your odds of winning by commenting at all of the stops of the tour. Contest ends April 25, 2015 at 5PM Eastern time.