There are now over fifty books about school shootings. In fact, school shootings has become its own sub-genre in books. I am proud to say that “He Was Weird” is one of them. Because there are so many books on the subject, I, as an author, have to explain how my book is different. While I haven’t read all fifty books, I can talk about the other four I’ve read and posted about on here.
One big difference between “He Was Weird” and the other four books is that when you begin reading the story in those other books, the school shooting has already taken place. Each of them go back in time before the shooting and talk about all the events which lead up to the big event. While doing so, they present reasons as to why the shooting happened in the story. Well, I don’t do that in my book. “He Was Weird” opens with the family moving to the new town and Mark, the protagonist, excited about his new adventure. As the story progresses, we read how Mark is worn down by the constant bullying to the point that he finally snaps and shoots up his school. All events are as they happen and not told past tense like the others. One point I take great compliment in is that some of those who read “He Was Weird” were hoping that somehow Mark wouldn’t go through with the atrocity he commits. That hope has been a good hook in the story.
The other difference is the amount of cyber bullying that goes on. In the other four stories, there is very little if any in each of them. Even in the one book I feature in my last post, there isn’t a whole lot. That is different in “He Was Weird.” Mark is subjected to some really bad cyber bullying. Most of it was on Facebook where the other children do say horrible things about him. One instance is a pretend post onto Mark’s Facebook wall, supposedly from his hero, hockey star Kip McClary, who says that he doesn’t want a faggot like Mark as one of his fans. Another is the use of mobile phone camera where someone films Mark getting badly bullied and then uploads it onto the site. On the morning of the day Mark becomes a pop star, he reads some more mean comments from people online and that only strengthens his resolve to carry out his massacre.
On the other hand, Mark does use social media to his advantage for his big day. On the day after the shooting, the reader discovers Mark’s dying declaration on Facebook. He names some of his worst bullies and states that he is going to get his revenge. He also lets everyone know how mean they were to him and that they won’t escape his wrath either. That post has its backers and haters. While friends and relatives of the victims of Mark’s carnage say horrible things, there are others praising him for having the courage to do what he did. When it is finally taken off Facebook, his dying declaration has over 1000 ‘Likes.’
The cyber bullying I write about in the book is totally from the recesses of my imagination. Unlike the other bullying experiences Mark faces, it isn’t based on anything I experienced directly. Social media and the internet didn’t exist when I was going through all that hell forty years ago. That’s probably a good thing because if my bullying experiences had been in modern times, I’m sure those who bullied me in the physical sense would have bullied me online as well. Probably more because there would have been those who would have hurled insults at me under a cloak of anonymity. So, I dodged a bullet there but I am still very supportive of anyone who falls victim to this type of bullying.
To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1490044713&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird