It was never my intention to make Mark, the main character in my book, “He Was Weird,” a goth. My main reason for this was to go against stereotypes about school shooters being goths. That they were all ‘weird’ for the way they dressed and for listening to music like Marilyn Manson. I wanted to stamp my thoughts that anyone who has been bullied or teased mercilessly like Mark was in the story, can snap. It didn’t matter how they dressed or what music they listened to.
In fact, I went in the other extreme in regards to “He Was Weird.” I made him a Born Again Christian who only wanted to please the Lord. The only music he listened to was Christian Rock. None of these fit the stereotype of what a goth is. That’s why that instead of ‘Satanic’ lyrics making Mark snap and shoot up his school, it was religion. Mark took his inspiration to carry out his shooting from the Bible itself, Deuteronomy: Chapter 20- verses 16 and 17. You see, anything can inspire a person who is beaten down and abused to get their revenge. It can be films, music, video games, books or anything other form of media that one can imagine. After all, most Western Christians believe that Muslims can commit terrorist acts by being inspired by the Koran, so why can’t someone shoot up the school be inspired by the Bible?
Jello Biafra’s speech on school shootings gave me further inspiration to make Mark a Born Again Christian instead of a goth. One commentator’s statement about Goth gangs had him practically rolling on the floor laughing. Obviously, he agrees that the goth culture wasn’t to blame for school shootings. Furthermore, he highlighted how after Columbine, the religious community in America all began pontificating how the lack of religion caused the Columbine shooting. That such a tragic thing wouldn’t have happened if the ten commandments were hung up in every school classroom. Well, Mark knew the commandments and read the Bible religiously, (pun intended) and still he went off and shot up his school.
Late in the story, I do offer a religious viewpoint on what might have caused Mark to shoot up his school. His pastor explained that God had plans for Mark but Satan knew this too. Therefore, to thwart God’s plan, Satan sent misery upon Mark with all the abuse and bullying. Furthermore, Satan used scripture, the verses in Deuteronomy, to confound Mark and get him to commit his atrocity. Funny thing is that none of those who have read “He Was Weird” has commented on that part. I wouldn’t mind hearing people’s thoughts on that.
The most basic reason why I didn’t make Mark a goth was that when I went through the similar hell in real life as he does in the book, goths didn’t exist. While, I set “He Was Weird” in modern times, the hell I experienced occurred in the early 1970s so I had no idea at that time what they were. Now I could have made him a goth to bring the story more into modern times, the reasons I already stated above was why I didn’t.
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=1502824722&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird