We will be reissuing a 2nd Edition of Bend Me Shape me in June with a brand new cover to match the others in the series. What do you think of it?
Here are the covers from Painted Black and Box of Rain. Good match, right?
AskDavid.com has compiled all the links related to Bend Me, Shape Me (Street Stories Book 2) and gives you an opportunity to submit your review of the book right from their site. Painted Black (Street Stories Book 1) can also be found there.
“I speak four languages.”
“I’ve built robots.”
“I have a degree in biology from West Virginia University.”
These aren’t statements from renowned business leaders or well-known academics. These are truths written on cardboard signs by homeless people living in Orlando, Florida.
Their stories are highlighted in Rethink Homelessness, a campaign created by the nonprofit Impact Homelessness, to change damaging stereotypes about those living without stable shelter. The campaign — which also features stories from accomplished athletes, a computer geek and individuals grappling with serious illness — is taking on “a problem that has dogged Central Florida,” as the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell noted.
And the facts back Maxwell up.
Florida has an estimated 47,862 homeless individuals, which is about 8 percent of the total U.S. homeless population, according to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. What’s more, Florida was deemed the most dangerous state in the nation for homeless people last December, by the National Coalition for the Homeless — the third year the Sunshine State took the No. 1 spot since 2008. In 2012, Florida had more than double the number of hate crimes against the homeless as the runner-up California did.
But Impact Homelessness believes its message of compassion and understanding can prompt positive change.
“Since the recession began, the face of homelessness has been changing,” the organization’s Facebook page reads. “From school children to the elderly, from the barely employed to the victims of abuse … homelessness can affect anyone … unless we all come together to make a difference.”
Boy, they really gave me some thought provoking questions to answer at Mysteristas. What do you think of my answers?
Just in time to help spread the word about my attendance at the Dekalb Library Author Fair tomorrow, Mysterias Blog posted an interview of me today. Here’s one of the answers I gave, but I hope you will click through to read the whole interview.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
The volunteers and staff at The Night Ministry in Chicago were influential in helping me see the importance of reaching out and how much of an impact compassion and acceptance can make in someone else’s life. If I have to name three people in particular, I think it would be three homeless young men I met while I volunteered with TNM. Eric was my first lesson in how to give unconditional love. He was messed up, involved in male prostitution to feed his drug habit, yet so kind and vulnerable that I…
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Kathryn White gave me a chance to introduce myself and the Street Stories series to her readers in Adelaide Australia.
Q: Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?
A: I lean toward traditional publishing as a writer because I do believe that publishing houses serve as a filter, a first reader if you will, which means readers can have more confidence that my books are entertaining, well written, and with limited errors. Of course, I’m considering small presses part of the traditional publishing model–maybe that’s not what you mean? Small presses are, I think a better market for an author than the big houses, simply because…
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Starza Thompson over at Windy City Reviews gave Bend Me, Shape Me a long and marvelous review today. Below are some of my favorite excerpts, but I really hope you will click through to read everything she had to say.
Bend Me Shape Me takes a deep and fascinating look into the world of teen homelessness in Chicago. Through the eyes of Snow Ramirez, Jo Sullivan, and Leonard Goldenhawk, author Debra Borys shepherds the audience on a terrifying journey of homelessness, mental illness, family problems, and murder.
This novel was chock full of nail-biting scenes and page-turning tension, making it very hard to put down. Throughout the book, Borys does an excellent job of painting a realistic picture of homeless youth and the struggle they have with mental illness, family, trust, and more. From the very first page of this novel, the audience is pulled into Snow’s story and her struggle to keep her brother and herself safe.
For me, this book was both entertaining and eye-opening. The plot twists and multiple narrators kept me flipping the page to find out what happened next, while the reality of Snow’s situation made me want to learn more about how I could make a difference in the lives of homeless youth. As someone who loves psychological thrillers and who is a Big Sister in Big Brothers Big Sisters, this book combined my interests in ways I didn’t think possible. I immediately wanted to know more about Snow and her brother and could have easily read a book twice as long on this topic.
Bend Me Shape Me is a chilling and tension-drenched thriller that will enable you to take a long hard look at the plight of the homeless. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes thrillers that make you think—once you pick up this book, you will struggle to put it down!
I would like to echo the sentiments of the other reviewers here regarding how engrossing and riveting this book is. I was immediately drawn into the story by Debra Borys’ deft handling of the drama and the raw, gritty dialogue. She’s got a knack for capturing the futility of life as revealed in the characters struggling with their own demons and hardships. This is some powerful writing.
Although the story of Bend Me, Shape Me is an engrossing thriller and a satisfying read for that reason alone, what I found most interesting was the light it shines on the issues faced by homeless kids. Sure, the book has the normal disclaimers about not being about real people, and I believe that. But prominent in the author’s bio is her experience working with organizations that help such kids. I’ve got to believe the issues, experiences, and difficulties of runaways and throwaways are depicted accurately, even though the specific personalities and characteristics of the kids in the story are made up.
Hey, Mom. Wanna pimp my book? 🙂
“I said 6. The book sold 6 total copies the first month.”
I started counting on my fingers. Mom. My two sisters. Eight members of my writers group. Ten regular attendees of the coffee house group I met with monthly who were all excited and congratulatory when I first told them I’d found a publisher. And that didn’t even factor in the numerous friends, acquaintances, cousins, and neighbors I’d been casually mentioning my release date to whenever I had a chance. Six copies just did not compute.
A genius is never appreciated in her own environment.
THE DARK SIDE OF LOVE
I understood that an unknown author might not quickly pick up new fans, but I couldn’t…
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