Ana: Today we have Matt Stevens introducing their book, Little Sister Charly. I haven't read this book myself, but Matt was kind enough to agree to guest blog about their book to any readers who might be interested in the subject. Matt, how would you describe your book to your prospective readers? In broad terms, what is your book about?
Matt: The story is about my younger sister and allowing her to live with me while I try and rehabilitate her from a heroin addiction and over two decades of drug abuse. The readers must ask themselves if they would assist a family member knowing they were an addict and criminal with outstanding warrants, or would they turn their back, without a guilty conscious, in having a sibling be homeless?
The book describes how a young person can take a wrong path and never recover even though loved ones are constantly throwing life preservers in their direction. It illustrates that changing a person must come from within regardless of any positive intervention.
The story begins with my sister virtually on her last leg; in-and-out of jail, sleeping in a boat in a random person’s backyard, warrants for her arrest and having to glue in her teeth. Having incinerated every family bridge, I’m the last person she can turn to for help.
At this point the story goes back-and-forth from taking my sister into my home and how her life of drugs began as a teenager. Both narratives paint a sobering reality of the life of an addict and the challenges faced within a family. In the end, the stories collide back into the present amid chaos, but then a surprise gesture of love.
It is a true story, so I hope you enjoy the book.
Ana: What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, do you hope your book will mean to a reader?
Matt The book asks the reader how far they will go to help a family member, and at what point do you just let a family member go on with their life regardless if its going to be a terrible outcome. It is a real test of faith and hope.
On the other hand, the book describes what a horrible life it can be if you have a drug addiction. There is no light at the end of the tunnel if you are addicted, in fact, the tunnel only gets darker.
The story is a true testament of a tug-of-air over the bond you have with a sibling.
Ana: What prompted you to write this book and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write this book?
Matt: My motivation writing the book was to tell my sister's story about how she had survived. It was to piece together years of not knowing my sister's whereabouts and the demons she faced. In the end, I wanted the story to have a happy ending and inspire other addicts that they could overcome a life on drugs. However, drug addicts don't have a happy ending, not only is it the same bad story, but the same sad one. With that being said, this story does have a happy ending because you can never cut ties of a family bond.
Ana: If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my book!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your book is their cup of tea?
Matt: Since the story is true that makes it unique. There is no other book that can even come close to Little Sister Charly. A lot of readers will think the story isn't true, but in reality, its a little watered down to protect my sister's children.
Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other books? If you have published other books, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more books planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different book or genre?
Matt: I wrote a book about my experience of overcoming testicular cancer. It described the horrible side effects of chemotherapy. It's not published because it is difficult for me to reflect back on those days. If time permits I will wrote more books and perhaps have the courage to dust off that particular story.
Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your book for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next book comes available?
Matt: Readers can purchase the book on Amazon and Kindle. Also, there is a website at www.littlesistercharly.com
Ana: Thank you. I understand you have the first chapter of your book available as an excerpt for interested readers? Is there anything else you wish to add for our readers?
Matt: Please enjoy.
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