Fiction is not made up ~ John Goode: Outside the Margins

Join us as John Goode goes Outside the Margins.

John-Goode-OtMFiction is not made up

When I set out to write Tales From Foster High I had a lot of expectations for my book.

I wanted it to touch other people the same way books I had read in the past had touched me. I wanted the reader to understand, no matte what their age or sexuality was to understand how it feels to be discriminated against. To do so I went and really did a lot of research about actual things that had happened to kids across the country who came out. I used these stories and events in my story which is why some people say that is is pretty realistic even though it’s fiction.

I don’t have a problem when someone doesn’t like my writing. Well no, that’s not true but I am never upset when someone doesn’t like my writing. No, sorry that was a lie too, I keep my mouth shut when someone doesn’t like my writing because my first impulse to ask them what I did wrong that they didn’t like and how can I make sure I don’t do it again. But if you’re a writer you don’t do things like that because it is tacky and people are allowed their opinions.

Except when they are wrong.

When the first book got released on Amazon I got a review that kind of threw me. She didn’t like the book. At all. In her words Kyle was unbelievable because no one would ever talk like that much less a high school kid, Brad was a douche and that in the end Kyle was a worthless character even though he stood up for himself because…well because she thought so. Now as bad reviews go it wasn’t the worst I have gotten so I just did a Taylor Swift and shook it off. Until I read her P.S.

By the way, Principal: One of your students has drunk parents? Foster care. Someone is bullying him because he’s gay? Call their parents; give the bully a hard time; suspend him; and if the problems persists, expel the guy; involve the police if you have to. Works for most schools.
Seriously, what a poorly written character!

This was when I lost my shit.

You see this lady doesn’t live in my world. In fact I am not even sure what world she does live in but the one I live in looks nothing like hers. Her world sounds like a sitcom where the kid comes to school with a black eye and the well meaning teacher sees it and calls the parents and there is this confrontation where the parent realizes that drinking is bad and that beating their kid is bad and promises to turn over a new leaf. In her world the principal rushes in and saves the day by taking the accusation of a teenage boy in distress and single handily fixes everything before the last commercial break is over. I have no idea what world this lady lives in but I know the world I live in.

The world where this happens.

And this.

And of course this.


I can handle people not liking my writing, hell I don’t like it either. But when you question the events that happen to real kids and trivialize them as something that can be fixed by just telling someone then you are living in the fantasy world. I wrote these books for two reasons, one, so that kids going through that had a rule book on what to do. Not only is everything that happens to those kids real but the solutions are as well. The lawsuits, the bible verses, everything is real so if someone is going through that and has no idea what to do about it, they have a start. And two I wrote it hoping that other people would read it and realize how bad it is. How incredibly bad it is. How insanely bad it is out there and that we all need to do more.

I could post a dozen links to stories about gay kids who killed themselves since TFFH came out. Dozens and dozens and still not even get close to showing the true number of lost lives out there because of this. You wanna think Kyle is too smart for a high school kid? Cool. Want to think Brad is a douchebag? Fine. Want to tell me that the answer to every kid’s problem is solved by going to a teacher then I am sorry lady but fuck you and fuck whatever world you live in .

People are dying. Literally, kids are killing themselves every single day because of this and though I do not think my book is the answer, it is something. It is more than just assuming that if there was a problem out there surely just bring it to a teacher’s attention will get rid of it. Some of us out there write fiction.

But for others it is as real as it gets. Please know the difference.

~ John Goode

About John Goode

Hi. I’m John. Um…I like getting caught in the rain, I am not into health food and I have been on a plane. I write, but you know that or you wouldn’t be here (stupidstupidstupid, get it together John) Anyways, I have three cats, but not like a cat lady cause I am…um…a guy. I mean that, the cat lady part not the guy part. I mean I do mean the guy thing and can prove it…sigh. I like turtles.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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3 thoughts on “Fiction is not made up ~ John Goode: Outside the Margins

  1. This is so true. I was bullied at secondary school & my mum telling the teachers did NOTHING to stop it. I just got better at ignoring people. Even now I get shouted at on the street / on public transport (usually really original insults like queer or bender) for just being me, dressing as me, talking & walking as me. So it’s important we write & talk about this & write about it to show it’s not right. Liam Livings 🙂

  2. I don’t get why people like this lady live in their bubble of a perfect world. A quick google search will show the reality that gay kids face every day. When I read TFFH, I wept because of its realism. I may live halfway around the world, but I am sure bullying feels the same everywhere. Here in the Philippines, although the LGBT community is visible, we are still treated as non-human. We have TV shows with the sole purpose of laughing at the gay contestants. People on the streets say the word ‘gay’ as if they’re spewing poison. The catholic church basically treats us as the devil incarnate. And yet, they still believe that we lead lives of rainbows and butterflies. I guess some people are not willing to admit that they’re hallucinating for most of their lives.

  3. I think some people want this world to be simple and easy sooo badly that they convince themselves that is the way it is. This is why cheesy series where everything is solved by a ‘good man’ preaching to the camera solves everything, or a group of ‘good kids’ plan a prank to show the bullies how wrong they are.

    Sadly, the world is not like that and ignoring the truth will just condemn children, young people and adults to lives of bullying, misery and suicide. Whilst a good book may not solve everything if it shows just one youngster they are not alone and someone does understand what they are suffering…and it helps them through a bad time — then this ignorant woman’s review is negated.

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