What would you do after finding out your whole life has been a lie? That’s exactly what the hero of my novel, In the Shadow of the Dragon King, must decide.
At the age of fifteen, David Heiland discovers what he believes to be concrete evidence his parents’ deaths were staged and they are really still alive. On top of that, his godmother – his caregiver and the only adult he’s really trusted his entire life – has been in on the deception. The situation becomes worse when he confronts her with the ‘truth’ and she refuses to discuss the matter with him. And yet he still loves her, and something inside of him wants to believe she does really love him and there is a reason for the deception. But what?
I had a person ask me the other day where I came up with this idea and I have to say it came somewhat from my own life story. No, my parents didn’t stage their own deaths. I was adopted.
I knew from a very early age about being adopted. My ‘parents’ (not my biological parents) felt it was best to be honest from day one. I think this was the best thing they could have ever done. Sure there were times I wondered what my ‘real’ mom and dad looked like, who did I take after, but that’s all cosmetic. My adoptive parents are my real parents. They are the ones who took care of me, clothed me, nursed my boo boo’s, instilled me with morals, a sense of right and wrong, and made me the person I am today.
But how would I feel if I was lied to? How would I feel if I was fifteen years old and then discovered everything I thought to be real was a lie, and the person(s) I trusted and believed in had also lied to me? The anger and sense of betrayal would be overwhelming.
So would finding out you’d been lied to all your life about your parents being dead.
So, put yourself in my young hero’s mind. What would you think if you discovered your dead parents weren’t really dead (or, for similarity’s sake, if you found out you were adopted later on in life)? What thoughts would go through your mind? And how would you feel if no one would be honest and tell the truth? What steps would you take to discover the truth?
I would love to see your answers. Don’t be shy.