0.00: Tales of the Sober Kid at College

Released June 6, 2012; Re-Released January 2014
Appx. 103,000 words, ISBN: 9781476197708. $2.99 digital, $11.99 print.

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0.00: Tales of the Sober Kid at College Excerpt

Debut novel. There is a stereotype of college kids, even those heading there for the first time: they like to drink, party, smoke, and break whatever other rules they can, if only for the sake of breaking them. Connor Reynolds does not fit this description.

Connor is an 18-year old young man from a small town in Michigan who heads to Ohio for college, and on the outside, he appears to be a standoffish killjoy with no real desire to be there or make friends. What the people there don’t know is why.

As it turns out, Connor used to behave like a lot of students he meets at Garfield State University, but he experienced a life-changing event almost a year earlier that completely altered his perception of both his peers and his existence. The trauma ended, but the burden of pain and fear follow him wherever he goes, making for an awkward, miserable experience. Connor avoids interpersonal contact whenever possible and hides his past, while one of his secrets in particular tears him apart from the inside.

In spite of his insistence that he be left alone, he is befriended at school by one person with a big heart who takes a special interest in breaking him out of his shell, but Connor refuses. Yet when his personal life begins to spiral out of control, he is thrust into the depths of his own psyche and disaster looks ready to strike again. Connor is forced to make many hard decisions to improve his status and open himself up to friendship. Unfortunately, one of those choices has the complete opposite of the intended effect and threatens to ruin his life.

Please note that in the past, iTunes rated this as a children’s book. Trust me, it’s not. Please disregard.

Select Character Sketches

Connor. 18 years old, male, from Michigan, and a freshman at Garfield State University. 5-foot-9, medium-length brown hair, blue eyes. Average build. Average to above-average looks. Looks like a typical, well-adjusted young adult at first glance. Dresses casually but makes sure he is neat and presentable. Increasingly volatile emotionally. Shy, nervous, awkward, reserved, and lacking in self-confidence. Prone to dark thoughts. Somewhat obsessive in nature. Intelligent and scholastically strong.

Mike. 18 years old, male, from New York, and a freshman at Garfield State University. 5-foot-11, short brown hair, brown eyes. Brown, reddish, scruffy facial hair. Thin, wiry frame. Single and prefers keeping his sexual options open. Confident, bubbly, kind, and approachable. Fits the stereotype of a “typical” college student. Generous to a fault. Emotionally genuine and in touch with himself. Direct. Somewhat naive and tries finding the good in everyone. More focused on spending quality time with friends than his studies, but is not unintelligent. Wants to be liked by all. Passionate. Will try anything once.

Helene. 18 years old, female, from Michigan, and a freshman at Ohio State University. Connor’s girlfriend since age 17. 5-foot-5, long blonde hair, green eyes. Thin and physically attractive. Somewhat independent-minded. Attracted to confident, good-looking men. Desires security. Sometimes uses charm to get her way, and is frustrated when she does not succeed. Has an active social life. Prone to become agitated. Tends to be a bit selfish and play games emotionally.

Warren. 21 years old, male, from Pennsylvania, and a senior at Garfield State University. Residential Assistant (RA) in a GSU dormitory. Once dated Mike’s older sister, who also attended GSU. Has known Mike since before Mike arrived and passionately despises him for telling his sister to get out of the relationship. 5-foot-6, very short reddish hair, brown eyes. Very muscular and fit. Gives a general appearance of being detached and unconcerned with the misbehavior of most freshmen he oversees. Increasingly vindictive when it comes to Mike. Somewhat cocky. Tends to use women primarily for sex but does not like being dumped.

Pete. Middle-aged, male, and from Michigan. Connor’s father. Caring deep-down but is results-oriented. Wants to see Connor succeed academically. Obsesses over minor details. “A man of considerable physical strength.”

Amanda. Middle-aged, female, and from Michigan. Connor’s mother. Compassionate but head-strong. More lenient than Pete. Would do anything for her children. A touch sarcastic.

Geoff. 18 years old, male, from Kentucky, and a freshman at Garfield State University. Tall and husky. Bespectacled. Very short hair. Has a high-pitched voice and has a trace of a Southern US accent. Very friendly. Enjoys typical college social activities but is wise beyond his years. Freely gives advice. Calm and easy-going demeanor.

Zach. 18 years old, male, and from Michigan. Hometown friend of Connor with whom he used to be very close. Chose not to attend college. Active socially, almost to the point of being wild. Oblivious.