In an early review of Exposure, the reviewer said I’d done a brave thing in writing a story that was inspired by my own son’s arrest for what the media have dubbed a sexting crime. That word, brave, took me by surprise. Writing the novel had been necessary. It had been frightening. I didn’t—and still don’t—feel I’d done anything brave.
I’d been working on a different book when my son, who had just turned nineteen, told me a warrant for his arrest was being issued. That book was under contract, so although life became very complicated very quickly, I felt bound to keep working and meet my deadline—but I struggled with it; the story just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do.
A few months after my son’s arrest, months in which his lawyer had urged us to stay silent about what was going on, the idea for Exposure came to me. I’m certain it grew from my horror and frustration with what was going on, and the effects events had on my son and on our family. I asked my son what he thought about my writing a novel inspired by the situation, and he was fully supportive. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.
In some ways, the writing came easily because the scenario was so familiar and so close. In other ways it was hard, because even though Exposure is entirely fictional—the story inside the book is not my son’s, nor mine—I knew I was putting my son and myself in a position where we would be judged. All the while, though, I was telling myself, Think of what books can do.
I grew up being influenced by novels, and I fully believe in the power of story. Whether invented or true, stories have been the vehicles of lessons and warnings and inspiration for as long as humans have had the means to tell them.
So to craft a novel that might prevent even one person, one family, from having to face a similar or worse crisis was not, to me, a brave act. It was an opportunity to tell a story that reminds us all, “To err is human”--which is especially true when deep emotions are involved. I felt obligated to set aside the other book and write this one, to give you Anthony and Amelia and Harlan and Kim, all well-meaning people whose actions and choices add up to a cautionary tale that I hope will give you, at the very least, many hours of good reading.
Everyone in Exposure makes mistakes—as we all have done at times, and no doubt will do again. It’s what happens afterwards that makes all the difference.
About the author ~
Visit Therese's website
Like Therese on Facebook
Follow Therese on Twitter
Email her ~ therese.fowler AT gmail DOT com
Her latest book ~
In EXPOSURE, Therese Fowler has written her most gripping novel to date—a ripped-from-the-headlines story of intense young love and a nightmarish legal maelstrom that threatens to destroy two families.
Amelia Wilkes’ strict father does not allow her to date, but that doesn’t stop the talented, winsome high school senior from carrying on a secret romance with her classmate, Anthony Winter. Desperately in love, the two envision a life together and plan to tell Amelia’s parents when she turns eighteen and is legally an adult. Anthony’s mother, Kim Winter, who teaches at their school, knows—and keeps—their secret. But the couple’s passion is exposed sooner than planned: Amelia’s father, Harlan, is shocked and infuriated to find naked pictures of Anthony on his daughter’s computer. Just hours later, Anthony is arrested.
Despite Amelia’s frantic protests, Harlan uses his wealth and influence with local law enforcement and the media to label Anthony a deviant who preyed on his innocent daughter. Spearheaded by a zealous prosecutor anxious to turn the case into a public crusade against “sexting,” the investigation soon takes an even more disturbing and destructive turn.
As events spiral wildly out of control and the scandalous story makes national news, Amelia and Anthony risk everything in a bold and dangerous plan to clear their names and end the madness once and for all.
A captivating page-turner, Therese Fowler’s EXPOSURE is also a deftly crafted, provocative, and timely novel that serves as a haunting allegory of the consequences of love in the modern age.
Release date ~ TODAY!!!!!
Read an excerpt ~
Nine hours before the police arrived, Anthony Winter stood, barefooted and wild, on the narrow front porch of the house he shared with his mother. The painted wooden planks were damp and cool beneath his feet, but he hardly noticed. In his right hand he held a fallen maple leaf up to a sun that was just breaking the horizon. In his left he held his phone. He squinted at the leaf, marveling at its deep blood-orange color, amazed and happy that nature could make such a thing from what had, only a few weeks earlier, been emerald green, and before that, deep lime, and before that, a tight, tiny bundle of a bud on a spindly limb, waving in a North Carolina spring breeze. He’d always been an observant person; he hadn’t always been so romantic. It was Amelia. She brought it out in him. She brought it out in everybody.Amelia’s voice, when she answered his call, was lazy with sleep. It was a Monday, her day to sleep a little later than she could the rest of the week. Tuesday through Friday, she rose at five to get homework done before her three-mile run, which came before the 8:50 start of their Ravenswood Academy school day. At 3:00 pm was dance—ballet, modern, jazz—then voice lessons twice a week at five; often there was some play’s rehearsal after that, and then, if her eyelids weren’t drooping like the dingy shades in her voice teacher’s living room, she might start on her homework. But more often she would sneak out of her astonishing house to spend a stolen hour with him. With Anthony. The man (she loved to call him that, now that he’d turned eighteen) with whom she intended to spend all of her future life, and then, if God was good to them, eternity to follow.
Seeing Amelia and Anthony together, you would never have guessed they were destined for anything other than a charmed future, and possibly greatness. Perhaps Amelia had, as her father was fond of saying, emerged from the womb coated in stardust. And maybe it was also true what Anthony’s mother claimed: that her son had been first prize in the Cosmic lottery, and she’d won. They were, separately, well-tended and adored. Together, they were a small but powerful force of nature. Love makes that of people, sometimes.
That morning, nine hours and perhaps five minutes before his arrest, Anthony stood on the narrow front porch with a leaf and a phone in his chilly hands. Amelia was saying, “I dreamt of us,” in a suggestive voice that stirred him, inside and out. He heard his mother coming downstairs, so he pulled the front door closed. Unlike the rest of his school’s faculty, she knew about Amelia and him; in her way, she approved. Still, he preferred to keep his conversations private. There were certain things even an approving mother wouldn’t want to hear. Certain things he absolutely did not want her to know.
Therese's other books ~
Visit Therese on the rest of her virtual tour ~
Wednesday, May 4
Book reviewed at My Reading Room
Thursday, May 5
Guest blogging at Review from Here
Monday, May 9
Book reviewed at A Musing Reviews
Tuesday, May 10
Interviewed at Paperback Writer
Wednesday, May 11
Book reviewed at Teresa’s Reading Corner
Thursday, May 12
Book spotlighted and giveaway at The Book Connection
Friday, May 13
Interviewed at Blogcritics
Book reviewed at Colloquium
Monday, May 16
Interviewed at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, May 17
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn
Book reviewed at Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, May 18
Book reviewed at WV Stitcher
Guest blogging and giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, May 19
Book reviewed at Bookworm Hollow
Book reviewed at Great Thoughts
Book reviewed at The Review Stew
Friday, May 20
Book reviewed at Reading Frenzy
Monday, May 23
Book reviewed at StephTheBookworm
Tuesday, May 24
Book reviewed by Ohio Girl Talks
Wednesday, May 25
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book!
Thursday, May 26
Book reviewed at Marianslibrary’s Blog
Friday, May 27
Book reviewed and giveaway at A Cozy Reader’s Corner