Home > Dignity (The Breaking Point #2)

Dignity (The Breaking Point #2)
Author: Jay Crownover

Dedicated to those of us who think a big brain is just as sexy as a big, thick, fat . . . wallet. :D

Also, dedicated to my fellow four-eyes out there. Glasses are hot. I know I look damn cute in mine, and I’m sure you look adorable in yours. Here’s to finding the right person to fog them up. <3

 

 

I always say you can learn a lot about what’s going on in the world and pop culture at the time I’m writing each specific book. Whatever I’m currently focused on or obsessing over always seems to find its way between the pages.

I wrote Dignity over February, March, and April of this year . . . so, right after the election. Everything felt like it was in turmoil and unsettled. There was a lot of anger and uncertainty everywhere I turned. It was impossible to escape, no matter what side of the political fence you fall.

When it was time to head back to the Point for Stark’s book, a lot of that unrest came with me. The idea that so many people were questioning the government, the choices being made, the shift in our world paradigm, again, applies to both sides. There was no shaking the idea that maybe, just maybe, the people we trust to have our best interests in mind, the ones we put in charge of speaking for us, might not be representing us in the way we want them to. In the Point, the bad guys have always done good things when it suited them, so it only made sense that the good guys do bad when it benefits them. I wanted the good guys to be the worst bad guys the Point has ever seen. It makes sense in its own twisted way.

This is my disclaimer. I DO NOT think all politicians are corrupt. I DO NOT think that all—or even very many—police officers are dirty. (Though, here in the Springs, we recently had a sheriff who was filthy as hell! He was legit run out of town.) I DO NOT believe, at all, that our military forces and the people in charge of them have any other agenda than keeping our country safe! I appreciate their service. This is fiction . . . and I mean FICTION! This isn’t even a real place I’m writing about. I take liberties and make things as bad as they can be . . . so I can turn around and make them better. It’s supposed to be an escape, a story that is larger than life, nothing more, nothing less! Also, digital hitmen are a real thing and a death certificate really can screw your entire life up. It’s a new form of identity theft that I found super interesting when I was researching hackers and what happens down in the deepest, darkest parts of the interwebs.

During this time, I also ended up on a superhero kick. I mean, don’t we all want someone larger than life who has perfect timing and can swoop in and save the day? That means, unbeknownst to me, I somehow turned Snowden Stark into a cross between Elliot from Mr. Robot and Luke Cage . . . lol. An incredibly broken genius . . . someone who seems bulletproof and stronger than anyone can imagine. He comes with a tragic history, befitting of the Point and the men he calls his friends. He’s the quiet guy, the thinker, and fitting him into this savage, cruel world was tricky. There had to be a reason he fit in with the likes of Nassir and Booker, I just wasn’t sure what it was, until he decided to tell his story. It’s a little outlandish, exaggerated, and unbelievable . . . but hey . . . all superheroes start off that way. Even the superheroes who have a hard time being heroic: Jessica Jones, Tony Stark, Wolverine, and Deadpool. I like the idea that they have something that makes them special, something that sets them apart, but it is ultimately up to them to choose to use those powers for good or evil and to decide if what makes them special is a blessing or a curse. My Stark was absolutely influenced by Iron Man and I have zero regrets about it.

A funny little side note: Huck from Scandal is apparently also an accurate character inspiration. I’ve never seen Scandal . . . I don’t watch any of the Shondaland-produced shows, but when I was telling Cora Carmack about this crazy plotline and my idea for a tortured computer genius with ties to a shady government agency, she told me I was writing Huck. After watching a few episodes of Scandal (she made me when I told her I had no clue what she was talking about), I have to agree that I see the similarities, but it was totally unintentional . . . lol. Still not a fan of the show, but I did love Huck’s character. So, if you see some of him in Stark, you aren’t wrong. :D

Not gonna lie: writing not just one, but two characters who are way smarter than you is challenging, but at the end of the day, it’s always about what we have in common, not what makes us different. These two struggle with their choices and their pasts, just like I do . . . and I would bet, just like you do. And for being smart as hell, it sure takes them a long-ass time to figure their shit out!

Welcome back to the Point, my friends. I sure hope you love Boy Genius. Smart is so sexy!

xoxo

Love and Ink,

Jay

 

 

If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.

~ Lucy Larcom

 

 

Noe

I was going to do something I swore to myself I would never, ever do again in my life . . . ask for help.

I’d learned early in life that the only person I could rely on, the only person who would never let me down or disappoint me, was me. No one else had my best interests or wellbeing in mind. I was the only one who cared if I made it through each day and into the next. I didn’t need anyone. I’d been doing all right on my own while surviving some pretty shitty circumstances for a long time. I watched my own back and called all my own shots. That was the way I liked it, the way I needed it to be. But right now, I was scared. Terrified really. I was also smart enough to know that I was in way over my head.

I needed help and there was only one person I felt comfortable enough asking to yank me out of the murky, dangerous mess I’d waded into.

It didn’t make sense because we’d only met once. Oddly enough, in that brief encounter, he had called me a thief and a bitch. He wasn’t going to be happy to see me. In fact, there was no guarantee that he was going to agree to get me out of the bind that had me so wound up that I couldn’t even move, but I had to ask. I needed someone on my side, someone else needed to know what was going on. In this moment, my mind was telling me that someone was him.

I was afraid to show my face. Afraid to come out of hiding. Afraid of every dark corner and every shadow that lurked in the back alleys I called home. I was afraid that I’d finally gone too far, something I never really thought was possible before now. People were looking for me, and while I was notoriously hard to find, they seemed to have eyes everywhere and enough money to pay people to look in the places I normally hid. I was no longer invisible. No longer overlooked and dismissed like most homeless and displaced people were. The streets were never safe, but now, day in and day out, I was actively being hunted. There was a price on my head and everyone in the Point was looking for a payday.

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