AUTHOR'S NOTES; Rhys Thomas' First Novel Describes the Roller-Coaster Ride of Emotions Experienced by Many Teenagers. in the Wake of the Suicides in Bridgend His Novel Takes on Extra Resonance

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 14, 2009 | Go to article overview

AUTHOR'S NOTES; Rhys Thomas' First Novel Describes the Roller-Coaster Ride of Emotions Experienced by Many Teenagers. in the Wake of the Suicides in Bridgend His Novel Takes on Extra Resonance


MY first novel has just been published and it's the story of a group of teenagers who embark on a journey through the gauntlet of modern life.

The idea of writing about teenage life was appealing to me because you really get the opportunity to paint on a wide canvas.

Teenage emotions are so big and swing so quickly that the opportunity for drama is always ripe.

Knowing that I wanted to write about teenagers, the second thing that came to me was the main character.

Richard Harper is a 15-year-old boy and the story is told entirely in his voice.

His character arrived suddenly in my head one day and he didn't really change from that moment.

His voice came easily to me and it was because of this that I thought I was on to a good thing. I have always loved books written in the first person, especially if the voice is distinctive.

I also knew Richard would be an emo. Short for emotional, it describes kids who wear their hearts unashamedly on the sleeves.

They have been heralded as the next great teenage tribal evil, glorifiers of self-harm and suicide when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

They are the gentle, sensitive kids who find common bonds between themselves because they don't fit so well in the conventional world.

Often bullied, they rally around and seek each other out to turn their worlds into something positive.

I found the idea of emos both romantic and endearing and that's because I was, and still am, an emo at heart.

And so I decided my story needed to centre around this sub-culture.

Those were the three ideas that came to me first - the teenage emotions, Richard, and emos.

I then needed a plot into which I could put them. I thought for a while about various ideas but they were all too ordinary.

Everyday heartbreaks and dangerous living are rich themes, but I wanted something more.

What I really wanted to do was explore the big emotions and to do this I needed a plot out of the ordinary, something that could harness the emotions and then open them up to their fullest extent. …

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AUTHOR'S NOTES; Rhys Thomas' First Novel Describes the Roller-Coaster Ride of Emotions Experienced by Many Teenagers. in the Wake of the Suicides in Bridgend His Novel Takes on Extra Resonance
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