Welcome to the OCDaniel Blog Tour!
with Wesley King!
1) What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montogomery, which is a fascinating look at a highly misunderstood creature and a greater insight into the expansive consciousness and intelligence of wildlife in general.
2) Describe Daniel in 5 words.
Great fear and hidden courage.
3) Many do not understand Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), especially at the middle grade level. Why did you decide to write it for this age group?
I couldn’t agree more. OCD might be one of the most overused pop culture references and at the same time the least understood. I think the overuse of the word has led many to believe that OCD is someone who likes things clean or to order their socks. But being organized or clean doesn’t mean you have OCD. I think this misconception is particularly strong amongst younger readers who see phrases like “I’m so OCD” used constantly online. While these light-hearted references are fine, people should know that anxiety disorders are incredibly debilitating and unfortunately not laughing matters for their sufferers. OCD often onsets at the middle grade age level, and I want readers to know that sufferers are still normal kids with their own challenges, just like anyone else. And if any young people read this who are suffering from anxiety disorders, I want them to know that these disorders are common and that it is always okay to ask for help.
4) Do you feel there is a misconception about OCD and other mental illness in pop culture?
I probably should have read this question before my rant in the previous section, but in short, yes. I like the fact that we can laugh about OCD and some mental illnesses, because it`s a far better reaction than stigmatization or fear. It would be nice for everyone to feel comfortable to be open about their symptoms. However, sometimes we simplify these illnesses to the extent that anyone really experiencing them feels they must be different. People who cannot leave their homes, who suffer from panic attacks, and who struggle with their everyday lives cannot relate to a meme of “I’m so OCD.” That is why it is so important to understand what these conditions really mean so we can identify them and find support.
5) What do you hope readers take away from OCDaniel?
A few things. The first is that I hope they enjoy the story and two really funny, relatable characters that I think readers will love. Daniel is a lot more than his OCD. He is self-deprecating, witty, brave, and fiercely loyal. I want readers to know that mental illness doesn’t define the person. It is a part of them and nothing more. I also want readers to know what OCD really is, along with some of the other mentioned disorders, so they are aware and can help those loved ones around them suffering in silence. Everybody can always use a little help, regardless of their situation. And lastly I hope that anyone who reads this book with OCD, an anxiety disorder, or depression will know that there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of, and that they are not alone. Is it never a bad time to ask for help.
ABOUT WESLEY KING
Wesley King wanted to be a Jedi. Really. He used to throw rubber balls off his bedroom wall, close his eyes, and try to hit them with a stick. When he missed them, he assumed he needed more practice. When he hit them, he assumed he had the Force.
As time went by, society mandated that he try other things. It turned out that he was pretty good at sports: he won Three Athlete of the Year Awards at his high school, All Saints Catholic Secondary. Little did his teammates know that he was sleeping in Star Wars bed sheets at night.
He also loved to write. As a kid, his favourite topics were space, fantasy realms, and superheroes. He used to make up his own worlds and then translate overly elaborate stories into epic action figure battles. He was probably the only kid playing with action figures that had convoluted family histories, tortuous romances, and long-standing grudges. He was a special boy. But as he grew, so did his writing. Actually, he’s still writing about space, fantasy realms, and superheroes. And he couldn’t be happier that other people are now reading his stories.
Wesley writes from his home in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. He loves hearing feedback from readers, so please send in your comments and questions on the Contact Page!
Source: Wesley King’s website
Until next time bibliophiles,