Read all the way to the end for the giveaway!
Tourette’s Syndrome is: a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics and vocalizations and often the compulsive utterance of obscenities.
But for most of us, that’s as far as it goes. Cue the vision of a crazy person shouting and swearing in the street, and we’re just about done.
Writing Jake was challenging, as I had to put my assumptions about TS aside and try and explore how it truly felt for him to live with the condition. That’s when I turned to Rico, and what I found was surprising. Below is the author’s note from Misfits, and an excerpt from Jake’s POV.
It will never be possible for me to know all there is to know about Tourette’s syndrome; and when I sat down to write this book, I didn’t want to write a character based on a cursory Google search.
Enter Rico, a wonderful young man I met on my quest for knowledge. Rico opened his life for me, guided me, and taught me. He made me laugh and cry, and above all, taught me that though TS is a condition a man can’t hide from, with the right support and a whole lot of love, life can become something wonderful.
The terminology I’ve used in this book may not be textbook correct. Rico told me that he defines each tic by sensation. Buzzing. Popping. Rippling. He has some ruder terms too, but I’m taking those to the grave.
Jake’s interpretation of TS may not be yours, or even mine, but know that I put everything I had into bringing Rico’s experience of this condition to life. Rico, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and patience, and for the company. You are an epic human being.
Cass’s texts petered out in the afternoon, but Jake had grown as used to that as he had to the daily contact with Tom’s lover. He questioned his deepening feelings for Tom every day, but Cass? Somehow, their virtual relationship had begun to feel normal.
As normal as anything ever felt, at least. Jake spent his first day at Tom and Cass’s house in his room, working on the new layout for the Pink’s website. He’d taught himself coding years ago, but his skills were rusty. Combined with a relentless stream of tics he couldn’t control, he’d about driven himself crazy by the time Tom came to find him.
“You done for the day?”
Jake turned away from Cass’s computer screen. He’d been staring at the same set of code for the past two hours, and he’d given himself a headache. “Sure. This is doing my nut in, anyway.”
Tom smiled. “Hungry? I owe you dinner after you made me lunch.”
“I didn’t make anything. I put some sausages in a pan and opened a tin of beans.”
“Still counts. Come on. I’ll buy you dinner at the Dragonfly.”
“The Dragonfly?” It took Jake a moment to remember it was the name of Tom and Cass’s bistro here in Berkhamsted. “Um . . .”
He rolled over and sat up, stretching the kinks out of his spine. He’d been flat on his stomach most of the day, trying to control his wayward arm by lying on it until it was completely numb. Even alone in his room, his tics were still off the scale.
Perhaps sensing the war going on between Jake and his nervous system, Tom stepped further into the room and sat on the edge of the bed. “What are you worried about?”
Jake snapped Cass’s laptop shut. He didn’t want Tom to see the Pink’s website until it was finished. “What do you think?”
“I think that I understand, as much as I’ll ever be able to, but there’s way around it, at the Dragonfly, at least.”
“You want me to sit in the car park?”
Tom chuckled. “Not quite, but owning the place has its advantages. I have the best table in the house. No one will even notice us.”
A ripple of excess energy buzzed up Jake’s arm and across his face. The jolt shook the bed and knocked him off-balance.
Tom frowned. “Did that hurt?”
Tom opened his mouth. Shut it again. “All right. Let’s start this conversation over. Do you want to come out and get some dinner?”
No. “Um . . .”
Tom sighed. “Do you trust me?”
“Humour me, then.” Tom stood and pulled Jake to his feet before he could protest. “Let me show you, and if you don’t like it, we’ll get a pizza and come home, deal?”
Comment below to win an ebook copy of Misfits, or any book from my backlist. Peace and love, Garrett <3