Friday, July 30, 2010

things from my books (4)

Please don't let me be misunderstood.

This is tobacco. Some kids call it chew, or dip. The boys in Ghost Medicine like it, too -- this particular brand, which shall be nameless. Some people got a little ticked-off with me about teenage boys using tobacco and drinking alcohol in my first two books. I guess teenagers don't really ever do that kind of stuff in the real world.

One of the kids in In the Path of Falling Objects even smokes pot, but I don't have any joints in my house to take a picture of. I know. What a loser. There are actually writers who don't have weed.

But I don't use tobacco, either. I used to like a good cigar now and then, but haven't had one in years. And when I was a kid, like the boys in Ghost Medicine, I did chew tobacco, but I don't do that any more, either, even though I do have this ancient can of it sitting here from way back when I wrote the book.

And here's a story about tobacco and the book: I was very fortunate to be invited to a meeting of this super-cool book club (called Book 'em Danno) after Ghost Medicine came out. All the members had read the book, and they really go all-out on their meetings: special food, the house was made up like a ranch with all kinds of horse-stuff, and they also had a special display of fresh cans of chewing tobacco, which I very politely declined to test.

But having been a tobacco addict in my youth gave me the ability, I think, to write about it in the book. The funny thing was, however, that writing about it did kind of trigger those old nicotine-soaked receptors in my brain and made me want to do it again. But I don't do it. But don't misunderstand me, it's not like I would completely turn it down under the right circumstances and just the right setting, either.