Hey! Thanks for having me today. Now, I’m here to promote Dandy, but I’m going to talk to you about something that may seem a little off topic, at first: my grandfather, who happens to be the man who gave me my definition of heroism.
Now, my grandfather entered the Army the minute he could when he was a teenager. This was back in the days of World War II. Not a year later, he was one of the soldiers that were on the front lines to liberate a concentration camp in Germany. That, I think, was the most defining moment of my grandfather’s life; you don’t do something like that without it impacting your entire view of humanity from then on. And after that, when my grandfather looked at the world what he saw most was the injustices it harbored, all the ways in which humanity was ugly. That would turn a lot of people bitter to the point of giving up on humanity all together. Not my grandfather: he was the one to tell me, when I was a child, that for every dictator, there is a resistance; in opposition to the cycle of violence, there is always a cycle of mercy. If humanity was entirely evil, we would have long ago consumed ourselves, but we haven’t. And every day, we interact with people capable of becoming heroes.
I’m not talking about really flashy heroics either. No, what my grandfather taught me was what it meant to be an everyday hero.
The moment that sticks in my memory most about my grandfather is a day we made a completely routine stop at a gas station. We’d gone in to buy candy and soda (because my grandfather never did deny my sweet tooth, as a kid), when all of the sudden we hear this screaming: in the aisle next to us is a man beating his girlfriend.
My grandpa didn’t even take a second to react. I had never once seen him raise a finger to another human being; he was a gentle, kind person down to his bones. But the minute that man starting hitting his girlfriend, that was it. My grandfather was in that aisle, and let me tell you, he absolutely laid the guy out. Because if there was one thing my grandfather would never stand for, it was someone causing physical harm to someone they were supposed to love (it was my grandfather’s opinion that you should love everyone, but the fact that this was the man’s girlfriend really only made it worse).
We had a talk after that that has stayed with me, ever since. What it boiled down to was this: my grandfather told me that all you really needed to do in life, to be a good person, was to say no to injustice when other people were saying yes. And he told me that to stay silent was also to say yes. And that has become my definition of everyday heroism: people who won’t quietly sit by while people are hurt or degraded or treated unfairly.
In the end that’s really the most important background piece to this story: how one character says no when everyone else says yes and becomes a hero because of it.
Andrew is a little overwhelmed, between grad school, his bookstore job, crazy friends, and a roommate slowly turning criminal. The very last thing he needs is more stress, but it’s what he gets anyway, in the form of Cassidy, the frustrating, intriguing, and supposed-to-be-dead brother of his law-breaking roommate.
Throw in a flamboyant campus hero, a series of kitchen fires, a slanderous romance manuscript, stoner music shops, an arguably-mad scientist, a terrible indie band, and a blue period, and Andrew realizes that being overwhelmed is easy. It’s the rapidly spinning out of control that’s a bit difficult to handle.
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About the Author
Jaidon was born in South Bend, Indiana, and spent some time in Michigan, before settling down in Dalls, Texas. He sometimes regrets this because of the god-awful summers and the fact that he’s picked up a bit of a southern accent. Y’all, it’s unfortunate. In Spring of 2013, he received a degree in Psychology from the University of North Texas, which is problematic only because now everyone he knows seems to have developed a psychiatric disorder. Weird.
Jaidon has been an avid reader since childhood and wrote his first short story at 7 (which has, fortunately, been lost to the ages) and attempted his first novel at 13 (which, unfortunately, has not been lost to the ages; he still has a copy on his computer). He started out writing stories with the full intent of breaking the reader’s heart, and, now, has somehow ended up writing all comedy and romance with happy endings. Go figure.
You can find Jaidon online at: