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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sex Greed Drug-Abuse and Chicago's North Shore

Today I'm delighted to welcome Dean Economos, author of A North Shore Story, to my blog. It's an intriguing, fairly short YA novel, set among the high-schoolers of Chicago, where... well, you'll have to read on to find out...

Welcome Dean, and over to you.

Sex. Greed. Drug-abuse, by Dean Economos

Now that I have your attention...

Everyone has a hidden vice. We hate to admit it to others; sometimes worse, we hate to admit it to ourselves. We’re attracted to the allure of it, kind of like how you kept reading this blog post after I named a few common vices. Yet we hide our obsessions in secrecy like an addict and, at the end of the day, get engulfed into the lies we’ve created.

A North Shore Story is a combination of three storylines intertwined into one. It includes adolescent struggles, like the ones named in the first line, as well as love and relationships. It delves into how the consequences of one’s actions can affect the other people in their lives. Vices like these, whether we choose to hide them or not, are something everyone can relate to in some form.

While the book is fictional, real-life influences came into play when writing A North Shore Story. The most publicly known situation is a priest embezzling money from a Midwestern church of over $100,000. The media will always grab hold of stories like these because it’ll shock the public and get people talking. While this caused people to gawk and gossip over this unfortunate event, this was the original spark that got my gears turning into an idea for a story.

Another influence of A North Shore Story were from real-life situations growing up. My group of friends and I thought we were that cool and always talked about how we should have a show like Laguna Beach or The O.C. With the endless possibility of what I could create, I decided to go for it.
I had never written a book before. I had no idea what I was doing. In retrospect, that’s probably the best way to do anything so you’re not limited to any boundaries. My life was very “Work. School. Sleep. Repeat.” I was looking for something different to break up the monotony: a creative outlet. So it was fun for me to start writing down ideas for the story. I developed some character backgrounds, but nothing too in-depth. Then I began to write the first chapter.

As I wrote, I had no idea what would happen next. I figured I’d cross that bridge when I got there. In doing that, these characters took on a life of their own in my head. I would get so involved that I’d think of them by name as if they were real people. While that probably sounds like characteristics of a psychotic person (and I probably was at some point in this process), the story turned out much better because of it.

What I learned throughout this whole process may seem kind of cliché. However, if you want to do something different than your everyday life, go for it. If you had asked me three years ago if I would be releasing a book, I would’ve laughed in your face (and my friends and family would’ve probably laughed harder). But if I never tried anything different for fear of failing or terror of what others thought, I’d regret not doing it for the rest of my life and nobody would be able to enjoy the escapades of A North Shore Story.

Want to know more about A North Shore Story, by Dean  Economos and Allysa Machinis?

For the teenagers of Chicago’s North Shore, everyone has something to hide.
In a daring attempt to impress the elusive Sophia, Michael makes the biggest decision of his life, stealing over a hundred thousand dollars from St. Theodore Community Church.
That same night, Nichole’s insecurities are finally forgotten with a drug she soon won’t be able to control.
When Michael makes his getaway, he sees his friend Joseph cheat on his girlfriend with the priest’s daughter and knock over a candle that sets the church ablaze.
As the consequences of that night unfold, Joseph is blamed for the fire and the missing money. Can the teenagers of the North Shore confess their vices to help their friend? Or will their greed, infidelity and jealousy change all their lives forever?

Want to know more about the authors?

Read the Q&A below and enjoy!

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