The Irregulars is one of my favorite collaborative projects that I’m currently involved in. It’s the story of eight children without homes or families and it’s also about the trauma that has come with that. The kids form a family unit together and as so often seems to happen these days, it isn’t the family you’re born with that counts, it’s the spiritual family along the way that gets you through life, the world and everything.
Along with their traumas, they each have special talents. They aren’t regular street kids, but their powers make them hunted by people who would exploit their powers. I came up with the idea for the concept of the story behind The Irregulars but Jason Pere, one of my co-authors helped in crafting biographies and talents for each of the kids. After that we recruited a crack team of writers to take on the perspective of each of the kids.
As co-conspirators in creating The Irregulars Jason and I made ourselves brother and sister. My character’s ‘super power’ is the ability to go unnoticed. She’s not invisible, it’s just that people don’t notice her or what she’s up to. They look right through her. She can even be caught on video footage and unless someone has a psychic power that overrides her own, she won’t be noticed to the people watching the security tapes. She can walk into any place, loot it and walk out with a shopping cart and no one will bat an eye. It’s also useful for sneaking up on bad guys or sneaking away from them.
Cadence witnessed a terrible crime when she was younger, it was the even that would cause her to lose her entire family except for her little brother, Jeremy. Jeremy means the world to Cadence but what she witnessed gave her severe anxiety and PTSD, as a result she is often not there for Jeremy emotionally when he needs her most.
Cadence was very much my creation and I didn’t realize until after I had written the first chapter how much of myself I had put into her. A teenage runaway who had witnessed her father do terrible things, dealing with PTSD after I was run over, the only thing that is really different is that I’ve never had Cadence’s talent.
I think when you’re dealing with trauma it would be easier in many ways to be invisible. It’s hard to have people see how vulnerable you can be, how wrecked you can become. It would be nice to have Cadence’s power and to be able to be unseen when you’re hurting. I’ve always had a knack for drawing every eye to me when I walk into a room, it’s a useful talent but it’s also a burden when you have an off day and the stares of strangers is enough to make you want to shrink into the wall.
There’s a lot more to the story than my own issues, but it’s rare for me to include such a raw and immediate part of myself in my writing. Usually I process it mentally before smearing it on the page. I’ve become a bit of an expert on these things now, PTSD and anxiety. I’ve learned a lot of compassion for people who suffer from it after being run over. It’s nice to be able to put that into my writing, especially in a group setting.
The Irregulars will be available late this summer from Starklight Press. Fellow authors include in no particular order:
Jason Pere, Sharon Flood, Jenn Spaulding (who took over for Maddy from Laura Callender who got Maddy started off), Kaylee Kasakowski, Kat Hutson, Alex Benitez and Anthony Stark.
There will be more updates as we decide on a publishing date and finish the story.