Love found them when they least expected it, and I thought the way they supported each other was beautiful. TJ was totally there for Zachary when he hit rock bottom, and toward the end of the book, they changed places. Zachary provided support to TJ when he needed it most, showing not only how strong they were as a couple, but how far Zachary had come over the course of his story.
I also loved the fantastic wind-up toys TJ taught Zachary to make. When I was writing Who I Used to Be, the upcycled animals and fantasy creatures were strictly a product of my imagination. But after the book came out, readers started sending me photos of what they imagined the wind-up toys to look like. More often than not, the work they sent me was that of artist Sue Beatrice of All Natural Arts, as pictured here:
I don't think all of Ms. Beatice's artworks are wind-ups, but the overall look, especially that dragon in the bottom photo, is very much what I pictured when I was imagining what TJ and Zachary might create. As I've mentioned before, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for people in the arts, which is why write so many artists. I also think there's something magical about starting with what others consider junk and turning it into art (as in the the scrap metal that Skye works with, or the obsolete electronics TJ scavenges for parts).
Next week, I'll be talking about another, very personal aspect of Who I Used to Be. Thanks for reading!