I'm really glad to introduce Graham J. Sharpe to my readers. PURPLE has been getting some amazing reviews and it's a timely book in this age of bullying. Enjoy reading a bit more about Graham.
I’ve been getting asked a lot lately what inspired me to write Purple. A number of my different life experiences have been incorporated into the book but there are a few that show up as themes over and over again. Bullying is one of those themes and it’s an important one for me since I was bullied when I was young for being gay.
Bullying, whether it’s physical, verbal or mental, happens to a lot of people, and contrary to popular belief, young people aren’t the only ones dealing it. Bullying has really become a major topic of interest in the media lately, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s an issue that has always needed to be addressed.
Bullying can have a profound effect on young people’s lives. For me, I spent a lot of time not going to school, and eventually left home when I was 16. I incorporated this experience into Purple through one of the characters named Marty. There’s a part in Purple where he tells his mom that he fell off of his bike because he doesn’t want to talk about it. I think this holds true for a lot of young people that are bullied.
No one wants to categorize themselves as a victim. When you’re forced to put it into words it makes the whole situation feel, and sound, a lot worse. Kids today would rather pretend that it’s not happening. They don’t tell anyone about it, when in reality having some kind of outlet or escape would probably help them cope.
When I combine this life experience with my experiences as a flight attendant I’ve found a lot of inspiration for Purple. I’ve met people from all over the world, and I’ve found that everyone responds to a smile or a kind gesture. It’s really inspiring, and I think that readers will pick up on that when they read Purple.
At the age of 12, author Graham Sharpe regularly danced around the lounge to Kate Bush's “Wuthering Heights.” Today, he still hasn't decided what he'll do when he grows up. So far, the East Sussex, England-based writer has worked in an ice cream shop, trained as a hairdresser, studied sociology and psychology, written for and performed with a touring theatre company, and backpacked across far-flung countries with loose change in his pocket. Graham now combines travelling with writing and he completed his first novel, Purple, during the sleepless, jet-lagged hours spent in hotel rooms around the world.