Jul 8, 2014

How We Deal with Gravity by Ginger Scott

Title: How We Deal with Gravity
Author: Ginger Scott
Release: July 8th, 2014


When her son Max was diagnosed with autism, Avery Abbot’s life changed forever. Her husband left, and her own dreams became a distant fantasy—always second to fighting never-ending battles to make sure Max was given opportunity, love and respect. Finding someone to fight along her side wasn’t even on her list, and she’d come to terms with the fact that she could never be her own priority again. 

But a familiar face walking into her life in the form of 25-year-old Mason Street had Avery’s heart waging a war within. Mason was a failure. When he left his hometown five years ago, he was never coming back—it was only a matter of time before his records hit the billboard charts. Women, booze and rock-n-roll—that was it for him. But it seemed fate had a different plan in mind, and with a dropped record contract, little money and nowhere to go, Mason turned to the only family that ever made him feel home—the Abbots. 

Avery loved Mason silently for years—until he broke her heart…completely. But time and life have a funny way of changing people, and sometimes second chances are there for a reason. Could this one save them both?

The Inspiration Behind How We Deal with Gravity

So why autism? Why a love story about a single mom, raising a child with autism? Why this story? To understand what inspired Avery and Mason and Max, I need to take you back to my beginning with autism.
My path with autism began as a journalist. I had just left the newspaper world where I was working as a breaking news reporter covering crime, courts and politics and entered the land of magazine writing, and I was hungry to write a story that really mattered. I mean really mattered. I was working for a fairly sizeable glossy magazine here in Arizona, and I had the opportunity to cover some pretty posh places and high-profile people. And I loved every minute of that. But I still felt like I was missing the grit, the power of real storytelling. And out of the blue, the idea of autism—what it’s really like to be a family living with autism—hit me.
I didn’t know much, a vague impression of what autism was. But I made my pitch, found a few key local connections and was off and running on my assignment. I read article after article, medical journal after medical journal, and book after book—and everything felt like it was upside down and impossible to understand. A typical journey for a person’s first experience researching autism, I would later come to understand.
Once I had soaked in what I could on my own, I took a deep breath and called an organization here in Arizona that would be my anchor, and hopefully put me in touch with families, doctors, therapists, teachers—people who could help me make sense of what I’d learned so I could tell the story to others. This place is called the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC), and when I first entered its doors, it was nothing more than a library room and a few resource offices for therapy, meetings and assistance.
But it was enough.
I walked into SARRC as a journalist on her mission for a good story, and I walked away changed forever. I met the founder, Denise Resnik, and spent time with her family learning first hand what went into raising a child with autism. But I also learned what went into igniting a wave of change—a movement. When the Resniks received a diagnosis of autism, they processed it with grief, anger, frustration, despair, hope and will, as many families do. And then they dug in and started something—something…big.
Since those early days, SARRC has grown into one of the national leaders in autism research, spawning programs like job training for young adults, genome studies, integrated pre-school programs and more. That tiny building has grown into an enormous one, and SARRC’s reach is mighty.
I have never been inspired by anything more my life, and that first story, which turned into my favorite thing I’ve ever written, ignited a passion in me to help however I can to spread autism’s story. Over the years, I have volunteered my writing services to SARRC, telling dozens of stories of families, doctors, programs, achievements, triumphs and inspirations. And over that time, I have had family members face autism diagnoses as well as many friends.
Fast forward to a few months ago, when another idea found its way into my head. I had a new story I wanted to tell—this time, as an author. Autism is a powerful subject in its own right, and the numbers, unfortunately, show that it’s something more and more of us are intimately aware of (the latest studies show one in 68 children in the US are affected). I’m not the same person I was when I first walked through SARRC’s doors. I’ve absorbed and helped share some pretty powerful true stories—stories of challenged marriages, crushed spirits and loss. But somehow, people find a way to persevere. And that…that…is what HOW WE DEAL WITH GRAVITY IS ABOUT.
Autism is consuming. It becomes a parent’s priority, and things like love, happiness…and life…take a bake seat. Ah but hope—hope. This one word is something I hear in every interview of every family affected by autism. So when I created Avery Abbot, I wanted to push her to the edge of almost losing hope—and then I wanted to give her chance. And that’s how Mason Street was born.
You see, love and hope are deeply intertwined, and I believe you need to use one to fight for the other. And when you are raising a child with autism, love and hope almost take on super human strength, because you need them to survive. And I wanted to tell a story that honored that fight. So while GRAVITY is a love story between two people who are losing hope, it’s also my love song to the many mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and grandparents who have opened up their hearts to me and shared their stories with me over the years. They’ve changed me, and I hope I do them justice.

The Music That Inspired How We Deal With Gravity

Mason Street is a musician, my kind of musician. I’m a bit of a sucker for that sexy singer/songwriter type, and when someone can take an old song and make it new—oooph! That really does me in. The music is so integral to Gravity’s story that it’s almost a character of its own. But there are definitely a few songs that found their way to repeat on my playlist, and some that found their way right into the pages of Gravity. You might want to download these for a little read-along music…just sayin’.

1.           Greg Laswell’s version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” – I guess you could say Greg sort of inspired Mason’s character. His version of Cyndi’s classic is so different, and it tells such a different story. And that’s exactly what Mason does when he sings.
2.           “Tenderness” by Otis Redding. This is one of my favorite songs—ever! It sort of became Avery’s anthem throughout the story, and it helped inspire her father’s backstory. Ray Abbot is the sort of guy who probably jammed with Otis once, like it was no big deal.
3.           “Wild Horses” by the Stones (and every other cover version ever done). This song has the power to give me goosebumps—just like it does with Avery.
4.           Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues” and “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” How do I put this? Johnny Cash had swagger—and so does Mason Street.
5.           “Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow, though I encourage you to check out the Haim and Lorde co-cover. It’s gritty and makes it more of an anthem.
6.           The Lumineers “Hey Ho” – nothing much to say. I love this song, and I listen to it—a lot. It was on this playlist tooJ
7.           “Stay” by Rhianna. That song is kind of how I think this story feels.
8.           “Lemon World” by The National. Kind of like the Lumineers, The National tends to find its way onto my playlists. They are haunting, and “Lemon World” is sort of how Mason feels when he first comes home.
9.           “California” by Jamestown Revival. When Mason first comes to town and enters Ray’s bar, there’s a folk-country band playing. Secretly? It’s totally Jamestown Revival.
10.      “Robes of a Prophet” by Decker. This band is homegrown—from Sedona, Arizona. I stumbled across them one day, and ate up every single song they’ve ever recorded. I love them, and I used their song in the trailer for the book because their sound fits so damn well. 

About the Author

Ginger Scott is a writer and journalist from Peoria, Arizona. Her new adult romance, "How We Deal With Gravity," centers on a young, single mother of a child with autism and her chance at love with a familiar face from her past. 'Gravity' releases July 8. 

Scott is also the author of "Waiting on the Sidelines," a coming-of-age love story that explores the real heartbreak we all feel as we become adults throughout our high school years. The story follows two characters, Nolan (a Tomboy with a baseball player's name) and Reed (the quarterback she wishes would notice her) as they struggle with peer-pressure, underage drinking, bullying and finding a balance between what your heart wants and what society says you should want -- even if you aren't ready. You can read it, and the sequel, "Going Long," now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-book outlets.

She is also the author of "Blindness," and the soon-to-be-released new-adult romance "This Is Falling."

Scott has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com

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