When I was introduced to the vocabulary word “stereotype,” I at first thought it had something to do with a stereo. A stereo was another word for phonograph which is another word for record player. Either way, it’s something obsolete today. Not too many people actually play records.

It’s easy to stereotype others. “Throw like a girl.” “People who wear glasses are nerds.” To say or think stuff like this you don’t have to know the person, you just have to repeat the misconception.

With Cloud of WitnessesI started with the idea of stereotypes: the dumb jock, the high school drop-out, the poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks—and then turned it around. Neither the characters in Cloud or people we meet in real-life exactly fit the stereotype. At a point, they go down their own path. Angie develops an interest in reading, Daddy reveals how he has felt about Roland all along.

Nobody fits neatly into a box or category. Try to remember this when you meet someone new, and keep an open mind.

My latest book, Cloud of Witnesses, comes out in September! Check it out here.

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