This book started with an idea of what would happen if a boy woke up on a beach with no memory of how he got there or who he was, but when I got to the final scene in the first draft—a scene that has changed little in all the revisions I’ve done—I discovered the true story: A boy trying to live with his fears.
I’ve always lived with fear and anxiety, from outside forces and within. I moved around a lot when I was young. I was often the new kid, and being the outsider can be tough on your self-esteem. You feel like you’re always trying to prove yourself, but that’s hard when there’s a little voice in your head that says you’re not good enough.
In THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST, the Boy has similar problems. He wants to find his family and get home, but to do that, he has to go on a journey that’s scary, and he has an inner bully that tells him he can’t do it. To succeed, he’s going to have to find ways to overcome his fears.
Fear and anxiety, a low self-esteem and negative thoughts, can pull us back from achieving the greatness that each one of us can achieve. That’s why I love this quote from Robert Schuller, “If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.” And that’s why I wrote THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST. Fears are with us, but they don’t have to stop us.
When has fear held you back?