Everyone has secrets, and its time to share mine.
Out-Cast: The Hollywood Years is the sequel to Surface Tension and continues exploring my struggle with the desire to lead a “normal” life through the eyes of David Mathew. In Surface Tension, David is sixteen-years-old, represents the USA, and wins the gold medal at the 1979 World Springboard and Platform Diving Championships in Tønsberg, Norway. David has a secret. In spite of his unprecedented victory, he attempts to hide his tumultuous journey of grooming, manipulation, coercion, and sexual abuse by the coaches, benefactors, and medical team he trusted. With his dreams of Olympic glory put on hiatus due to President Carter’s boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, David relocates to California to focus on the 1984 Olympics.
Out-Cast: The Hollywood Years continues with David attending the University of California, Irvine as a pre-med major on academic and athletic scholarships. An encounter with Jennifer, a sorority pledge and theatre major, leads David to help with her audition for the fall play. David gets a part in The Visit of the Old Lady and a lead role in Single Parents, a Movie of the Week. David’s hopes for normalcy shatter when he wakes up in a grassy area and can’t remember where or what had happened the previous evening. Shame and guilt engulf him as he tries to suppress his secret. Without time to put the pieces together, he steps away from school and diving and leaps into Hollywood and the Entertainment Industry.
While in Hollywood David meets a beautiful young actress, April Audia, and the two embark on conquering Tinsel Town through numerous auditions, agents, and performances. David and April’s relationship grows as they help each other through the dark side of the Entertainment Business and race toward stardom. But David has secrets. Flashes and images of David’s past and that mysterious night on the UCI campus haunt him, and he doesn’t want to remember or acknowledge them. To complicate matters, an introduction to a male star from the night-time soap-opera, Dallas, causes more confusion for David and the potential for romance. As the walls close in on David, he leaves Hollywood to go to New York to play the role of Lawton on All My Children, reinvent himself, and explore his spirituality.
I am writing Out-Cast: The Hollywood Years to demonstrate the struggles and challenges sexually abused people endure as they try to live a normal life. My story of being a sixteen-year-old elite athlete passed around was only the beginning of a life long struggle with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. One-in-six males are sexually abused before the age of eighteen. The recent allegations brought against the US Gymnastic and other sporting entities have shed some light on this growing epidemic, but male athletes have been sexually abused for many years and are still in hiding because of societal beliefs that it is just hazing, initiation, the rite of passage, or the myth "males can't be sexually abused." Sexual abuse is only the springboard; the effects may not become evident or recognized until much later in life. By sharing my story, I hope to shed some light on how a sexually abused person attempts to reinvent, adapt, and assimilate to fit into society—but is never able to escape the deep seeded pain without facing the past and finding his/her true self.
This Kickstarter campaign will allow me to self-publish Out-Cast, The Hollywood Years (including one-on-one writing mentoring, editing, proof-reading, cover design, graphic design, and printing) without involving a traditional publisher and providing me the freedom to keep the story authentic and unfiltered. It will also give me the ability to market the book effectively to a broader audience. The planned launch date is November 2019. Thank you for your support, help in making my dream come to life, and creating a voice and a face for the sexually abused.
I have published three novels: Surface Tension, Spandau Ballet, and Life’s a Beach. As I have tried to make sense of my life, I started this spiritual journey that has led me to explore my true self. Even though I battle with self-esteem, confidence, and self-destructive behavior every day, I have represented the US in international springboard and platform diving competitions; performed on General Hospital, All My Children, national commercials, and stage; taught high school English for seven years; spoke on “An Athlete’s Silence” for TEDxDayton; and I am currently consultant for Arbonne International, a health and wellness company. I am an example of what a sexually abused person can achieve. Out-Cast, The Hollywood Years will continue to display my journey and introduce the next edition, Ice Prince: The New York Times.
Risks and challenges
The only foreseeable risk is that I am unable to complete the writing/publishing by the end of November. I will keep you updated regularly on my progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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