#ThatsNotLove

So I'm writing my new YA novel, "Junior Missing," and I'm spending a lot of time researching domestic violence in teens. It's pretty dark stuff. There's a really good video under #ThatsNotLove that is particularly moving as a way to illustrate how behaviors can escalate out of control.

The stories I read just break my heart.

My friend asks why I can't write happy books. Good question. Why do I write about tough, sad issues? Why do I pour through these articles about teens who suffer one tragedy after another, just so I have enough understanding to write the scene the way it needs to be done?

This is important.

In the US in 2013, girls aged 16-24 had the highest rate of violence from their partner. The statistics for verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and rape were reported as high as one in three adolescents in some cases. Things only get worse for these women once they leave for college.

That's not love.