“Grow And Live Normally” is a clinic in Ecuador that was opened to treat general addictions before moving to what the religious families viewed as the ultimate sin – homosexuality. The center boasts that they alone are able to cure families of this hidden secret inflicting their children. The unfortunate youths are misunderstood in a time when homosexuality was not just frowned upon, but also illegal. They are sent to the clinic by their families where they are held against their will in the sexual reorientation wing. They find themselves subjected to physical and emotional trauma that tests their strength to survive and their courage to fight for their identities.
Inspired by true events, “A Safe Place With You” follows a young man named Tomás Díaz and his group of new found friends as they try to find themselves during an era of heightened ignorance and hatred.
Will they be able to survive the closed doors of Grow and Live Normally?
At its core, this is a story about love.
César stops by today to talk about why he wrote A Safe Place With You and his hope for how it will affect readers. I love his outlook here and hope he achieves his goal with his story. Read and enjoy!
I have always believed that sharing real stories allows people to be placed in someone else´s shoes – to reflect about things that they don’t understand and situations that they haven’t gone through. For me, it is important to share my book with a young adult audience. They are the generation that can make a big difference and stand up on the right side of human rights history.
My book has everything to awaken their hearts and teach two things: that a human being has a lot of particularities and that the world we live in is diverse. Being introduced to these two thought processes will help these youth to realize that we aren’t fighting for our rights to make the rest of the population miserable, but instead, we are doing it to develop and live safely in our identity. Sharing stories can show them another perspective about life and open their eyes that we aren’t so different after all. It shows people of all ages that we are here with the same purpose – to be true to oneself.
”A Safe Place with You” is my vehicle to share many stories, to create more awareness about the issues that the LGBTQ community have had to fight in the past and to show that we are still attempting to gain our equality. We deserve our equality. It is a human right.
This is why I wrote this book and why more authors should challenge the industry to bring diverse books to a younger audience., As a whole, we are looking to make the world more inclusive. In the USA, for example, a hot topic is the target bathroom issue. We have a job to use our voices in a positive manner to that the gender, sexuality or the sex is not what makes or defines a person as a sexual pervert or a rapist. Instead, how that person acts voluntarily and of their own free will to hurt someone defines who they are. I believe this new inclusive policy can help people to respect each other and help them to open their minds that our differences we have is not a reason to promote that hate in us. It’s only adds diversity to the world we live in.
When youth have access to books and novels that push their mindset and introduce them to a new way of thinking, it allows them to feel the inner most thoughts of each character. It teaches empathy, perspective, and it allows youth to begin the process of forming their own opinions outside of their structured environment.
As an author, I can teach a new generation that there are no limits in how you identify yourself, is all up to you and nobody else.
I like knowing that when I am sharing real stories, that I can reach people and expose them to parts of someone’s life that they don’t understand and situations that they haven’t gone through. We can present the seed that encourages a young mind to grow, to develop, to see the world and their peers differently, to make new friends, and perhaps, change the world.
I’m romantic, shy, friendly, adventurer, imperfect, nerdy, awkward, YA fiction fan reader and a BIG dreamer.
Also I’m a new author of my novel A Safe Place with You.
I was born on Sunday April 6, 1986 in the warmest, largest, and the most populous city Ecuador – Guayaquil (the middle of the world).
During birth, I suffered a condition that impaired my ability to breathe. I had a high risk of dying from a nasal obstruction. My grandparents paid for an expensive operation that brought me to the USA on my 3rd day of life. The operation was performed by the surgeon Eric M. Kraus at The Ear Center of Greensboro,P.A. Thanks to him, I survived.
After the operation, I suffered a high % loss audition. When I was 4 years old my parents took him to Buenos Aires where I received special language classes at the Instituto Oral Modelo (IOM) and successfully developed my speech and understanding in Spanish and English. Also, at that age, I started to use my hearing aids.
During my teens I went through an internal conflict of my sexual identity in a society where homosexualty was often showered with discrimination and rejection. Thanks to God, the courage, bravery, and inspiration of Ellen Degeneres to come out in public, and discovering the politician Harvey Milk, I managed to fight the constant struggle to find, discover and especially to know what I am: a human.
Since I was a little boy I used to write stories as a hobby and to escape from reality. I dreamed one day to publish my own book and to inspire others. After all I went through, I always wanted to have the opportunity to inspire, give good examples for others, and to help, to give a hand in some way to make a huge difference. Because of these desires, I had the courage to make my dream come true. I wrote and published my novel, A Safe Place With You (Un Lugar Seguro Contigo) in the 1st spanish edition in Ecuador.
Before I started my new path career as an author, I worked in different jobs. I worked as a real estate sales executive, as a graphic and web designer, as a waiter, as a product seller, as a customer service, as an administrative assistant, as a human resources assistant in a bank and in an insurance company, also as a host in a movie theater.
I gained a lot of jobs experiences but I needed to accomplish my dreams.
As every dreamer out there, I always wanted to make something different. To do something special. To have something meaningful and to share it to the world. Now I hve it with my book; A Safe Place with You.
After the great and unexpected journey to success with my book in Ecuador, I decided to follow my others dreams to make it published in the USA. I traveled to New York, L.A,. and Texas to make connections in the international publishing world.
After 3 years of fighting, of so many rejections, trying so hard, struggling financing and emotionally to keep my dream 100% alive and taking chances and risk in everything, finally I found the right publishing house in the US.
I want and I expect my book, A Safe Place with You, to give a positive effect for the people GLBTIQ to inspire them to keep their courage and empower alive. Specially to help the people with examples stories about the community that I’m part of to widen their perspective about our existence and to stop the discrimination and prejudiced through his words and characters.
Me being latino, handicapped deaf and gay person, I want to break the barrier of taboos and fulfill my dream of publishing my book in USA, in that way to inspire others to do the same for their dreams.
For the entire month of June, all comments will be one entry into a paperback giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of both Unstable Stud by Ariel Tachna and Forgive and Forget by Charlie Cochet. Contest is open to everyone, each comment is one entry, contest ends June 30 11:59PM. Winner must provide their mailing address within one week of contest close or a new winner will be selected.