I’m not sure it was anything conscious that inspired my writing Plan B. I suppose it’s just that all my life I’ve heard people making excuses … explaining how the deck was stacked against them … how they were being held back from doing this or that … and all too often how life just wasn’t fair.
Education often takes the blame – as it often deserves to. Many schools have been lacking for a long time, and students dealt a tough hand when it comes to education can find themselves in a bad situation. But whatever disadvantages they have, they can’t be defeated unless they let it happen.
The protagonist in Plan B, Danny Roberts, begins the story as a fifteen-year-old. He’s an excellent student in a so-so school, just trying to make the best of things. One day he asks to go to the bathroom, is denied permission by a teacher, and quickly goes through a wide range of emotions and sensations as he tries to process what’s going on. He concludes that he’s being treated unfairly, and that realization emboldens Danny. But he finds he’s up against a formidable opponent in modern public education.
Events lead to Danny’s suspension from school. Instead of being cowed, though, he steels himself, looks for a better way to get to where he wants to go, eventually finds what he’s looking for, and never looks back.
Well, that’s not quite true. He does revisit his foe at the end of the story, briefly though willingly. Although two and a half years have passed since things fell apart for him at school, it’s clear Danny – despite all he’s overcome and all he has to look forward to – still hasn’t recovered completely from the injustice he suffered when he was fifteen. But even now he doesn’t make any excuses.
Steven Verrier, born in the United States and raised in Canada, has spent much of his adult life living and traveling abroad. Publications include Plan B (Saga Books, 2010), Tough Love, Tender Heart (Saga Books, 2008), Raising a Child to be Bilingual and Bicultural (Hira-Tai Books of Japan), and several short dramatic works (Brooklyn Publishers, USA). Currently he is living with his wife, Motoko, and their five children in San Antonio, Texas.
You can visit his website at StevenVerrier.com