Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

December 29, 2013

Local author self-publishes after 8 years

Discusses character, tough choices at book signing

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — Laurie Hooker-Davison, a teacher at Bridges Alternative Education and a Toledo resident, said she was sick of seeing the same endings to every young-adult novel. So, she wrote one of her own.

After eight years of sitting on the shelf, Hooker-Davison self-published her novel, "Sydney," the story of the eponymous 15 year-old character and her struggles with getting pregnant and the choices and burdens which come with teen pregnancy.

"I work with at risk youth and I see a lot of teenage pregnancies and I've read a lot of young adult novels and they all seem to end one of two different ways," she said Saturday at a book signing at Joe Sipper's. "The teenagers trying to be parents or the teenagers giving their kids up for adoption but there is that third option and I had never seen a book that ended the way this one did. I felt like there was a story to be told."

That third option is abortion, and it's a subject Hooker-Davison said she wanted to approach carefully, without judgement but without preaching to readers.

"I think that one of my biggest fears was that people would think that she's pro-abortion and not read this," she said. "It's so easy to judge someone based on what they've done and not understand their situation, what they've gone through and what they have to do. I don't want to judge my characters."

Read more in Monday's print edition.