Shattered is about Cassie Prochazka, a violinist in the Chicago Youth Symphony. About what happens the day after her debut as a soloist when her dad breaks her violin. She's enraged and runs away. She meets a number of helpful and not-so-helpful strangers. Eventually, her violin teacher talks her into returning home, where she unravels a terrible secret within her family. A painful violin secret. Within the secret is also her sense of power, which she uses to open up new possibilities for healing the homeless, her family, and herself.
Where to Purchase My Book:
The Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, IL
Barnes and Noble
Why I wrote it: I didn't set out to write this story. What I thought was, I love the violin in the Dixie Chicks' music. And gee, it would be interesting to write about a teen character who is a violinist. And Cassie was born.
Shortly after that, I was taking a shower, and there it was in my mind, her dad throwing her violin. A poignant image of her violin: crashing, shattered. I wondered why would Cassie's dad do that? And discovered his past by writing and writing in journals, trying to call out his story, which is also Cassie's.
Even though Cassie's experience is all made up--it struck me that her story was the culmination of all the voices of the abused teens I had worked with in the past as an occupational therapist.
Eventually, I realized this is a story about resilience. The teens I had worked with had shared their trauma with me, but also their capacity for transformation. Which was truly inspiring. And Cassie became a resilient young woman, too, giving me the ending to this book.