I read this book in one sitting, well almost, interrupted only when I fell asleep on top of the covers late last night, book hugged to my chest. Early this morning I picked up where I’d dropped off. It’s 7:30 a.m. and I’ve finished Me & Death, An Afterlife Adventure. 

I can’t remember the last time I flew through a book this fast! That’s how good it is! And, another of my personal measures of a good book: I want to read everything Scrimger has written, perhaps starting with his novel for adults Mystical Rose

Canadian author, Richard Scrimger, writes novels for adults and juveniles, and this WOW book is right for both.

From the back cover: “ … Me & Death is thought-provoking, exciting, sad and funny – sometimes all at the same time.”  Yup!  It’s the captivating tale of Jim, a fourteen-year-old boy, a piece of crap, a bully and car thief who gets hit by a car.  While in a coma he gets to visit the afterworld, spending a day at the Jordan Arms, and what he sees and learns there results in the extraordinary gift of knowing exactly what happens when we die.

Richard got ANGRY!

Richard had been thinking of writing an afterlife book for a while when he came across the story of a dad in Texas who was arrested for mistreating his five-year–old son. It made him angry!

Anger is one of the three building blocks of emotions where stories come from, identified by Richard when he spoke recently at the Writers Community of York Region. The other two are sadness and fear. Richard told the group of writers gathered at the Aurora Cultural Centre on October 2nd, 2011 that anger provokes really good writing, that an angry voice carries across the page, and that we should use our anger. He advised the members of WCYR to start with our own truth, something we care about deeply, and turn it into something NOT the truth by being good liars, “A good fiction writer is a good liar.” He also advised that villains are essential in a good story, as indispensible as knowing that things have to go wrong, that the stakes have to get higher. “You know in real life the bully almost always gets away with it but in your stories, you can get revenge by writing through the anger.”

From the acknowledgements page: “Some books write themselves. Not this one. I have been tinkering with Me & Death for about five years.”

In the story the character, Lloyd’s father is drawn from that Texas dad whose abuse of that helpless little boy so enraged Scrimger.  Richard says that whenever he felt like quitting the book he would remember that poor kid and dial back in.

Check out Allyson Latta’s interview with Richard Scrimger.