In 2011 I began writing the first chapters of what would become In 27 Days while I was sitting on a plane on the way home from a youth conference one night.
And now six years later – after various drafts and months of editing with my fantastic editorial team over at Blink/HarperCollins - I am so unbelievably lucky and fortunate to announce that this little piece of mine is now an officially published book!
If you would've asked me when I was sixteen if I ever thought this story would ever become published, I would've said, "Yeah, right!" But it's actually happened, and I'm still so delirious with happiness I can't even describe it.
This very special first draft will of course remain here on Wattpad, but I would still very much love to share the final published work with you. :)
Check the external link in this chapter to purchase In 27 Days, or visit your favorite local bookstores to pick up a copy of the story today!
The day I found out that Archer Morales killed himself, I didn't know what to think.
I stared up at Mrs. Anderson, the slightly batty and graying-haired German teacher, with a blank look on my face, not really believing what I'd just heard.
"Come again?" one of the girls sitting beside me – Kayla Bradfield – said in a light, airy voice as she sat upright in her chair.
Mrs. Anderson sighed heavily as she took off her glasses and polished them on the front of her polyester suit. "Archer Morales committed suicide yesterday evening."
I swallowed hard as I slouched backwards in my seat, feeling the color draining from my face. That's what I thought Mrs. Anderson had said. Normally the woman was so lost in her own little world and babbling things in German that I thought I could've passed off what she'd said as another bit of nonsense.
But I knew that this time that wasn't exactly the case.
The more I thought about what she'd said, the more I realized that it sort of did make sense.
When I'd first walked into the school not twenty minutes ago, I couldn't help but feel like something had gone wrong, like there was this massive cloud of depression hovering over the place. I'd even seen bits of the staff clustered together in the hallway, their heads together as they talked quickly and quietly in furious whisperings.
At first I'd just assumed that maybe there was a leaked pipe in the building or something. But did a leaked pipe really cause looks of sorrow and horror to be on teachers' faces?
"Who's Archer Morales?" another kid from the back of the classroom shouted, sounding duped.
Mrs. Anderson's tired looking eyes sparked with anger as she glared at the offender in the back of the room. "A very important member of this student body, Mr. Rosedale, and I do suggest you refrain from speaking like that again."
The entire class sucked in collective breaths of air.
Mrs. Anderson never talked like that.
I listened only halfheartedly to what our homeroom teacher said next, explaining how psychologists from town offices would be coming to school every day for the next two weeks to help people cope with what they were feeling. She kept talking about how it wasn't good that we should bottle up our emotions and how we should remember Archer with glad, happy memories instead of what he'd done.
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In 27 Days (Watty Award Winner 2012)Adventure
Hadley Jamison doesn't know what to think when she hears that her classmate, Archer Morales, committed suicide. She didn't exactly know him, but that doesn't stop her from feeling like there was something she could have done to help him. So to...