Area author kicks off young adult series

By Ryan Cornell

As someone who regularly navigates through high school hallways and classrooms to teach writing workshops, Winchester author Jay Foreman didn’t have to venture far to find the setting for his latest series.

Foreman, 42, released two books last month to kick off his new “Frontline” series geared toward young adult readers.

The characters and concepts differ for each of the two books, although they’re both about different struggles high school students face and how they deal with them.

The first book in the series, “Tag…You’re It,” follows a high school football player who witnesses the star quarterback on his team bullying another student.

Unlike many books told in the perspective of the bully or the victim, the 264-page book is told from a bystander’s point of view.

“If someone does see bullying occur, do they have an obligation, and if they do, what would that be?” Foreman asked.

“What I tried to do was not say, ‘This is what’s right, this is what’s wrong,’ but just present scenarios out there and have readers make up their own minds, so that they’re better prepared should they ever be put in a situation like that.”

The series’ second book, “Lost and Found,” revolves around a shooting and how a high school student copes when his friend is struggling to survive on life support.

At that age range, Foreman said, students are dealing with tragedy for the first time in their lives.

“It’s up close and personal,” he said. “Bad things really do happen to good people, and it’s how they react to that for the first time.”

He said the idea for the “Frontline” series was sparked by his literary agent about two years ago.

“He told me he felt there was a void in the marketplace for good, moral values that didn’t come across as preachy,” Foreman said, “and that I might have the voice for it.”

Foreman, who has published nine previous books, added that “Tag…You’re It” and “Lost and Found” are two of the most fun books he’s ever written.

“I think just being around middle and high school kids and being able to pull those real life experiences and personalities on paper has been a great experience,” he said.

He said the next three books in the series have already been mapped out.

The series has also attracted some adult readers, who have gotten a closer look at what’s going on with kids in schools today.

“There’s no real weird slang,” joked Foreman. “The only thing I had to stay on top of was social media — would this character tweet this out or Facebook it or put it on Instagram.”

Foreman will host book signings at the Winchester Book Gallery from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 22, and at E. Pearls in Strasburg from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 13.

The books are available to purchase on Amazon.com or at his website at http://www.jaywforeman.com