I wrote my first book! It’s a novel titled Misspelt Yoof.
Strange title, I know, but if you keep reading you’ll understand why I put a spelling mistake in my title.
It’s a coming-of-age novel featuring a teenager whose life seems to be spiralling out of control not long after the untimely death of his older brother. The main protagonist gets himself caught up in a dangerous web of violence, drug abuse, infidelity and academic failure. With little to no guidance, his ship is heading for the rocks. Even if expressing how he feels through lyrics and rhyme helps, it’s a chance encounter with an old hobby that looks like it could help him steer clear of the trouble ahead.
The story is pretty much autobiographical but you would need to talk to me in person to figure out the fact from the fiction. The title was inspired by a video title produced by Zero Skateboards, Misled Youth. I had a Misled Youth t-shirt that I wore a lot (I think my younger sister has it now). It was a statement and allegiance to a philosophy of taking your own path even if that path wasn’t the easiest. I was also a fan of Zero Skateboards and their daredevil approach to skating. I remember the day my father saw the t-shirt for the first time. In typical quick wit he said “What’s that? Misspelt Yoof?” accentuating the misspelling and pronunciation of ‘Youth’. Even though my father was making fun of me and my shirt, I thought his quip was pretty damn funny. ‘Misspelt Yoof’ stuck in my head and many years later when I penned this story about a teenager whose love for skateboarding was being replaced by a love for tagging and graffiti, the title was already there.
As a book inspired by true events, Misspelt Yoof doesn’t necessarily paint the prettiest picture of teenage life. The evolution from child to adult is a steep learning curve that’s very receptive to the slightest influences. A wrong word here, a chance encounter there and a young person can fall either side of the fence. I know plenty of people who fell way off in their late teens just like I’m thankful to know a few who kept focus and persevered. Misspelt Yoof serves as a cautionary tale about how easy it is to lose focus and control. I imagine teenagers would like this book as it should speak to them even if some cultural references are outdated. I also presume adults would enjoy the book as a reminder of what life used to be like growing up.
If you want to purchase a copy (15EUR) send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org