Onions: Hitting The High Notes

Onions has just been sent to his 16th foster home, Despondent, he steals the purse of Sandrine, a retired circus performer. Instead of turning him into the police, Sandrine enlists the boy in her fight against City Hall. In the process, Onions learns the importance of reading, having a worthwhile life goal, and how to play the trumpet, his ultimate redemption. Sandrine is a strong role model for pre-teens through 18-year-olds as she helps Charles Wesley Onions find meaning in life. A tragic event leads to a powerful, uplifting, and inspiring ending. Finally, Onions is a modern-day Holden Caulfield .. without the swearing.


Excerpt from The Writing Greyhound Interview: Cy Young June 12, 2018

Tell me about Onions.
I wrote Onions first as a screenplay which has not been produced. It’s partially autobiographical as I began playing the trumpet in fourth grade to help improve my breathing condition, which it did. I entered contests movie theatres were having in those days between features and continued my study in Chicago while attending college. I identified with Onions’ alienation from society as I’ve always been a loner and have found it difficult to adjust to social mores. 

What drew you to writing for Young Adults?
I’ve dealt with young people in teaching Sunday school and working as a substitute teacher. Their lives have grown increasingly complex due to the influx of scientific marvels such as iPads, texting, computers, media exposure, Facebook, etc. This is a very rich emotional field to explore and write about.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?
Yes. Although I lived through it, I researched the period, comic books of the generation, old cars, circuses, ultralights, court procedures in declaring an elderly person incompetent, Spanish Architecture, Indian folklore in the southwest, corrupt politicians and their methods, and jet airplanes used as icons in front of public buildings. 
My understanding is that inspiration comes from one source and my job is to listen and write down what that source unfolds to me.

The Writing Greyhound's Complete Interview