Face Your Fears is filled with vitality as it challenges the traditional concepts of normalcy, family, disability and love. Nate is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy raised in a family of achievers. He must be fed, dressed and toileted, yet has unique skills and abilities he gradually becomes aware of. Jude is able-bodied, one of 10 children raised on a hardscrabble Iowa farm. He can change diapers, cook, fix equipment, milk cows, and discovers his vocation as a physical therapist. Both experience tragic teen-age losses, navigate family tragedies, and come to peace with who they are individually as gay men, and eventually together.
This book shows how normal comes wrapped in different packages, yet inside each package, people are the same, whether able-bodied, disabled, black, white, brown, green or LGBTQ+.
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Bill Mathis’ first novel, ‘Face Your Fears,’ is based from his life experiences working with marginalized youth and families, and his imagination. He directed YMCA camps that served diverse populations including the disabled, and he helped open and direct a foster care agency. A PK (preachers kid) from a large family, Bill grew up in a tiny town filled with other big families which may be the reason he frequently writes about family. He has children, grandchildren, is divorced, retired, and lives with his partner near the Rock River in Beloit, Wisconsin (a wonderful town) from where he can see Illinois. He travels, reads, writes and volunteers with hospice. And eats. He’s trying to lose weight.
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