In Inspired By You, the orange cover symbolizes a few different awarenesses. First and foremost is the simple act of volunteering. Just giving back to the people around us and our world as a whole can make it a better place and putting others who are less fortune before ourselves is something we all should strive to do more often. Whitley’s character was written to inspire the reader to help others more often, so I hope you found that her purpose inspired you to do more if you’re able.
Secondly, I had Whitley and Max serve in a kitchen at a shelter because malnutrition is such a huge problem, not only in third world countries, but all over the world. I can still remember when my church youth group helped out at a soup kitchen over a decade ago. That moment, of seeing desperate folks wanting a meal, was an eye-opener. It changed me as a person. I was just a kid then, but I remember watching an old man dig through a nearby trashcan for food. So, we give to our local food banks and we don’t waste food. I added Zane into their scene because it’s important to encourage people at a young age that it’s important to help others in need, as well as teach them that it’s okay to ask for help. I was maybe in middle school when our church youth group served in a kitchen, and that’s something that always crosses my mind when I’m too full to finish a meal (I don’t throw it away) or when the grocery store has a lot of great deals but I don’t really need anything, I’ll buy items just to give them to food pantry.
Lastly, May 10th, Inspired By You’s release day, is World Lupus Day. When I decided to release on May 10th, I went ahead and wrote in Ethan’s small story line. Ethan is a fan of Max’s who is in the hospital struggling with kidney failure due to lupus. This is an autoimmune disease that millions struggle with on a daily basis. We all know someone who is struggling with an autoimmune disease, and personally, I don’t think they’re talked about as much as they should be. Meeting Ethan was another moment for Max in the story, where he realizes he needs to do more for those around him, as we all must do on a daily basis.