Drury University Brother Writes Book Series to Inspire Young Adults

Photo courtesy of Evan Fusco

The rain pelted Chris Wilson’s face as he slowly trudged back to his dorm room from the studio. Pitch dark, the only sounds to be heard were the squelching of Wilson’s shoes and the steady patter of the rain hitting the pavement. The stormy night reflected the battle waging in Wilson’s mind about his life’s path: did he continue his journey down the road of architecture, one he knew he could not keep up, or reach for something else.

As Wilson continued walking, it slowly dawned on him that he had begun to dream in equations, and that was simply not him. He hurried into his dorm room, called his parents, and told them that he would take a new course in life, away from the world of architecture: he would earn an English degree with a writing emphasis.

Wilson now possessed a newfound sense of purpose. Following his graduation from Drury University (then Drury College), he went on to become the managing editor of a local Missouri newspaper. Following his time at the paper, Wilson went to work for an agency aiding individuals with disabilities. When the federal funding for the agency was cut, Wilson was faced with a decision about what he would do for the rest of his life.

So, Wilson quit everything, went back to school, and received his teaching degree. He then knew that his calling in life was to give back to children through teaching. But something else which Wilson had wanted to do for quite some time was brimming just under the surface, as well.

Before Wilson began his teaching career, he had written many academic books, but had never really thought about writing anything more. When a publisher came to Wilson, though, asking for names of illustrators for a different project, they got to talking. Soon, Wilson signed a contract to produce an illustrated book for young adults. The Wards of Iasos was born.

Wilson explains his series as one that he hopes speaks to kids who see themselves as outsiders. As Wilson explains, it’s okay to not fit the mold of society, to be different. Many of Wilson’s characters in the series could be considered outsiders, but with true hearts.

“I want to tell the story of people whose story usually doesn’t get told, for people who are marginalized or overlooked,” said Wilson.

Wilson with one of his chapter brothers.

Wilson hopes that by using his book (with Book Two on the way coming next fall), he can demonstrate to not only his students, but kids all across the country, that being “weird” is the new cool.

“I’m telling those kinds of stories because I work with those kids, and we need to tell more stories about people like that, and I think that’s one thing that help make my book unique,” said Wilson. “These kids [in the book], their families do not want them and they are troubled; they have made bad decisions, they have stolen, they have beat people up, they have refused to follow their families.

“Ultimately, it is a story about kids and teens who don’t belong or are on the outskirts of society, but told in a fantasy world.”

Wilson is currently working on the third book in The Wards of Iasos series, as well as another manuscript.

Through his books, Wilson hopes to continue to inspire young adults everywhere to see their quirks as something of wonder.

To learn more about Wilson’s series, click here.

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