Aaron Hartzler grew up in a home where he was taught that at any moment, Jesus could come down for the Rapture and scoop him and his family into his arms and carry them to heaven. Every moment of every day, Aaron behaved as if this could be his last moment on earth-- even jumping the highest in Good News Club, hoping that if it happened at that very moment, he'd be the first to arrive in Jesus's arms.
But as Aaron got older, he found more and more of his personality at odds with his family's creed. He loved to sing and act, but music was harshly regulated and acting was frowned on outside of church. He tried to find a way to be himself and still go by his parents rules; Peter Cetera and Amy Grant's duet "Next Time I Fall in Love" sounded like heaven to him, but not to his mother. Aaron's journey from believer to family rebel was a difficult one, especially filled as his family was with such love and support, such warm and caring people. But ultimately, he had to find a way to honor himself, even if it meant taking a different road from his parents. Rapture Practice is not just a humorous memoir about growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home, but it also deals with issues of coming-of-age and questioning one's faith and sexuality while still in this often-difficult environment. Like Augusten Burroughs's Running With Scissors, and to an extent, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Rapture Practice examines difficult life experiences through a humorous lens and reminds readers that sometimes life is stranger than fiction, and often in hindsight, just as entertaining.
Praise for Rapture Practice:
A 2014 Rainbow List Selection
A Lambda Awards Finalist
Named one of Amazon's Best Books of 2013
A Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book of 2013
"...Effervescent and moving, evocative and tender..."
—New York Times Book Review
* His story emphasizes discovery more than rebellion, and the narrative is carefully constructed to show and not judge the beliefs of his family and their community... Hartzler's laugh-out-loud stylings range from the subtle to the ridiculous...A hilarious first-of-its-kind story that will surely inspire more."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Aaron Hartzler grew up in Kansas City, mainly on the Missouri side. A writer and an actor, he splits his time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, where he lives with his boyfriend, Nathan, and their two dogs, Charlie and Brahms. Rapture Practice is his first book. Aaron invites you to visit him online at www.aaronhartzler.com.