The Misfits Crew, released on February 26, 2023, is the first novella and adult young fiction published by Frederctionian, mother, author, blogger, poet, and UNB alumni Aimee C. Trafton. Aimee explores many creative outlets and claims she doesn’t want to restrict herself to a single genre. Young Adult Fiction, her latest publishing venture, explores the life of sixteen-year-old, Bay, who struggles with being a teenager, family, friends, and mental health.
Also working as an online education eLearning specialist, Aimee uses her spare time to create and write. The book tackles many topics, including love, loss, friendship, coping with a family member on the spectrum, moving, and being an outsider. Bay copes with the loss of her mother, one of her primary supporters, by sending her emails after her passing. When her anxiety becomes life-threatening, she chooses to lean on her new misfit friends Evie and Xander. Drawing elements of inspiration for this fiction from her own life, her experience with anxiety and depression at a young age, and the veil of silence that came from a lack of discussions surrounding mental health issues.
Amiee explained how therapeutic it was writing and sharing this story and the challenge of coping and asking for help as a young person. She shared her ideas and stories, putting them in the world to connect and resonate with the readers. Amiee discusses the importance of friendship and reaching out for help within your support system because everyone will have issues, but the strength and deepening interpersonal connections through vulnerability and recognizing you don’t have to go through it alone.
Bay’s mental health struggles and the loss of her mother significantly affect her life, and luckily, she finds some friends that can help her along. Still, they all have their own issues and, through community and vulnerability, can overcome them. Aminee discusses how mental health challenges can appear in a young person’s life; she faces problems like insomnia or social anxiety. However, by reaching out for help, she can build lifelong resilience and coping mechanisms for ongoing mental health issues.
Aimee opened up about struggling to cope with the grief of losing her mom, her struggles with mental health, and stress. Amiee shared that growing up, she watched many teen movies from the 80s and ’90s, including Degrassi and the Breakfast Club and read books like Judy Blume. These coming-of-age stories and young adult fiction are connected with the subject matter.
She was inspired by their creative and profound approach to presenting these topics, not shying away from challenging issues, through sharing her ideas such as grief, mental health and relationships. Ammie has previously published a children’s book Amber Tambourine and the Land of Laugh-a-Lot, published in May 2021, which features her daughter Amber and her two family dogs.
Signed copies are available at Westminster Books, an independent Fredericton bookstore downtown and on Amazon.
Aimee is pledging to donate profits from The Misfits Crew to the Kids Help Phone, a much-needed resource for young people to reach out to if they feel alone or need support.