Tuesday, August 30, 2011

IF I TELL CYN BALOG, what will she do?

Now THIS woman who is talented and prolific! 

Cyn Balog is the author of the young adult paranormal novels FAIRY TALE, SLEEPLESS, and STARSTRUCK and also--coming in 2012, TOUCHED and in 2013, DEAD RIVER.

Cyn lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. Visit her online at http://cynbalog.com/

Hey Cyn. Nice photo.  Great hair. Hate you a little. Oh just kidding! I love Cyn and her books are truly amazing. So lets chat. Are you good at keeping secrets? Why or why not?

CYN: Yes, depending on the secret. I tend to want to tell good news to people too soon.

Uh oh. Surprise parties drive you wild then? Me too actually. What about forgiveness? Do you easily forgive friends for their mistakes? What is something you could never forgive a friend for?

CYN: Yes, I do forgive people easily. I am fully aware I am not perfect, so I don't expect others to be. I do think owning up to one's mistakes is the most important thing. But if a person makes the same mistake consistently, well, that's another story! There is no excuse for stupidity.

True dat! Once is learning -over and over is just not making best use of the old noodle. So, let’s just go ahead and stereotype you for a moment, okay! What kind of a teen were you, as in what “group” did you associate with?(cheerleader, Goth, nerd, jock , loner etc.)

CYN: I was a studious loner. I liked to say I drifted among the crowds but that's probably because nobody wanted to hang out with me. Maybe because I tell secrets all the time.

I refuse to believe no one wanted to  hang with you.  Nah uh, can't make me. I refuse to believe. *hands over my ears* Shy. Yes. I get that. I like that you were studious. I forgot to do that in high school. Ooops. All right, describe your fave teen outfit.

My favorite outfit I wore as a teen was my purple miniskirt and my high black boots!

See how could no one like you if you were wearing a PURPLE miniskirt and high black boots. A studious cool dresser. Boys were secretly in love with you and girls wanted to be your friend but you didn't know it! I am in awe! All right, last question, if you could go back to high school knowing now what you didn’t know then, what is one thing you would change? What do you wish you could have told your teen self

CYN: I probably wouldn't have spent so much time on my appearance. I swear, I spent HOURS getting ready for school and fretting if one hair was out of place. There are so many other, more worthwhile things I could have done with that time.

I was terrible at doing hair. I still am actually. I would have tried to be more studious too. Like you.  And worn shorter skirts when they actually would have looked good on me! (in my high school years it was jeans/cords 24/7)

Thanks so much for coming by Cyn. Oh and CONGRATS for STARSTRUCK appearing in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY!! How cool is that?!

Monday, August 29, 2011

If I Tell- Win a Copy of I'M NOT HER and MORE

I have a couple of copies of I'M NOT HER that are waiting to be sent out to a contest winner. Would you like it to be you?? Well read on. It's so easy it might even be illegal in some States. But I live in Canada. So I'm totally hiding behind that border.

Plus! I will send you a copy of IF I TELL when it comes out.  Yes I will. I promise! Which is not that far off my pretties. 32 DAYS!!!

August is almost done. School has almost started. Can we scream YES as a group. YESSSSS! Oops. Got carried away with my back to school excitement. Hee. I love Superson yes I do, but I also LOVE SCHOOL. All day writing time. House quiet. All Mine. Mine Mine Mine.

Anyhow, IF I TELL comes out October 1st. To celebrate good times "oh yeah", so two lucky winners will be shipped a signed copy of I'M NOT HER and a future copy of IF I TELL.

All you have to do is comment on this here blog. Follow me too if you're not following already. And if you are so inclined, tell me why telling me a secret you're holding is not a good idea.  Like the secret about the surprise party that's coming up for your best friend. Or the secret of what you're buying your sig other for CHRISTMAS ( I admit I plan ahead when it comes to Christmas shopping). Or a really juicy secret about boys and girls and stuff like that.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (even though I totally want to know) I've learned from trying. Most of you are pretty good at this secret stuff. Rats I say. Rats.

So. Leave a comment. Or retweet me on Twitter. Or add my countdown widget to your blog for IF I TELL--but let me know-- and you're in. Like skin. Or flin. Or the mailing bin.

I'll do a random pick with help from the random number picker thingy on the computer .Really. It exists. Click here! Each entry will get a number. The generator will speak! So easy!

Happy almost school's back! Off to the Zoo with the boy. 
Oh. Almost FORGOT. You have until THURSDAY! The first day of school. Contest closes midnight September 1. I'll do the draw on September 2!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

IF I TELL JOY PREBLE- Struggling with Secrets!

Today we're going to snoop inside the mind of  chat with JOY PREBLE!  Joy is a lovely author I've actually met in person!  She is wonderful!  We share the same publisher and editor now, so it's kind of like being related. Only not really.

I LOVED Joy's first two books and can't wait for the third!
Joy’s debut young adult novel, DREAMING ANASTASIA, a contemporary fantasy retelling of the disappearance of Anastasia Romanov, released in September, 2009, from Sourcebooks, and the sequel, Haunted is out now, too. The third of the trilogy is slated for 2012.
So Let's get to the gritty stuff. Are you good at keeping secrets? Why or why not?

I am actually terrible at keeping secrets, which is not to say that I don’t keep them. It’s just that it is a huge struggle – sometimes because I’m so excited about something, like a gift I bought you and I really want to keep it a surprise but then it just slips out. Sometimes it’s because I feel the weight of the confidence that’s been given to me; I worry that this is something that shouldn’t be kept a secret, so I keep my mouth shut but I angst over it… let’s just say that the CIA won’t be hiring me as a spy any time soon.

That makes total sense to me, the excited oh, I have something to tell you. I HATE having to keep surprise parties a secret. I'm always terrified I'll spill!!! And the angsty secrets. Yes. Those are hard too. Man. Secrets are TOUGH! So, what about forgiveness. Do you easily forgive friends for their mistakes? What is something
you could never forgive a friend for?

JOY: I am big on forgiving. You won’t find me holding grudges very often, either. If a true friend betrayed me in some way, that might be hard to forgive.

Somehow this doesn't surprise me about you. Because you are so nice. Yes. I said it. I called you nice! Not that it was a secret, and if it was, well. It's not now. Wait. I'm confusing myself so let’s just go ahead and stereotype you for a moment, okay! What kind of a teen were you, as in what “group” did you associate with?

JOY: Gotta go with the nerds – grade nerds, orchestra nerds, sci-fi fan fiction writer nerds… Geeks forever!

Nerds rule, yes?  So describe your fave *nerd teen outfit. * hee hee. Teasing.*

JOY: Jeans and sweater (shirt and hoodie) and boots – the clunkier and heavier the better. Or skirt, sweater, tights and clunky boots.

Ah yes. The clunky boots.  Todays teens are going to look back fondly on totally different footwear.  Although I had pink and yellow Converse runners and I see some teens rocking those today. And clunky boots come to think of it. Ah. What do I know?  Okay. Lastly, if you could go back to high school knowing now what you didn’t know then, what is one thing you would change? What do you wish you could have told your teen self?

JOY:  I would chase after more boys rather than having silent crushes! I would have told myself not to be afraid of speaking my mind.

Um. YES. I was queen of the silent crushes. I think I would also tell myself to invest heavily in Mircrosoft. Instead of spending all my money on clothes.  Oh. If only we could go back!
Joy Preble grew up in Chicago, Illinois and now lives in The Woodlands, Texas, where she has learned to use the phrase “y’all” without any hint of irony and developed a serious appreciation for country music and Friday night Texas high school football. A former high school teacher, Joy earned a degree in English from Northwestern and is married to the guy she met her first week in college when she mistakenly slammed a volleyball into his stomach rather than over the net. Want to know more about Joy? Head to her website at http://www.joypreble.com

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Discussion Guides for I'm Not Her and If I Tell!

That is what I am working on this week. Discussion guides. These are actually pretty fun to do--coming up with thoughtful questions about my own books and characters is kind of cool. The thought of teens sitting in groups discussing my books is so amazingly thrilling I kind of want to giggle out loud just imagining it. How incredibly awesome. Please. If anyone has a book club or a discussion about either book, please let me know! I would do a phone in or a Skype in appearance. Honestly I would!

If you are so inclined to want said DISCUSSION GUIDES for I'M NOT HER or IF I TELL they will be available for downloading on my website very, very soon. I know you wait with baited breath. Yes?

The other thing I'm working on is doing video clips about the books. Um. I kind of suck at it. Yeah. I do.

It took me about 300 hours to figure out how to actually get the video off the camera and onto my computer. Which involved borrowing my brother in law's Mac. Downloading the video straight to the Mac. Realizing the MAC movie maker thingy was too hard for me to figure out edits and cuts, so then I emailed the file to myself on his computer and copied it to my own PC and on and on until hours and hours had passed and I finally got to the point where I video taped, downloaded to Mac and then uploaded to a hard drive thingy and then downloaded to PC and then used the Windows Movie Maker to download it to my lovely and patient publicist using YOU TUBE because I couldn't figure out how to zip it so I could email it.  Am I showing my age or WHAT????

Next time I'm hiring a teenager.

Monday, August 15, 2011

If I Tell FIVE - JULIET IMORTAL author Stacey Jay

 OH ROMEO! I am so in love with Stacey Jay who is a prolific and wonderful storyteller. JULIET IMMORTAL is out now and you must read this haunting retelling of Romeo and Juliet. You must!

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

BIO: Stacey Jay is a recovering workaholic (or at least working hard at recovering) with two pen names, two small children, and a passion for playing pretend. Her former careers include theatre performer, professional dancer, poorly paid C-movie actress, bartender, waiter, math tutor (for real) and yoga instructor. She's the author of the Megan Berry, Zombie Settler series and JULIET IMMORTAL, out now from Delacorte Press.

Okay, Stacey! Thanks for joining me to talk about secrets and being a teen! (Stacey is a friend from THE DEBS (authors who debuted in 2099) and I ADORE her and her books.) So, Stacey, are you good at keeping secrets? Why or why not?

STACEY: Yes, I am good with secrets. I cherish the trust of the people who confide in me and would never betray them (unless forced to in order to protect their life/health). I have told that type of secret before, and I don't regret it.

I sensed you would be good with secrets. I *may* have shared one sometime in our journey! So, do you easily forgive friends for their mistakes? What is something you could never forgive a friend for?

STACEY: I forgive most mistakes easily, but I have a problem with mistakes in threes. If I'm repeatedly let down by a friend, it can be hard to reestablish trust.

Makes sense, the whole three times you're out thing. I like it. Okay, so let’s just go ahead and stereotype you for a moment, okay! What kind of a teen were you, as in what “group” did you associate with?
(cheerleader, Goth, nerd, jock , loner etc.)

STACEY: I was the captain of the pom pom squad, a National Honor Society nerd who watched Monty Python way too much, and ran with a bunch of amazing hippie/alternative people and we all experimented with controlled substances more than we should have. I didn't fit any one group. I was a person who liked to roam the lunch room and sit with all my different friends. Though, looking back, I wish I'd spent more time with my fellow "nerds." I think they would have kept me out of trouble, and they always had a lot of fun.

I think I love you a little more now. A nerdy, hippy cheerleader. I must hear about your fave teen outfit.

STACEY: Bell bottom jeans from a thrift store with a tight tank top and a flannel (it was the late 90's and grunge was good). I also liked really short kilts with my Doc Marten boots.

Oh my Gosh!  I want grunge to come back in style. I loved it so  hard. Oh fashion world- please bring back the grunge. P.S. I would totally wear kilts with Doc Marten boots if my son and my husband wouldn't have me committed or refuse to be seen with me. Ever. But enough about me.  If you could go back to high school knowing now what you didn’t know then, what is one thing you would change? What do you wish you could have told your teen self.

STACEY: I would spend more time with my friends and less with boys. Fun boys are easy to find, good friends are not. I miss those intense, intimate friendships so much. As a working mom and a wife, there is a LOT less time for strong girl bonds. And I wish I could tell my teen self to relax. It's only life. You're going to die. At the end the only things you'll regret are the times you could have been loving life/people and having fun and didn't.

Words of wisdom from Stacey people. Thank you so much for stopping by.
And don't forget to add Juliet Immortal to your reading list!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

IF I TELL Jon Skovron- Will he hold a grudge?

Jon Skovron has never really fit in, and has no plans to start now. After twelve years of Catholic school, he went on to study acting at a conservatory program for four years before returning to his first love, writing. Best-selling author Holly Black called his new novel, Misfit, "A diabolically delightful paranormal" and Kirkus (Starred Review) called it, "Thoughtful, scary and captivating." His first novel, Struts & Frets, was published in 2009. Washington Post Book world said, "Skovron perfectly captures that passion--sometimes fierce, sometimes shy--that drives so many young artists to take the raw stuff of life and transform it into something beautiful." Bestselling author Cory Doctorow said, "Struts & Frets will feel instantly authentic to anyone who's ever felt the pride and shame of being an outsider". Jon lives with his two sons outside Washington, DC. Visit him at jonskovron.com

Okay, I will refrain from mentioning that if I were a teenage girl I would be crushing hard on Jon Skovron. Oops, too late, but with that intriguing photo and bio and the fact that his writing is just AMAZING, well he's a pretty cool guy, yes? I loved STRUTS AND FRETS and I am reading MISFIT right now and it is SO GOOD! Kirkus Star earned. And by the way, this bio makes so much sense when you read MISFIT! But enough gushing, let's talk to Jon about SECRETS and TEEN STUFF!

So Jon, are you good at keeping secrets? Why or why not?

JON:  I'm good at keep secrets if someone tells me it's a secret that must be kept. I'm bad at picking up on subtle hints that something should be a secret if the person doesn't explicitly tell me so.

Note to self. If divulging secrets to Jon, spell it out. Ha. I think that's pretty much the way I am too. I am amazing at secrets if explicitly asked not to share. What about mistakes? Do you easily forgive friends for their mistakes? What is something you could never forgive a friend for?

JON: I can't hold grudges. It's not really that I think it's "wrong". I've tried to do it. Honestly I have. But it takes way too much effort and makes me nauseous. That said, trust is important to me. I assume a person is trustworthy until they prove me wrong. Once someone breaks my trust, I assume they are untrustworthy. They can earn back my trust, but takes a while.

Ouch. I don't want to risk it. Second note to self. Don't do something to break Jon's trust. Okay, so let’s go ahead and stereotype you for a moment. What kind of a teen were you, as in what “group” did you associate with?(cheerleader, Goth, nerd, jock , loner etc.)

JON : Goth+nerd+theater geek+punk

The fact that someone can call themselves a goth and a nerd at the same time is pretty amazing. And explains to me why you write such wonderful books. Okay. Describe your fave teen outfit.

JON: Gray West German Army Overcoat, torn jeans with long underwear underneath, black combat boots, and a cartoon character t-shirt (Pink Panther, Joker, Mad Hatter, etc).

I love the long underwear touch, and this does perfectly encapsulate the type of teen I am imaging you as.  Last question. If you could go back to high school knowing now what you didn’t know then, what is one thing you would change? What do you wish you could have told your teen self?

JON: In high school I was pretty angry in general, and impatient with others who didn't share my opinions. I said unkind things to people. Some of them provoked me, and perhaps those people "deserved it". Other people didn't deserve it at all. I should have been more generous with all of them. Meanness begets meanness, and kindness begets kindness. I could have done with a little more kindness, and offering it myself would have been a great place to start.

Wise words indeed! Thank you for your honest and thoughtful answers, Jon. And you who are reading this. Have you picked up MISFIT yet? You're going to LOVE IT!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Book Deal Announced

This morning's Publisher's Marketplace announced the new deal that my agent, Jill Corcoran has been working on for me!

Janet Gurtler's JUST BREATHE, in which a girl struggles with boy problems and serious regret after accidentally killing a boy she barely knows when she kisses him after consuming a peanut butter sandwich, not aware he has a deathly allergy to peanuts, to Leah Hultenschmidt at Sourcebooks Fire, by Jill Corcoran at The Herman Agency.

I'm really excited about this book and Leah, the YA/Romance editor over at Sourcebooks is a dream to work with. Seriously. When I was unpublished and imagined working with an editor someday, she is the person I would have conjured up. 

This is the first book I've sold that isn't actually finished yet (it was bought on a partial and synopsis) so it will be a little different going in.  I love the story though and think it will give me lots of room to go deep and explore character emotions and complexities as I so love to do.   (And hope I accomplish sometimes!)

The title will be changing for sure as Just Breathe isn't quite the perfect one, but since I was calling it the Peanut Butter book when I started working on it, Just Breathe is definitely an improvement.

I've never made it a secret that my son has a serious peanut allergy and some people look at me like there's a screw floating around in my brain when I tell them the premise, but I think it's a great story and I've talked to my son about why I'm writing it with a death and he gets it. I know that almost every single person knows someone with a peanut allergy, especially in today's world.

Peanut allergies, like many deathly allergies, are serious stuff and scary for parents and families to live with sometimes. There are accidents. I'm going to have to take my imagination to some dark places while writing this book, but I think it will be worth it.

Wish me luck as I work on it over the next few months. I hope it's as good a story as I want it to be!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

IF I TELL FIVE- Talking Secrets with a Canadian Book Publicist

I am Canadian, so not only do I get great health care (*wink*) I'm lucky that I also get to have an extra arm on publicity from Sourcebooks and that is from the Sourcebooks Distributor in Canada- Raincoast Books! Raincoast Teen Blog

Crystal Allen is the Children's Book Publicist at Raincoast Books. She lives in beautiful Vancouver, BC with her 3 year old daughter, husband and their 4 pound Yorkie. She is also the owner and designer of Lilikoi Lane, a Vancouver based custom shirt company. You can find her on facebook at http://www.lilikoilane.info/

Crystal has been doing a wonderful job promoting I'M NOT HER to Indigo/Chapters and the amazing Independent Bookstores in Canada!

I asked her to be the first participant in the IF I TELL FIVE. So without further ado, here we go!

JG: Are you good at keeping secrets? Why or why not?

CRYSTAL:  I am, and I'm not. I'm definitely not the girl who is going to run around blabbing your secret to the whole wide world, but if I know something really big I have a hard time keeping it in. Usually if someone tells me a huge secret that I just can't keep to my self I will tell my husband (who is probably the best secret keeper alive!) or my friend Amy, who lives in Colorado and who I have never actually met face to face and knows none of the same IRL (In Real Life) people who I do so even if she blabs no one would find it very interesting since they don't know the people in question. I think it's important to be able to have someone who you trust to confide your secrets to. It's not healthy to keep them all bottled up and to yourself.

I find myself using the same techniques sometimes if it is not the kind of secret I absolutely must keep. My husband never gossips, hates it actually so he's a good person to share with. Or I'll do the tell someone who doesn't know anyone involved and don't mention names. I worry about bursting too. ;)  Now...let's talk forgiveness. Do you easily forgive friends for their mistakes? What is something you could never forgive a friend for?

CRYSTAL: My sister and I are 3 years apart. Growing up we would get into huge, monumental fights constantly and then we would have forgiven each other 5 minutes later. Now that I'm grown up it always confuses me when people hold things that they are upset about inside and hold a grudge about it. If you are upset, let me know you are upset, let's have it out and then hug and make up. I'm a pretty forgiving person. I can't think of any friend that I have had a fight with that I'm still mad at so, yes, I would say I forgive friends for their mistakes.

As for something that I couldn't forgive a friend for, I am fiercely protective of my family and friends. I can forgive people for things that they do to me but if someone were to do something that really hurt my daughter or husband, that would probably be harder to get over.

Wow. I admire your candor and totally get the protective thing. All right, so let’s just go ahead and stereotype you for a moment, okay? Okay! What kind of a teen were you, as in what “group” did you associate with? (cheerleader, Goth, nerd, jock , loner etc.)

CRYSTAL: Funny enough I didn't really fit into any of those categories. I was the type of girl that tried to be friends with everyone. I had friends that were in the "popular" crowd but I definitely wasn't one of the popular girls, I had friends who were in the "theater"group and I took a pretty heavy schedule of drama classes but again I definitely wasn't a theater girl. I had friends who were nerds, jocks, "the bad kids", artsy, etc but I don't think I fully fit in with any of the groups and I kind of bounced back and forth from one group to the next. I guess I was just me.

Great person to be. Yourself.  Good advice to teens and beyond!
Okay. Now that we're thinking like teens, can you describe your fave teen outfit?

CRYSTAL : I started working at a restaurant as a hostess when I was 14 years old. I had a HUGE crush on the prep cook who was 5 years older than me. We became very good friends and eventually started dating after I graduated from high school. When I was 16 years old my Mom bought me a red dress to wear to a wedding and it ended up becoming my Christmas Party dress. It was my first real "grown up" dress. It fit my body perfectly, had just the right amount of cleavage and was a bold color choice. Everyone noticed the girl in red. I was wearing that dress the first time my crush and I slow danced together at the company Christmas Party and when I left the party at the end of the night he kissed me (on the cheek, daringly close to the lips). The dress made me feel very glamourous and like a girl out of a book. It still makes me smile when I think about it.

You were MUCH cooler than me. I would have been terrified of a boy 5 years older than me that I had a crush on!  So, if you could go back to high school knowing now what you didn’t know then, what is one thing you would change? What do you wish you could have told your teen self?

CRYSTAL: This was a tough one for me to answer. My first thoughts were the typical "that the way things are in high school really don't matter once you grow up", or to try and "buckle down and get better grades". Honestly though I don't think either of those things would have changed anything in my grown up life.

So I think it would be this: "Crystal, I know that things are really rough between you and your mom right now. You guys will get through it. One day she will be your best friend, the person who you confide your secrets in. She will make huge sacrifices in her life so that she can help take care of your daughter. The two of them will have a bond that you weren't lucky enough to have with your own grandmas. Play nice and know that the two of you will get through it and be stronger for it."

Aw. That is SO sweet. I know Mom/Daughter relationships can be REALLY tough during teen years. Actually the Mom/Daughter relationship in IF I TELL is really a tough one, but the main character tries to deal with it the best she can. Not always easy though.

Thanks so much CRYSTAL for stopping by and sharing your wonderful answers! I look forward to working with you soon on IF I TELL!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

If I Tell Janet Gurtler

That search combination that leads a few people to this blog just cracks me up for some silly reason. If I Tell Janet Gurtler. What?? What will happen to you??? Tell her. TELL HER!

Yes. It is late. Yes. I need to get off the computer. :)

Anyhow. I am finally back from what feels like being away for the entire summer. I have been cabin building in the wilds and it's been okay and all --but weeks without Internet are hard on a writer type person let me tell you.  I have much to do and much to write and I just **may**  have some good news to share soon. Shhh. Secret.

I'm going to be talking about secrets a lot over the next couple months actually! I am going to be adding a fun new feature to the blog, where I interview writers/agents/bloggers whoever wants to be on my page to answer the IF I TELL FIVE.  This is coming soon. I hope to have some groovy people join me, so stay tuned. Well. Keep on with your life and all, but watch for it.

In the meanwhile, I must get back to real life. I'm kind of happy about that.  What's new with you??

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Living with a Teenager inside My Head

I was a teenager longer ago than I care to actually do the math on. Before cell phones. Before Texting and Facebook and Twitter. I had no idea what a blog was. Man, truth be told, I learned how to type on a TYPEWRITER. I had little nail polish like tubes of white out when I wrote essays in high school and then college.

I could go on and on about the old days. But I won’t. I know there are differences being a teen today of course. It’s a faster pace, and teens are more sophisticated in many ways. They certainly have better clothes and cars! But some of things don’t change despite advances in technology or changes in social norms.

Because I write teen fiction I spend a lot of time thinking like a teen. Or trying to remember feelings that were so important to me as a teen. I purposely go there in my head especially when I’m trying to figure out how my characters would act or talk or what they would do in a situation. And of course, I read teen fiction all the time. I’m not complaining, trust me. I love teen fiction. Writing it and reading it. But one side effect is that I dream about my teen years and my teen friends all the time. And I am so not a teenager. But I remember things perhaps more clearly than people who don’t write stories about this time in their lives.

I was taken back when someone I know (my sister in law actually) told me she read I’M NOT HER and was surprised by the drinking party in the opening scene. She said things must have changed since she was a kid since she couldn’t remember the teen years being like that. My brows wrinkled and I held in a huge raspberry sound like Pssssssshaaaaaaaaaaaaawwww.

Um. This was a woman who partied A LOT when she was a teen. I know that for a fact. But I simply said, well, it certainly happens and I did when I was a teen. Then I laughed and said I was actually worse than any characters in I’M NOT HER, since I was kind of a rotten teen. And then she laughed too, and said she did a lot of things too when she was a teen that would be too risqué for books. And yeah, I thought to myself. I kind of knew hat. Hmm. So when I thought about it later, I wondered if her initial reaction was like a memory loss or if it was denial or what? I’m still not sure.

It made me think about how connected I feel to teen experiences. Not that I think I’m a just like a teen and super hip and young and could totally hang with them and stuff. God knows teens certainly don’t want me and my age spots walking up to them and trying to hang. And I’m way beyond wanting that. I’m pretty much a mom and in my mind teens are like little kids. Only bigger. With more attitude.

But I feel a rather spiritual connection to what it is like to be a teen. That transitional time when the world is emotional and raw. Everything is dramatic! I love exploring stories with a teen brain and for me that includes seeing the worlds they live in with as authentic an eye I can. Drinking, drugs and sex don’t scare me. I don’t want to preach to teens, but I do like to think that I explore consequences of actions. I try not to judge. I like teenagers. I remember being one.

Anyhow, I better like them because in three more years my house will be filled with them. Hopefully I’ll still be writing teen books and talking to the teen in my head. It should horrify me son. I’ll try to check back and let you know.