Judith Graves loves tragic romance, werewolves, vampires, magick and all things a bit creepy. Thankfully, her sidekick, and lick-the-boogy-man- to-death Labrador retriever, Weeping Willow, is always nearby.
Residing in a northern Alberta community, similar to the fictional town of Redgrave, where Under My Skin is set – Judith unhappily endures snow in the winter, and runs away from bees in the summer. A firm believer that Canadian teen fiction can be sexy, action packed and snarky as hell – Judith writes paranormal stories with attitude.
Ohhh! I like attitude! So. Let's talk friends. And hey I JUST REALIZED we have the same initials. JG. Along with another YA Author, John Green! OMG. There should totally be a club! The JG club. Maybe John will invite us to his house for coffee? John? Hello? JG club. Oh. Never mind.
So Judith, JG, did you have a best friend in high school? If you did, are you still in touch in any way?
JG: As a military brat, I moved around a lot during elementary school and by the time I entered junior high I was the perpetual new girl, walking into schools with established cliques built on relationships that spanned years. Hard to break through walls made from that kind of emotional history. High school was more of the same, but by then I’d learned to be self-sufficient. I didn’t care what people thought. I dressed in vintage clothes, played my guitar in the hallway, and held my own in drama, art, and music classes.And found other kids like me, living on the fringe. I didn’t have one best friend, but several quirky, cool, and downright strange kids I would have died for.
We rarely keep in touch, maybe the odd Facebook shout out, celebrating each other’s successes or landmark moments, but I think of them often. The few times we have called or met – it’s like we’ve never been apart. I know I could crash their houses with no questions asked, and they can show up on my doorstep anytime. But somehow, that never happens. It’s like we’ve moved beyond the scared, wildlings we were and don’t want to be reminded of what once was.You sound totally like the teen I SHOULD HAVE BEEN. But was too chicken to be. I love you even more now. So, how did you handle betrayal?
JG: My little circle of friends were artsy sorts, prone to fits of temper and delusions of grandeur. On weekends, we fought like we partied. Hard. We were dramatic and sensitive - callous and cruel. Having zit-free skin was a betrayal.I think I was more forgiving in my youth. A betrayal today means so much more – it means things will never be the same again.
But back then, we made up, or grovelled our way back, and by Monday we’d banded together to face the next crisis high school, or life, could throw our way. Divorce, suicide, drugs, good sex, music, shitty grades, scholarships, bad sex, sibling rivalry, bullies, desire for revenge, desire, McJobs, blended families, Daddy’s/Mommy’s new girlfriend….whatever. We could handle it, because we had each other to commiserate with.This is totally like a real life version of Perks of Being A Wallflower, the movie. I want to see the movie based on your life. Mmmm. Okay? Can you make that happen? Er. Moving on. What did you love most about you teenage best friend?
JG: The greatest thing about my group of friends – we were all so different - but ultimately similar.
What drove you most crazy about your teenage best friend?Most of my friends were book brilliant and yet could be really, really, life stupid. We did some crazy things that we probably shouldn’t have survived.
I am seeing visions in my head! So...what did you learn from your best teen friend?Our misfit group taught me to look beyond the surface and for that I am forever grateful.
Awesome! I really do want you to write the screenplay of your teen life. Okay??
Thanks so much, Judith. This is such a great interview. And it totally makes your whole vibe make even more sense to me.
Check out JUDITH and her UNDER MY SKIN series on Judith's Website