4 years ago
Monday, July 28, 2014
Who Wants to Hop on a Blog Tour?
I'm very excited to read Melissa Westemeier's Kicks Like a Girl. (It just arrived yesterday!) My longtime blogger buddy invited me to join her on a Worldwide Blog Tour. I am thrilled to participate and support some awesome authors. If you haven't already, please check out Melissa's work!
So, at this stop on the blog tour, I get to share a little bit about myself. I started writing for teen magazines like Seventeen and Teen in my 20's - when I was close to my teenage years. Now that I'm far from my teenage years, I still write books about teenagers. I just love how that period of life is so crucial to who we are and who we become.
My first novel, Fingerprints, is loosely based on my own life. When I was a teenager, my mother remarried. Shortly after, my stepbrother and stepsister moved in with me, my mom, my stepfather and my biological brother. It was nuts. Let's just say that our household was anything but harmonious.
The first story I ever sold to Seventeen, the StepPeople, was about our struggle to "blend" our families.Years later, I realized I could help other families figure out how to merge by writing a novel about our experiences. But I needed another storyline.
Thankfully, my past provided more inspiration. Around the same time my mother remarried, I had started dating a guy who was verbally and physically abusive.
The two stories work so well together because the StepPeople scenes are hilarious. (We still recount those stories around the dinner table.) The comedy in Fingerprints balances the dark subject matter of abuse. So, while the reader may become aware of dating abuse red flags and warning signs, they don't feel horribly depressed as they read.
Savanna is the main character in Fingerprints. She has two best friends, Tally and Jane. So it only made sense to tell Tally's story next. Tally is sort of a forgotten child, left behind by two wealthy parents who are more concerned with their social lives than with their daughter.
Tally drinks. A lot. (They all do. So, if partying teenagers make you uncomfortable, these are not the books for you.) In her effort to be cool and "fine" through her desperate loneliness, Tally dances. At first, it's hip hop. Sexy, grinding hip hop. Usually on her stage of a kitchen island during one of her massive summer bashes. But when she ends up humiliated beyond her imagination, she goes back to her roots and seeks the structure and discipline of ballet.
I've just started writing Jane's story. Which I'm not going to spoil here. But I will tell you that the goal is to once again balance darkness with humor and hope.
We'll see how that goes.
Meanwhile, this Friday, two lucky commenters will be chosen to receive a free copy of one of my books. So, please comment for a chance to win!
As for the next stop on the Worldwide Blog Tour, I've got something for everyone. Next Monday, August 4, visit these fine authors to learn what they're up to!
Kelly Polark, author of two picture books, Rockabet and Hold the Mustard, a middle grade novel, Rock and Roll Princesses Wear Black and most recently, a non-fiction picture book, Words on Birds.
Tony LaRocca, author of the awesome Sci-Fi collection, False Idols and Other Short Stories. It's literally out of this world.
Britt Dussault, author of 11 novels. (Yes, eleven!) And she's way closer to her teen years than I am. Check her out!
Meanwhile, what are you working on? What would you like to share with our readers?