Monday, September 30, 2013

March to Your Own Drumbeat!

by Kimberly MacCarron

If there’s one thing I can say with absolute certainty about my teen years it’s that I don’t regret my friendships.  Not one.  It’s not because they were all perfect friends with perfect life views.  It’s not because they fit into a mold that was given to me by my parents or my church or any authority figure.  It was because all my friendships were different.  My friends were different. 

My daughter Megan said to me just this morning, “I love my green day lunches and my blue day because I have different sets of friends.”  I’m paraphrasing because the comment came before my coffee, but the idea made me smile.  That’s the way I felt all through my teen years. 

Sometimes I felt like I was cheating on one group of friends while I was hanging out with a different group, but overall, all my friends filled a need in me.  The need to stretch my ideas and see that the world was an open place, and for me to fit into that world someday required me to be open to the differences in people.

I had my cheerleading friends and my youth group friends and friends from school.   Sometimes they overlapped and sometimes they didn’t.  I went to a Christian high school, so I suppose there was way more overlap than I thought at the time. 

There were groups of girls that were deemed a little looser than the girls that were “saving themselves for marriage”.  There were girls who wore makeup and flirted and made out with boys, and then there were the girls who were more interested in grades and their future. 

Where did I fit in?  I still don’t know.  I walked a tightrope between them.  Having done that and enjoyed the differences in those friendships has taught me so much about adult relationships.

Sometimes people grow into better people.  Sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes those catty girls grow up to be catty PTA members or dance moms in your community.  Sometimes people change and sometimes they don’t.  The key is acceptance. 

We don’t know why that overachiever felt the need to be perfect growing up.  Maybe they had overbearing parents who never gave them unconditional love or acceptance.  We just don’t know. 

My friends today come from every kind of background, every political party, every religion—from Evangelicals and Catholics to Buddhists and Muslims.  I also have friends who are Atheists, and once again I’m not even sure where I fit in any of these groups.  Just like my friends, my ideas don’t fit into a mold.

Two of my favorite movies growing up were DEAD POET’S SOCIETY and THE BREAKFAST CLUB.  Both were about conformity.  Both were about fighting against the stereotypes we place on people for whatever reason.  Sometimes it’s out of fear or ignorance.  Most of the times it’s what some authority figure in our lives has told us to believe.  We generally hold firmly to our parents’ beliefs until we actually make our way into the world.  And finally breaking free to become your own person is a gift you give yourself. 

We should all spread our wings.  We should all look at the world and the people in it with acceptance. 

This is one of my favorite scenes from the DEAD POET’S SOCIETY:
(Keating stands on his desk)
John Keating:  Why do I stand up here?  Anybody?
Dalton:  To feel taller!
John Keating:  No! (Dings a bell with his foot)  Thank you for playing, Mr. Dalton.  I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.

This past week in my community, a beautiful high school sophomore took her own life.  I didn't know her, but I cried.  I cried the tears of a parent.  I cried the tears of a washed-up teen.  I cried because I'm human.  There were many reasons discussed, but in the end we will never really know why she took her life.  Sadly, she will become a statistic.  An ugly, frightening statistic of teen suicide.  My hope is for teens to realize that they are never alone.  That just because they don't share the same beliefs or world views of someone else doesn't diminish them.  We are not alone!  This is for adults as well.  Too many people struggle with their views, their hopes and dreams.  

It's okay to be different, to march to a different beat than the others.  It's more than okay.  It's perfect!  Until we open our minds and hearts to others, we won't know that.  I will end this blog post today with the letter from THE BREAKFAST CLUB because it’s how people generally see each other unless they are forced to see things from a different perspective.

Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us…In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…an athlete…a basket case…a princess…and a criminal…Does that answer your question?
Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Diane J. Reed talks Fairy Tales & OUAT Fandom

Carey: One of my most favorite YA reads of this year was the quirky, imaginative story Robin in the Hood by Diane J. Reed. In addition to being a kick-ass author, Diane has interviewed numerous Once Upon A Time cast members about the hit show-which is so cool! I’m thrilled to have her here today to talk fairy tales and fandom.

CC: We always start with the same curiosity: What book spoke to you most during your teen years?

DJR: I loved so many books! But I have to say my favorite was When the Legends Die by Hal
Visit Diane:
Borland, a novel about an orphaned teenage boy from the Ute tribe in Colorado in 1912 who struggles against assimilation into white culture & tries to preserve his heritage against all odds. It speaks deeply to issues that affect teens in every culture: feelings of alienation, issues of identity, and how to navigate the future as an adult. Thomas Black Bull's story of self-determination pierced my heart and his courage remains an inspiration to this day. Because of that novel, I realized that books can do more than entertain—they can actually be lamplights to help guide our way. Dystopian novels are all the rage right now in YA fiction, but for Native American teens at the turn of the last century, the total annihilation of their culture was all too REAL! If you love dystopian fiction, consider picking up When the Legends Die to see how a character stood up for the integrity of his spirit when the prevailing culture preferred him to be on a reservation or dead.

CC: Do you have a book (or books) that you reread regularly? If yes, what book and why?

DJR: One book I read regularly is Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman. This particular book is a collection of short stories and her lyrical writing is exquisite! She's truly a master of the craft. She also delves into the waters of magic realism and I LOVE how she depicts the mysterious & magical aspects of life that sometimes we can only sense through the quiet whispers of our spirits. She's also the author of Practical Magic—a hugely fun book about witches, written long before the current paranormal craze, and it was made into a fantastic movie! I believe I've watched that film 100 times, and I even designed my kitchen after the one in the film. Can you spell O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D? Did somebody mention "spells"? ; )

CC: What YA novel or novels have you read recently that you most want all your friends to read?

DJR: I came awfully late to this party, but I adore Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl! It's just so beautifully written and I love the teen narrator Ethan Wate's insights into life. I also really enjoyed Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan with its wonderfully smart spy heroines and Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon with its unique blend of magic & history that impacts present-day teens.

CC: Aww – thanks for the DOON shout out! What made you want to write teen fiction? Is there any link to the stories you read growing up?

DJR: I simply love the vulnerability and need for courage that all teens experience. It's an amazing, magical time where you're deciding who you really are and who you want to become—and that takes GUTS! You can wimp out and put one foot after the other by following the life that may have been "prescribed" for you, OR you can dig down deep, search your soul, and go against the grain. It's a perilous age for everyone and I love examining the choices people make. One book that really influenced me growing up was National Velvet by Enid Bagnold about a teen girl who poses as a boy so she can enter her horse in the most dangerous steeplechase race on earth: The Grand National. Many jockeys and horses have died in that race, but she refuses to let anything stop her. Like The Hunger Games, every time I read a book about teens who muster up extraordinary bravery, I'm hooked!

CC: Tell us about ROBIN IN THE HOOD. Where did the inspiration for this story come from?

DJR: Yowza—believe it or not, I once held a job in a juvenile detention program that was the last stop for teen boys before they turned 18 and faced decades in prison for federal crimes. We're not
talking about whistling too loud in the choir here. These teens had to be convicted a minimum of 8 times each for crimes like grand theft auto, arson, rape and murder. Dangerous doesn't begin to describe them, yet there were a couple of master thieves who caught my attention because they were doing it to provide for their impoverished families. Sure, they were tough as nails on the outside—but they would sacrifice their very lives for their loved ones, and way down deep they had hearts of gold. These kids were rare, but once you met one you'd never forget him. I wanted to write a book that did a kid like that justice, and showed how he was actually the caregiver & provider in a situation that was stacked against him. I also grew up in an affluent area (even though we were middle class), and I've lost count of how many "emotional orphans" I met in high school. These were kids who looked rich & beautiful on the outside, but the truth was that their wealthy, social-climbing parents totally ignored them & simply wrote checks in lieu of affection. So I began to wonder: What would happen if a rich girl's family hit the skids she decided to rob banks to take care of them, only to run smack dab into a poor boy from "across the tracks" that was doing the same thing? Despite their different backgrounds, they have the same goal, so they might actually become partners in crime—and so much more...

CC: How closely does Robin in the Hood mirror the original Robin Hood story?

DJR: Robin in the Hood is meant to tread lightly within fairy tale territory, but also to mix it up a little & provide a more modern, "edgy" feel to the legend. So instead of Robin being a guy, I decided to depict the character as teenage girl who makes the decision to rob from the rich to give to the poor. And most certainly I was playing with the Sherwood Forest concept when I created Bender Lake—a boondocks haven for those who are running from the law as well as their exes! Also, the motley group of characters who appear at Turtle Shores Trailer Park mimic Robin Hood's band of Merry Men outlaws in a comedic way. But unlike the original Robin Hood, who is an expert marksman and always noble of purpose, my Robin steals out of desperation at first, but then begins to develop a real heart for the unfortunate people around her that galvanizes her into more noble endeavors.

CC: Both your YA and adult books are modern day fairy tales. Why do you suppose fairytales continue to be so popular?

DJR: Because they're TRUE! You can often tell "soul truths" in fairy tales that you somehow can't quite comprehend any other way because life is so complicated and mysterious. For example, I read an archaic version of Cinderella recently where one of the stepsisters cut off her big toe to fit into the glass slipper. The prince thought she was the real deal & hoisted her onto his horse for a ride back to the castle—but she left a trail of blood behind her the entire way. NOTE TO SELF: If you're dating someone who leaves a trail of blood in their wake, no matter how much they try to smooth talk you, they're NOT the real deal! I love how fairy tales aren't afraid to illuminate the dark recesses of the human spirit as well as the noble victories.

CC: You are very active in the ONCE UPON A TIME (OUAT) fandom. Tell us a little about what that’s like?

DJR: You know, I sort of fell into it. I loved the show and began following @OnceUponAFan on twitter as a result. The creator of the fansite, Gareth Hughes, later asked me if I would like to write a couple of articles on the origins of fairy tales for the website, which I thought would be fun. He liked my work and when the occasion arose, he asked me if I would mind interviewing the cast & creators of the show. Of course I said yes! From there it snowballed and to date I've done 11 interviews with the cast & writers of ABC's hit show Once Upon a Time. I'm hoping to do interviews for their new spin-off Wonderland this fall as well : )

CC: Do you have a favorite OUAT character or storyline?

DJR: Well who couldn't love the enduring battle between Regina, played by Lana Parilla, and Rumpelstiltskin, played by Robert Carlyle? The actors are SUPERB and I think I could happily watch them read the phone book! Every second they are on screen is a thrill for me. So talented : )

CC: We’ve got a lot of aspiring authors visiting our blog. Would you share with them your path to publication? (And any words of encouragement would be great additions *s*)

DJR: My biggest advice is to just start writing and get your books out there as fast as you can to start building platform and fans. Don't wait for traditional New York publishers to "approve" of you or your teachers or mother to say it's good enough—go Indie if you have to. You'd be stunned at how much audience you can gain if you work hard, constantly refine your craft, and go for it! The real test of how worthy your work is comes down to the readers who are eager for more. Get out there on Wattpad or write for fansites, or better yet, load up your work on Kindle and sell it. Somewhere out there are hearts that are willing to read your stories. Be bold, be confident, and keep writing!

CC: What’s next for you?

DJR:  I just finished a fun & irreverent fairy tale book for children called The Boys Who Farted and Flew (because sometimes magic gets stinky ; ). I'm now working on the sequel to Robin in the Hood where Robin and her boyfriend Creek go to Venice in search of her long-lost mother.

About Diane J. Reed: I was the kind of teen who hitchhiked her way out of church camp to go play pool with strangers, then picked the cutest guy to go make out on the beach. Since that time, I moved to the Rocky Mountains & I write books that are infused with enchantment, where characters dare to break through boundaries and believe in true love. I have a soft spot for artisans & outlaws of the heart, those of us who burn brightly to live each day as a gift—because it is! I'd love to hear from you, so feel free to visit my website or message me on Facebook or Twitter (@DianeJReed) to share the whispers of your spirit.

Thanks Again Diane. I will be eagerly awaiting your fantastic OUAT interviews and the next installment of Robin & Creek in la bella Venezia!

Until next time! 

Carey Corp is the author of DOON, Brigadoon reimagined, co-written w/Lorie Langdon. Book 1 coming 8/20/13 from the new YA imprint BLINK (a division of Zondervan/HarperCollins)

 Join the DOON journey:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Interview with Griff, the hero of Romily Bernard's FIND ME

This is a very special day here at Honestly YA. First of all, the highly anticipated debut FIND ME, by the fabulous Romily Bernard, released yesterday. If that weren't exciting enough, I managed to convince Romily to bring Griff, the hero of FIND ME, to the Peachtree City Library for his first ever interview! How cool is that?

Pintip: Hi, Romily and Griff, thanks so much for meeting me here! 

Romily: Hi, Pintip! Thanks for having us!

Griff: *looks around* Yeah, definitely, but that librarian is seriously staring us down. I’m not sure how long she’s going to let us stay.

Romily: Maybe you shouldn’t have infected one of her computers with a virus.

Griff: No idea what you’re talking about.

Romily: Yeah, right.

Pintip: *smiles* As much as I'd like to hear that story, maybe we'd better save it for the next interview. Let's talk about FIND ME. The whole world is about to read your story! What's the one word that comes to mind when you think about this?

Romily: Uh, how about queas-illed? It’s queasy and thrilled put together. Queas-illed.

Pintip: Love it. That should totally be a new word. What about you, Griff? 

Griff: One word? *slow grins* Wicked.

Pintip: Oh, swoon. For those of you who don't know, "Wicked" is what Griff likes to call Wick. How cute are you? 

Griff: *raises one eyebrow* 

Pintip: I bet you were a handful to write, too. Romily, can you comment? 

Romily: In comparison to Wick, Griff was actually pretty easy to write. It’s difficult to match a hardened heroine with a guy who can keep up with her. He can’t be too aggressive because they’ll only fight. He can’t be too passive because she’ll walk all over him. I had to work on Wick to make her likable, but Griff? He pretty much hit the page exactly the way you see him now: sexy, confident, and, once he realizes Wick’s interested in him, determined to have her.

Pintip: Speaking of which, Griff, when did you realize Wick was interested? 

Griff: I thought Wick barely knew I existed. Until I touched her. We were in Mrs. Lowe’s class and I’d told her about Tessa’s suicide and she was…starting to freak. Panic attack. I felt like such an ass. Wick’s mom was a jumper too, but I didn’t think. Anyway, I wrapped my hand around her wrist to calm her down and, Christ, the girl was so soft. Like nothing had ever touched her. My fingers were on her pulse and the way it sped up…I thought, maybe, I had a shot.

Pintip: Was that also the moment you first noticed her? 

Griff: Way before then. Like, three years ago on my first day at school when this girl fight broke out. Everyone was crowding around, staring. It’s a scene, you know? And even though everyone’s staring at Jenna Maxwell because she’s hot and popular and about to bring some serious pain, I can’t stop staring at the other girl. She’s short and thin and has purple hair. And she does not back down. That was Wick. That’s still Wick. Guess that’s still me too: the guy who’s staring at her in awe.

Pintip: Aw, that's so sweet.

Griff: I’m not sweet. Neither’s Wick. She’s not predictable and that makes her…interesting. Other girls play some part. They try to be who they think you want. Wick’s not like that.She makes me work. Sometimes I can barely keep up.

Pintip: Romily, do you have a favorite scene in the book?

Romily: Probably that first kiss scene—the one where they were at the pool.

Griff: Same. It was our first kiss. I’d wanted Wick for years and it was so worth it.

Pintip: Oh my gosh, that's my favorite scene, too! It's not surprising, when I've said that Griff’s relationship with Wick is one of the strongest, most believable romances I've read in years. Griff, can you tell us about that first kiss? Wick didn't exactly...reciprocate...immediately, did she?

Griff: *scowls* You could say that. I had to be…persuasive. Not usually something I have to do with girls and I actually thought I had the upper hand, but…Wick turned that around pretty quickly.

Pintip: Griff, for a high school senior, you have some pretty unusual extra-curricular activities, and this is one of the things you and Wick have in common. Can you tell us about them and explain how you got started with them?

Griff: I like the way you put that, “extra-curricular activities.” You sound like Wick. Yeah, I do some computer hacking on the side. My cousin works in vice. I used to get extra work through him. Small stuff. But it helped with the bills. My mom’s…not doing that great since my dad left. We needed the money. Still do. 

Pintip: I'm sorry to hear that, Griff. Maybe this book coming out will turn things around for you. Okay, guys, how about a game? Say the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear these prompts. What's your most embarrassing moment? 

​Romily: Being told by a contest judge to scrap FIND ME.

Griff: Not telling.

Pintip: What's your proudest moment? 

Romily: Selling FIND ME.

Griff: When Wick trusted me to save her sister.

Pintip: Favorite food? 

Romily: Italian sausage and pepperoni pizza from Pies On Pizza.

Griff: Same.

Pintip: Yum. Maybe we can go grab a slice after this? Okay, back to the game. What's the last time you cried? 

Romily: Pintip, you know I can’t cry. My insides are far too rotten. 

Pintip: Ha. All I know is that you *like* to say you're rotten, when all I've ever seen from you is sweetness. 

Romily: Actually, I do get teary when readers tell me they loved FIND ME. I can’t even describe how astonished and lucky I feel whenever that happens.

Griff: I cried in REMEMBER ME and that’s all I’m going to say.

Pintip: Ooohhh, now I really can't wait to read Book 2! What's the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

Romily: Write a massive check to the Humane Society

Griff: Get my mom the hell out of the trailer we’re living in.

Pintip: Do you have any regrets?

​​Romily: Ugh. Loads. At the moment, I regret not having enough caffeine this morning.

Griff: Not being enough for Wick. She’s imploding and all I can do is watch.

Pintip: *sighs* And all I can do is read. Hang in there, Griff. I'm pulling for both of you. What do you hope you never regret?​

Romily: Putting my writing out there.

Griff: Losing someone else I love.

Pintip: Wow, those were some great answers, guys! Okay, one last question, just because I'm dying to read more about Griff. Will he be appearing in future books? Any chance he'll ever get his own story?​

Romily: FIND ME’s first in a trilogy and Griff will be in all three books. I’d also love, love, love to write a novella from his perspective.

Pintip: Yes, yes, yes! A novella from Griff's perspective would be amazing! I'd camp in line for days to get ahold of that story! Thanks so much for being here today, guys! This was so much fun! 

Romily: Thank you very much for having us, Pintip! Thanks to everyone for reading and I hope you enjoy FIND ME!


“Find Me.”

These are the words written on Tessa Waye’s diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa’s just been found . . . dead.

Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target.

Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick. Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick’s deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step?

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare.

But she’s going to find this killer no matter what.

Because it just got personal.

Romily Bernard graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, she’s worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep.
So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.

Monday, September 16, 2013


As the resident old broad here at Honestly YA, I did not watch The Fairly Odd Parents growing up. I watched with my kids while they grew up (see, "old broad," above). In that time there was one episode that -- funny enough -- I managed to catch repeatedly.

For those of you who are not connoisseurs of this particular animated series, young Timmy asks his fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, for his very own "re-do" watch: A handy wristwatch he could set to take him back in time just far enough to replay disastrous events that have already occurred. Okay, so maybe missing the school bus isn't exactly "disastrous" but you get the idea. His magic-wielding fairy godparents create a watch that gives him the power to re-do life events.

I loved that episode. I loved the potential of going back in time to smooth things out, even though for Timmy, the outcome of such meddling resulted in events more disastrous than the original -- if it's possible to be "more disastrous," but let's not get into a semantic argument here. Point is, how tempting is it to have the power to re-do the past? Which, of course, leads to, what would you re-do if you had the chance?

Now, I'm not talking re-do'ing the little things like "should have worn my gloves while picking cotton." I'm talking the big stuff like "should have left Atlanta when Rhett warned me to." I have a lot of moments that run that re-do gamut. But the big one, my "should have left Atlanta"... *sigh*

We'll call him Jeff (since I've never dated a Jeff). Better yet, "Geoff," because that's even further removed from fact. I dated Geoff straight through my junior summer and senior year of high school, and you know what that means. No, not prom. Be serious. Do I look like the type to swoon over prom? No. Senior year of high school means college applications and campus visits and otherwise planning for the future. Geoff and I saw a future together because, you know, true love.! Interesting classes. Your own choice of notebook. Mini-fridges...dorm life! And, you know, future riches based on a top-notch collegiate education!

Geoff, I must note, was not in college. He was employed full time in a job that could easily lead to lifelong career. College was something he never considered, had no interest in. I'm okay with that; was then, am now. College isn't for everyone. But it was for me. More, the college for me was the University of a Thousand Miles Away. Ohmigosh. Great program. Fabulous clubs. Gorgeous campus.

Geoff went into a panic, followed by surly depression. How could I leave him? he'd ask. Didn't I love him? Weren't the local schools good enough? What about our future together?

Reader, I caved. I never sent my application to the University of a Thousand Miles Away, and instead applied to the College of Commuting Distance. I graduated high school, Geoff in the audience with my parents (oh, how they adored Geoff!), and looked forward to attending classes at the local college once my Incredible Senior Summer reached its conclusion.

Midway through my Incredible Senior Summer Geoff announces he has something important to discuss with me. If I had any ideas or suspicions what this important topic was, I don't remember. I wonder if I was somehow expecting an engagement ring, or at least a promise ring, but that's more the me of today. The me of then wanted nothing to do with marriage. So who knows what I was expecting. It certainly wasn't what I got, that's for sure.

"I joined the Army!" Geoff announced, pride coming off him in waves.

The. Army. The U. S. Army. The one with bases All. Over. the. World. After all the begging and pleading that I stay local for college, he joined the Army.

Let it be said, with absolute truth, I love a man in uniform : )  But at no time in our year and a half of dating had Geoff ever expressed an interest in military service. And it was the shock of it, the out of the blue announcement that he was heading out into the world and I was stuck at the community college and living IN MY PARENTS' HOUSE that was the betrayal.

We didn't last to the end of the summer. But you probably saw that coming.

For what it's worth, I don't regret the decision I made. That is, I don't regret deciding to do my first year of college locally. I believe my life took the turns it was meant to, and certainly I could have applied to the University of A Thousand Miles Away at any time. What I do regret, what I would re-do if I could, is deciding against UATMA for a guy. For a guy! I still have trouble loving the me that made that decision. And oh! to have Wanda and Cosmo wave their magic fairy godparent wands and let me do that summer over. What a dream that would be! That one choice...


It was my faith in love, my belief in happily ever after, that guided me in that decision. I still believe in those things. And if I had it to do over again, I may never have spent those hours with my daughters, watching the Fairly Odd Parents and being happy. Also, my daughters would be without a mom who tells them every chance she can "make choices for yourself, not for some guy!"

YOUR TURN! What would YOU re-do? Share with us in the comments!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Welcome Wednesday: CM Doporto's Absolute Rewind: Erase the Rebellious Years

We're delighted to welcome Sci Fi/Urban Fantasy author CM Doporto to this week's Welcome Wednesday spot. She's got a great post about what she'd re-do if she had the chance to rewind back to high school...

Erase the Rebellious Years 

If I could rewind the years and go back to my high school days, there’s a lot I’d like to change. The main thing is my rebellious self. I’m not proud of some of the things I did and I’ve had to learn how to deal with them and forgive myself. Looking back, I can pinpoint a few causes. I think what attributed to my ‘wild hair’ was my family spoiled me. I am the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Sounds weird but I know it was attention that I craved. So, if my family didn’t give me that attention, I did things to get it. 

I definitely grew up too fast. I don’t know if my hormones are to blame or my personality. I hung around older teens and through peer pressure started drinking and partying at a young age. That continued into my college years. Thankfully my boyfriend, now husband☺, pointed that out to me and I decided to stop. 

My parents had me right after they graduated high school and all though they did their best to raise me and my siblings they avoided some of those tuff conversations such as ‘sex’. Their idea of sex education was, “JUST DON’T GET PREGNANT!” Thankfully, that didn’t happen and I avoided all those consequences. As a parent, I am taking a completely different approach. 

I’ve never liked talking about my past but now that I write young adult books, I’m taking these painful experiences and weaving them into my story lines. My goal is to relate to what most teens experience and struggle with and hopefully guide them in the right direction. Dealing with peer pressure isn’t easy and when you’re a teen the lack of experience, naivety, or parental support can have a major impact on your life. It’s sad that sometimes we have to learn through our mistakes and I hope mine will make a difference in a teen’s life. 

~CM Doporto

Author CM Doporto lives in the great state of Texas with her husband and son enjoying life with their extensive family along with their Chihuahua, Mexican Redhead Parrot and several fish. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Arlington and her Master of Art’s Degree in Organizational Development from Dallas Baptist University. She writes Young Adult and New Adult Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy stories about ordinary women who do extraordinary things, become a heroine, and find love along the way. CM is a member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and Romance Writers of America and is associated with the Young Adult Special Interest Chapter. Visit her at: FacebookTwitter:  Pinterest, Goodreads, and on the Heroine blog.  

CM Doporto is the author of the bestselling Young Adult Sci-Fi short story, The Eslites. The follow-up novel, The Eslites: The Arrival will be released in early Fall 2013. 

When Miranda, superior donor destined to save the Eslites, learns the human race is in danger along with the donors at Nidus, she decides it’s time for the Eslites to set her and her friends free. Against the odds, she sets out on a quest to convince US government officials that what the Eslites are doing to them is violating the current order in place. Will she succeed or will the Eslites continue to test human females in hopes of producing offspring to save their race?
So what about you, dear readers, do you regret some of your former wild ways? What would you redo if you had the chance?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Friendships that Stand the Test of Time

Hi friends, Lorie here!
When I think about my oldest, most enduring friendships, three people spring to mind. These girls stuck by me during the awkward years of Middle School, the angst of high school and even after we went our separate ways in college. Looking at us on paper, you would never believe that we’d bonded in the first place.

I met Jen when our moms were co-teaching a Sunday school class at our church. It was one of those “mom orchestrated” friendships. You know how it goes: “Lorie, Jen is your age and goes to your school, you should be friends!” With a groan, I agreed to talk to this girl I’d never met. First impression—she was a 5’10’’ ball of curvy, blond energy, and she scared me. I didn’t think I’d ever met anyone with so much enthusiasm, but she was exactly what this shy, not-so-adventurous girl needed.

Lisa and I met later that year. If I was cautious and introverted, Lisa was the opposite. “You think that boy’s cute? Okay, let’s go.” And she would proceed to drag me, shaking in my pegged jeans and Eastlands, to talk to my current crush. Inevitably, he would focus on the blond, Madonna look-a-like at my side. But I didn’t mind, I couldn’t really blame them. Lisa was a force of nature.

Sheila and I became friends when I moved to our large suburban middle school from a catholic school in the inner city. You can imagine my culture shock. Sheila was smart and strong, and she was my anchor in a sea of madness. Like me, she was introspective and enjoyed books and movies. With the patience of a saint she’d listen to me drone on about the latest boy I was meant to spend eternity with. And I stuck by her too, even when she’d signed up to be a German exchange student and stopped shaving her legs a few months early.  Did I mention that Sheila is one of the bravest people I know?
High School Christmas Dance

You might be wondering who I was in this mix…I was the dreamer. The girl with her head in the clouds and her nose stuck in a book. Now that I think about it, even throughout all life’s ups and downs; marriages, kids, career changes, and lost parents, not much has changed.  On some level, we’re still those same girls we were in high school, but through all our challenges we’ve become better versions of ourselves.

You want to know how I know this?

Because two weeks ago, I stood in front of over a hundred family and friends for the launch of my debut novel, and saw three precious and familiar faces in the audience. Jen, blond and gorgeous, her boundless energy now tempered by refinement. Lisa, her battle scars making her more wise, but no less vibrant. And Sheila, all the way from San Francisco, her beautiful smile and steady presence still my anchor.

To say it meant a lot to me to see these three amazing women there at one of the proudest moments of my life, is an epic understatement. Their friendships, individually and collectively, have shaped me into the person I am today—unashamed to share my enthusiasm, more bold and a lot more courageous!

Lorie, Sheila, Jen and Lisa at the DOON launch party

Now it’s your turn Honest readers. Do you have friendships that have stood the test of time? Tell me about it. 

Lorie Langdon is the author of DOONinspired by Lerner & Loewe'sBrigadoon, co-written w/Carey Corp. Now available in hardcover and ebook from BLINK (a new young adult imprint of Zondervan/HarperCollins).
Join the DOON journey: