Sunday, October 14, 2012

Family Drama


One of the most difficult things that I had to do while writing BAND GEEK was write adults who antagonized the kids, but were also sympathetic. Melinda, the narrator, has a very shaky relationship with her mother and Josh constantly clashes with the band's conductor, Mr. Francis. But while the teens see these adults as "villains" (though in some cases, Mr. Francis really is in the wrong), I also tried to portray the situation from the adults' point of view.

In real life, I sometimes argued with my parents as a teen and in my mind, they were always wrong. Now that I'm an adult, I can look back and see things a bit differently and understand why they did some things they did. When it came to Mel and her mom, I tried to write it from both sides. Melinda is hurt by her mom's comments about her weight and resents her parents for not being around often enough. Meanwhile, her mom is stressed because she's taking care of a sick parent and is concerned about her daughter's health. Her mom is not the enemy, but Mel sees her as that.

In Josh's case, he and Mr. Francis are both in the wrong. Josh hates the conductor's tyrannical method of teaching and likes to bug him until the teacher gets angry. Mr. Francis, on the other hand, is sick of having a student interrupt his class and doesn't know how to deal with it. Josh has a much bigger role than Mr. Francis in the story so you can see things more from his point of view, but the conductor does have valid reasons for why he acts the way he does.

When I began writing this book, I was still in my 20s and figured that I have an advantage when it came to writing young adult literature. After all, I was still close in age to my teen characters. But now that I'm in my 30s, I actually feel like I have more of an edge because I've lived through my teen years and have been an adult for much longer. I can now relate to the younger and older characters. Because of this, I think the adults are more realistic.

I attempted to give all of my characters depth and show how they do good and bad things -- and learn from their mistakes. I hope you think so, too.

Please check out my novel REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD.

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