We are so excited to have Amy Holder, author of The Lipstick Laws, here with us today!
Below is her guest post why she writes for young adults and gives us some insight to some of her own teen traumas. It's a really great post and we hope you enjoy it!
As a young adult author, I always get asked why I decided to write for teens. I’ve given many different answers to this question, such as:
“I love teens and the books they read.”
“I’ve worked a lot with the young adult age group.”
“Teen years are a pivotal point in people’s lives… it’s such an interesting time period to write about.”
“I never fully grew up.”
“My writing voice naturally gravitates to the exaggerated ups and downs of teenagedom.”
“I’m still very connected to the feelings I had as a teen.”
All of these answers are very true… but it is also true that writing for the high school market is free (albeit public) therapy to help me get over the trauma of my own teen years. Let’s face it, high school years can be traumatic… regardless of if you were the geek-of-all-trades or the privileged queen bee. What trauma did I experience, you ask? As if living through this fine list of traumatic teen moments wasn’t enough, I will now share them for your viewing pleasure. After all, part of therapy is accepting and releasing the ghosts of your past.
Teen Trauma #1 – I got an eyebrow ring on my eighteenth birthday, but my boss at the movie theater that I worked at did not approve of the look. He forced me to wear a large Band-Aid over said eyebrow, resulting in me looking like a ridiculous clumsy loon at work. Really, Mr. Bossman? Do you think a huge Band-Aid over my eyebrow is going to bring less attention to my eyebrow ring? I think not.
Teen Trauma #2 – I went to the Senior Ball with a blind date. A BLIND DATE! If that wasn’t bad enough, my blind date decided to urinate on a campfire at an outside after party. Lovely. Truly lovely.
Teen Trauma #3 – I’m still haunted by nightmares of my high school history teacher’s devilish glares. I was positive that he hated me and was trying to kill me with a mutant death stare. I am lucky I survived his class and was able to use him as inspiration for Mr. Stuart’s character in THE LIPSTICK LAWS.
Teen Trauma #4 – During my sophomore year, I was booted from the cross country team for missing one too many practices. Can you blame me, though? I mean, who wants to run 700 miles when you can be eating pizza after school with friends instead?
Teen Trauma #5 – I fell madly in puppy love… only to experience puppy love gone wrong… only to be reunited with puppy love… only to suffer through puppy love gone wrong again… and so on and so on for about three years.
Teen Trauma #6 – After much scheming on my end to move up on the popularity totem pole, I was officially promoted to a popular lunch table. My feelings of success were quickly squashed when I realized I felt totally out of place and unsure of myself in the dog-eat-dog land of popularity Nazis.
Teen Trauma #7 - Falling down a set of stairs into a very hot older guy at a party during my freshman year in high school was an ultimate high school low for me. The bruises from the fall went away, but my bruised ego never recovered.
Teen Trauma #8 – Some close friends moved away...and my best friend and I grew apart… enough said.
Teen Trauma #9 – I got three tickets within the first month of having my license (and many more to follow over the next couple years). This pretty much certified me as the worst high school driver EVER. I’d like to just say that I’m a fabulous driver now and have not had a speeding ticket since I was nineteen. *curtsey*
Teen Trauma #10 - The horrifying experience of my first kiss was enough to make me want to join a nunnery. I equate it to a drooling windmill in my mouth. I have never been able to look at windmills the same since. TMI, I know.
So there you have it, humiliation at its finest! I’ve clearly lived through some teenage lows…but there were also plenty of highs to balance out high school for me. Both the ups and downs that I experienced have inspired plenty of absurd fodder for my young adult stories… and I’d like to think that I’m still haunted enough by certain teen traumas to bring authentic teen angst to my characters. Now please excuse me while I go cry into a pillow and write my next book.