There are many things associated with that word: fear, disbelief, incredulity, fear, awkward, hormones, angst, angry, peer-pressure.
These years are tense and awkward for both the teen and their parents. I often hear parents speak of wanting to put off these years for as long as possible. It doesn’t even necessarily mean they have older kids and have gone through the teen years. Parents KNOW what the teen years will be like because they’ve gone through it. And regardless of the decade, being a teen is pretty much the same.
They are trying to figure out who they are while trying to be someone else to please everyone around them. Talk about stressful! But it’s true. Teens tend to latch onto whoever (or whatever) is popular at a given moment and they try like hell to become that or to buy it. Most often the people are the cheerleaders/football players and the things really depend on the decade. I went to high school in the 80’s (AWESOME by the way!) so the cool kids had the pagers and LA Gear or Converse. I admit, I had two pairs of Converse sneakers and felt so awesome! And in the 80’s, popularity was also measured in cans of Aqua Net hair spray!
LOL Not really, but if it were I would have won hands down!
|That’s me on the far right|
There’s no “best” way to get through these years. And contrary to popular belief, no one gets through these years unscathed. Even the kids we think are perfect have dealt with tough times. We just never notice because we are dealing with our own crap.
YA/coming of age books/fantasy often have teens dealing with many of the common issues that all teens deal with, plus maybe throwing in something even more dramatic. In the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series, Alex deals with bullying, first crush (he doesn’t even know she exists), and feeling out of place. She also has to contend with a deadbeat dad who left and her and her mom penniless and living with an aunt in another town.
Oh, and she sees the reflections of strange girls in mirrors.
I know, right??!!?? Talk about stressful! Not only that, she travels back in time and inhabits the bodies of these girls. She finds out that she must protect the time line from an evil bastard trying to change the past.
Poor kid! But Alex is tough and she’s smart! Had a knack for history that will give her the edge she needs to beat the bad guy. And what she learns along the way will help her cope with issues in her regular teen life.
How did you/are you dealing with tough teen issues? A random commenter will win an e-book copy of Dangerous Reflections!
Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out.
To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?
Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fundraiser), and Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy).
You can find Dr. West and more of her work at Shay-West.com.
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Interview with Dr. Shay West
At what point in your life did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I actually never set out to be a writer LOL I wrote as a kid and in high school but never really took it seriously. I figured it would be too difficult to make it as a writer so focused on my passion for biology and went to graduate school. I ended up having a dream I couldn’t shake and that led me to start writing again (Portals of Destiny series). And I’ve been writing ever since!
Who is your favorite character in Dangerous Reflections? And why? I’d have to say the main character, Alex. There’s so much of me in her J
Alex travels back in time to a few different locations in Dangerous Reflections. Pick one of those places and time that you would like to travel to. I’d have to say Ireland! I’ve always wanted to go there and why not back in medieval times? I just hope I don’t get the plague...
Where did you get the idea to write Dangerous Reflections? I was getting ready for work one day and thought about how cool it would be to have the reflection change to someone else. The story just sort of evolved from there!
If Dangerous Reflections gets made into a movie, who would you like to see play Alex? I picture her as Alyson Stone (Suite Life of Zach and Cody).
Where are we most likely to find you writing? I am usually at home on the couch with my cats snuggled next to me. Every once and awhile I will write at work but it’s usually too distracting.
What’s the most discouraging thing that happened while trying to write/publish, and how did you get over it? Being turned down by literally hundreds of agents between the Portals series and the Alexis series. I kept on writing those query letters and researched self-publishing, to give myself a way to get my stories into the hands of readers. And one of those readers happened to be the owner/CEO of Booktrope, where I am now published!
Any advice for aspiring writers? Practice, practice, and practice some more! I can definitely tell a difference in my writing between my first series and the Alexis series. If you have the means and the time, attend writers conferences. Reach out to other writers as they will often be an amazing source of support. Write what you know and love. DON’T write something just because you think it’s trendy or a genre that’s hot right now. Your heart won’t be in it and your readers will know.
What’s your favorite book? I’d have to say the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Who’s your favorite author? Tolkein J
Do you listen to music while writing, or do you need silence? Neither one LOL I have tried to listen to music but it’s distracting. I have something on TV that I don’t need to pay attention to, something I’ve seen a hundred times, just as long as it’s background noise.
What do you like to do when not writing? I’m a biology professor by day and I absolutely love my job! It’s so rewarding to be able to share my love of all things science with my students. I enjoy reading, camping, hunting, hanging with family and friends.
What’s your favorite dinner…..and dessert? My mom’s homemade spaghetti and strawberry shortcake! I get them every year for my birthday :D
If you had to pick one movie or tv show to watch for the rest of your life, what would it be? Doctor Who, hands down
If you could spend a day with any one person from the past, who would it be? Jesus of Nazareth
Lastly, any other books that you are working on that we should look out for? There are two other books in the Alexis series (Twisted Reflections and Desperate Reflections) that will launch later this summer. The book I’m currently writing is an urban fantasy about people from another world coming to Earth to steal organs. The working title is The Harvesters. I’ve been known to change titles so it *could* change but it’s really growing on me so it will probably stay.