I'm still working hard on THE LOST SAINT and hoping you'll all love the results. In the meantime, my author friend Bobbie Pyron is stopping by the blog today to tell us about her book THE RING. Which is not only about a girl who boxes--which basically means it's made of awesome--but also delves into the deeper issues of being a troubled teen. And the best part is, I'm giving away an autographed copy!
Here's a teaser sentence about the book:
In The Ring, fifteen-year-old Mardie is trying her best to fit in at high school, with disastrous results. She finally hits rock bottom. Her salvation: the boxing ring.
And here's what Publisher's Weekly has to say about THE RING:
"Although the action sequences are well written, it's Mardie's character development that will hook reader....Pyron does an admirable job of conveying teenage troubles...and hits at social issues like racism and homophobia without proselytizing." --Publishers Weekly
Anyway, Bobbie is here to tell us about the inspiration for THE RING. So take it away, my friend:
The Story Behind The Ring (or What's a Nice Buddhist Girl Doing Writing a Book Like This):
So there I was at a writers retreat, planning to revise and write some new picture books. I'd been writing picture books for about a year and a half. They were perfectly nice, sweet picture books too. But then I heard this voice—a kind of snarky, teenage-girl voice say, “Okay, here's number one on the top-ten list of signs you've totally screwed up: riding in the back of a cop car at one in the morning.” Definitely not a picture book voice! But the voice wouldn't leave me alone, and so I spent the rest of the weekend retreat writing the first chapter of The Ring.
The voice (and the inspiration) were not without precedence. The year before, my then fourteen-year-old stepdaughter was getting into much the same trouble as Mardie, the main character in The Ring. One day, after my stepdaughter had been grounded for the millionth time, she showed me an article in our local newspaper about girls-only boxing classes at a gym. “I want to do that,” she said. Her dad and I were desperate to find anything that might help re-focus her anger, so we signed her up. Believe me when I say I detest violence of any kind and have never, ever been interested in boxing. But as I took her to her classes over the next several months and hung around the gym and the girls and the trainers and did what all good writers do—eavesdrop—I learned something: boxing, at least for these girls, wasn't about violence; it was about focus and camaraderie and believing in yourself. And it was that spirit, that planted seed that grew in The Ring.Thanks for sharing, Bobbie!
Now on the contest. All you have to do to enter the to win an autographed copy of THE RING is comment with your answers to these two questions:
1. If you could take up any new hobby right now, what would it be?
2. What's stopping you from doing it?
To kick things off, I'll tell you my answers:
1. Honestly, I'd love to start boxing or learn a martial art like Kung Fu. I box a bit with gloves and a heavy bag in my basement, but I'd love to learn how to do the real thing.
2. What's keeping me from doing it? I have an irrational fear of getting punched in the face. Wait, isn't it perfectly rational to fear getting punched in the face? Or maybe I'm just worried about karma getting back at me for punching that guy in the nose when I was a teenager--at church.
Anyway, I can't wait to read your answers, so comment away to win THE RING! As always, you can win extra entries in the contest by tweeting/facebooking/blogging about the contest.
P.S. You can also read an excerpt of THE RING! Contest ends at Noon MST on March 28th, and winners will be announced sometime that same day or the next.
Contest ends at Noon MST on March 28th, and winners will be announced sometime that same day or the next.
P.S.S. Don't forget, I'm on a blog tour! Click HERE for the official schedule.