Monday, March 22, 2010

Guest Post: Bobbie Pyron & THE RING. Win the book!

Hey Peeps!

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.

Contest ends at Noon MST on March 28th, and winners will be announced sometime that same day or the next.

P.S. You can also read an excerpt of THE RING!

P.S.S. Don't forget, I'm on a blog tour! Click HERE for the official schedule.


Anonymous said...

1. Archery! Always wanted to try it

2. Money for one, the equipment is not cheap, and also there are no places around here that offer practice areas (from New Orleans, not real big on archery).

One day I will try though. It's a goal.

-Lauren ( bookaholic117 at yahoo dot com)

twitter: lag117

Variety said...

1. Homesteading - as much as that can be a hobby, I'd love to simplify my life and start living off my land more efficiently.

2. Time. I'm back in school, and being a student and full time mom and wife is crazy enough. Once this phase of life is over, though, I intend to try a few homesteading activities (first up, better gardening, composting, and preserving then maybe chickens.)


ronna15 said...

@Lauren: No way!! Me too! I'd been dying to learn archery, but yeah same problems, money and time.

Hoping to catch up on it when I finally have the money and time.


Lisa said...

1. I long to return to karate. I already have my brown belt and feel as if I left something vital undone.

2. I injured both of my shoulders. The left one's habit of spontaneously dislocating at somewhat frequent and random moments has, at least for the foreseeable future, put and end to my martial arts career.

(Twitter handle: lkblair)

Dwayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valynne said...

Congrats Bobbie!

Borostyán said...

1. Ice skating! I've always envied the others for beeing so loose on ice.
2. I tried. 2 times. And I was very impatient with myself. I was afraid of falling, and somebody always had to be at my side and glide me (and protect me not to fall on my face :). So instead of trying it for the 3rd time, I wish I was a little child again to have a fearless chance to learn ice skating.

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Ooh, I've tried archery and ice skating. Archery was so much fun, but a hard hobby to keep up. I took a few ice skating classes in middle school, but I was too afraid to ever try jumping or anything like that.

Dwayne, seriously, a fear of water? That must make life kind of hard!

And whoops, contest ends MARCH 28th! My brain is so word fried right now.

Aubrey (AKA Stacey) said...

1. If you could take up any new hobby right now, what would it be?

Hmmm, I would have to say organizing and decorating my house. I know its not much of a hobby, but it would have to be a full time hobby to get my house in order!

2. What's stopping you from doing it?

Honestly? Constraints on my time, and the fact that I have more fun things to do like read awesome books!

Anonymous said...

1.Probably Archery. I would love to learn!

2. Well, there's no place/camp around me that teaches it. Also i don't have enough time. = [

EVA SB said...

I would love to join my son's karate class. I love martial arts.
But I just can't convince my son's (excellent) teacher to open an adults group.

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Eva- I would totally love to do a mother-son karate class. I think that sounds like a lot of fun.

Kayla said...

Does going back to school count as a hobby? If not, I would love to join a really good choir.

What's stopping me... hm, that list includes 4 children, my job, my husband's work schedule, financial constraints, and the fact that I haven't sung regularly for 3.5 years and I'm vocally out of shape. I guess that means it's time to practice! :)

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Kayla- Start practicing! I'd bet you'd do great. Plus, that hobby sounds like a great way to cope with the kiddos. Every mom needs a break for a bit.

Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) said...

1. I want to play track.

2. Short legs.

Jackson Porter said...

1. If I could take up one hobby right now it would be Curling. (It's a sport by the way.)

2. The thing stopping me from doing it is the place I'm in. As far as I know Salt Lake City doesn't hold any Curling leagues. Which really stinks.

Well Bree I finally got your book, I haven't started yet because I JUST got it and I'm reading Fablehaven 5, but the cover is awesome and your signature is pretty artistic.

Can't wait to read the book!!!

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

Thanks, Jackson! I hope you enjoy TDD--and Fablehaven 5. Hopefully, TDD isn't too girly for you. Actually, I don't think it's all that girly. But there's definitely more kissing in it than Fablehaven. :)

angie said...

The hobby I would love to take up would be race car driving. I would love the thrill of the high speeds.
What's stopping me? Money and the idea of going at high rates of speed. It's kind of a catch 22.
Thanks for the giveaway!
email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com