Happy 2015 from Monkey Poop!
For my very first blog post this year, I’m excited to have a Q&A guest post from Anna Staniszewski, author of the The Gossip File (Book 3 in the super fun Dirt Diary series). This post is part of a whole virtual book tour, and the publisher is offering a giveaway of the entire series (see the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post). Without further ado, here’s the question for the author.
Q: In The Gossip File Rachel is pretending to be someone she’s not to hang out with the cool kids. What’s your advice to kids and teens about finding a group to hang out with?
Anna Staniszewski: When I was Rachel’s age, I tried on various personas and interests in an attempt to figure out where I fit. Was I was one of those girls who spent her life at the mall? Was I into moody music and all-black outfits? Or was I a runner who hung out with the cross country team? I wound up testing out each of these versions of me, seeing which one felt the best.
The truth was, I could feel comfortable in different groups—I loved hanging out with the cross country team and sometimes a trip to the mall was fun—but I eventually realized I was at my happiest when I was doing theater and music. Those were the interests that I’d had for most of my life, and it was when I found other people who were as into them as I was that I finally accepted the fact that they were the biggest part of me.
But I’m glad I tried out those different versions of me because it helped show that I wasn’t just one thing, and it helped me to get to know different kinds of people. But I’m also glad that I eventually was honest with myself about what mattered most. I could have spent my teenage years shopping instead of writing plays and making music, but I think that time would have wound up feeling a little empty because I wouldn’t have been doing what I really loved.
I suppose that’s my advice: It’s great to try out different groups and interests, especially if you’re not sure where you fit best, but you also want to make sure the things you wind up doing and the people you end up hanging out with are ones that make you feel the most like you. If you spend all your time pretending to be someone else, it can be fun at first, but (as Rachel discovers) it can also be exhausting. Ultimately, you want to make sure you don’t lose the things about you that make you who you are.
Book synopsis from the publisher:
The Gossip File:
•Chandra lets little kids pee in the pool.
•Melody stole $ from the café register.
•Ava isn’t who she says she is…
Ava is cool. Ava is confident. Ava is really Rachel Lee who is lying her butt off.
Rachel is visiting her dad at a resort in sunny Florida and is ready for two weeks of relaxing poolside, trips to Disney World – and NOT scrubbing toilets. Until her dad’s new girlfriend, Ellie, begs Rachel to help out at her short-staffed café. That’s when Rachel kinda sorta adopts a new identity to impress the cool, older girls who work there. Ava is everything Rachel wishes she could be. But when the girls ask “Ava” to help add juicy resort gossip to their file, Rachel’s not sure what to do…especially when one of the entries is a secret about Ellie.
About the Author:
Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and eating far too much chocolate. She is the author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series, the Dirt Diary series, and the forthcoming Switched at First Kiss series, all published by Sourcebooks. Visit her at www.annastan.com.