Wednesday, May 16, 2012

From the Mouths of Babes

I have a wonderful guest post by Lauren Grimley today, but I couldn't resist putting her cover up first. I just love it and can't really explain why other than to say it evokes a nostalgic feeling, reminding me of old Hollywood movies. Enjoy her teaser and post!

Unforeseen teaser:

Alex was quite sure giftedwas a term delusional parents applied to their strictly average children, vampires were gorgeous dead guys in her eighth-grade girls' novels, and Seers was a middle schooler's misspelling of a department store famous for power tools. Teachers, however, don't know everything–it’s Alex’s turn to be educated.

Hoping just to clear her mind Alex Crocker leaves work for a late night run across the small city of Bristol, Mass. Instead she is dragged violently into a feud she never would have known existed had she not become the newest quarry. She quickly learns she’s being hunted for possessing a gift she never wanted, one that could kill her or provide her the power she’ll need to protect herself and those she cares for.

Despite her desire to maintain her independence, Alex quickly becomes tied to the Rectinatti vampires through bonds of friendship, loyalty, and most surprisingly, love. These bonds, coupled with the new knowledge that she is in grave danger are enough to make her want to stay. But it’s learning what is really at stake that drives her to fight.

From the Mouths of Babes
by Lauren Grimley

            Since Caron's books are geared towards young adults and we're both teachers who enjoy this age group, I thought it appropriate during National Teacher's Week to turn the tables and thank my students.  Because, although Unforeseen and the rest of the series is adult urban fantasy, I never would have written it if it hadn't been for "my kiddos," as I call them. 

            I'm an eighties baby born just three months into the decade, so naturally my first foray into fantasy came from playing Star Wars in the woods with the neighborhood kids.  Being short and chubby back then (not much has changed), I was nearly always assigned the unexciting role of Ewok, while the older girls got to play Princess Leia and the boys Jedi Knights.  It was no wonder I shied away from the genre for years after that. 

            It wasn't until I was studying to be an English teacher at Boston University that I returned.  I grudgingly admitted that if I were going to teach middle school, I'd have to read what the kids were reading.  So I picked up the first of those "boy wizard" books with the enthusiasm usually reserved for touching items infected by contagious diseases.  It certainly was contagious.  Two years later my students lovingly referred to me as the crazy Harry Potter teacher.  My love of fantasy had begun. 

            But vampires?  That seemed to be taking it too far.  It wasn't until the Twilight craze completely consumed my fantasy book club, turning my Friday afternoons into a frenzy of giggling tween girls, that I capitulated.  Once again I headed to the library with dread.  There was no way I was going to like these books or any others with fang-faced protagonists.  Once again I was wrong.  Within the span of one summer my Harry Potter collection was fighting for room on my bookshelves with vampire books ranging from Stoker's classic to the Sookie Stackhouse series.

            It wasn't long before ideas for my own types of vampires began creeping into my imagination.  Two years ago I officially set aside the realistic fiction novel I'd been struggling to finish since college and set out to write my first fantasy.  The rough hand-written draft of Unforeseen was completed less than three months later.  It just goes to show that teachers have as much to learn from our students, as we have to teach them.  I'm not saying I'll read any book my middle schoolers recommend, but from now on, I'm going to be much less leery to try something new.

About Lauren:

 Lauren Grimley is the author of Unforeseen an urban fantasy just released by Malachite Quills Publishing. To pay the bills and test her sanity she teaches middle school English in Central Massachusetts. Though she writes mostly fantasy, she likes to share her thoughts on writing, teaching, and life through her blog.

Her loves are lounging on a quiet beach, writing on the deck, and reading on rainy day with the cat on her lap.

Links to connect with Lauren and learn more about her and her writing:
Available on Barnes & Noble:
and Amazon:
Personal website with an excerpt and a trailer for Unforeseen:
Twitter @legrimley!/legrimley

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