Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guest Blog- Andrew Landis (Bold)

Julia Swift and Andrew Landis have been writing in Los Angeles about emotional underdogs for more than a decade on television shows like "Smallville" and "The Book of Daniel," and they recently published their first Young Adult novel, Bold.

I have a short little guest blog today from Andrew that I hope you all will enjoy!

On Shyness:

When I was six or seven, I took piano lessons once a week. Going to Mrs. Fossbenner’s house every Wednesday after school became a part of my life for five years. I didn’t mind going too much because I knew my teacher, and all I had to do was perform the pieces assigned the week before in front of a 70-plus-year-old Pennsylvania Dutch woman. If I played well, afterwards I would be allowed to select a piece of hard candy -- usually with an oozy fruit center -- from a bowl on the cubby by the door as I waited for my mom. No big deal.

Trauma only came once a year as Mrs. Fossbenner would organize a recital of all of her students for a showcase. I didn’t care that I fell somewhere in between the best and the worst. I didn’t mind that many of her students studied classical music while I gravitated toward theme songs from movies – think “Born Free” or “You Light Up My Life” or “Tomorrow.” What frightened me was having to play a piece in front of more than 200 people.

I suffered my worst moment of anxiety during my second year of recitals. Remembering how nervous I felt the first time around, I told my mother on the way to the concert that we needed to stop at the hospital because I was having a heart attack. Mom convinced me it was all in my head and somehow talked me into continuing on to the recital. I had no idea that my mom would share that story with Mrs. Fossbenner behind my back and that my teacher would use that anecdote as my introduction.

Everyone laughed. I died. And I distinctly remember looking around the room, pretending to search for this poor kid who didn’t want to perform, because I somehow thought if I didn’t go to the stage, we would simply move on.

When the laughter died down and my teacher stood up again and re-announced my name, I realized there was no way out. I rose from my seat and took to the stage. I sat down and adjusted the bench, refusing to look at my mother in the crowd. And I began to play – Vince Guaraldi’s theme music to “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Linus provided me with my security blanket that night.

Here's more information on their book Bold:

"Sasha, a shy, 15-year-old girl who hides from the world, almost dies in a car crash and vows that if she survives, she will be bold and live life to the fullest. Her newfound courage is tested when she meets Will, who just moved to her Air Force desert town after his journalist father’s disappearance. Will is fascinated by Sasha’s brush with and secret knowledge of death.
Sasha and Will push each other to take chances and break out of their sheltered suburban world. But will they discover there is a difference between being bold and being stupid before they put themselves, or someone else, in danger?"- summary from Amazon

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