Or at least that's what a lot of my middle school teachers wrote on my report cards. They may not have said it in those exact words, but trust me--they meant it.
For me, middle school was this weird combination of Holy crap I can't wait to get out of this place and Best. Years. Ever. It was the time when I got bullied the most, but it was also the three years of my life when I made some of my absolute closest friends. I was a certified band geek, a comic book nerd, the founder of a don't-tell-anyone-we-dance dance crew, the creator of the Cherokee Ghostbusting Club, and the proud owner of a complete Ernest P. Worrell outfit (which I wore for an entire month).
Yeah, awkward would be a good way to describe my middle school life.
But it was during those years when I started figuring out what kind of person I was going to be. I loved being part of a team. Part of group. Part of something bigger than myself. Even when I think back to my absolute favorite movies, they're the ones that feature the rag-tag group of guys and girls, each with their own quirky personality. Alone, they're not much. But put them together and you've got yourselves Ghostbusters, The Goonies, or a Monster Squad.
And here's what I figured out:
When you can find that group of people who can truly appreciate your odd-ness, your strange-ocity, your eternal immaturity, you learn really fast that being weird can be a safe thing. Unfortunately, that comforting blanket of stick-togetherness sort of faded away when we got to high school. Sports, girlfriends, boyfriends, peer pressure, and everything else started to pull all of us in different directions. And while we lost a lot of that group energy we loved so much in middle school, what we kept helped us get through those next four years in one piece.
So if I had to boil my why-I-write-MG answer down to a single reason, it'd probably be that. Middle school sucked in more ways than a thousand, but it gave me something I'd never let go of. And every time I write, I want that theme to blaze through the entire book and shout out from every page.
That it's okay to just be yourself.
For my giveaway, I'll be creating a book trailer for one lucky (published or unpublished) winner. The trailer will include any music, text, and pictures you'd like. The finished product will be between one and two minutes long and I promise to make it kick as much butt as I can.
Here's an example of what I'll try to pull off:
ONE by Leigh Ann Kopans Book Trailer
Good luck and thanks for entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway