Thursday, August 23, 2012

BLOG TOUR: At What Cost by J. Andersen (Guest Post)

During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side.

While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.

What inspired me to be a writer?
I think there are a few things that inspired me to be a writer. I always liked it and when I was in high school, I won short story writing contests, but when you get to college, being an author isn’t really on the list of jobs that will help support the family. I went into teaching. From the time I was little, I wanted to be a teacher. Being a writer was just one of those side jobs.
Writing seriously wasn’t really on my radar until I was in my third or fourth year of teaching. I began reading what the students were reading and fell in love with YA literature. In the back of my mind I kept thinking, “I could do this. I could write like this.” So I began praying about it. I pretty much told God that if he wanted me to write, he had to give me a story. He did, and six years ago I began writing Maggie’s story.
The funny thing is, I knew I always liked to write, but as I look back on my life, it’s only been recently that I realize this was really what I was supposed to do from the start. Don’t get me wrong, I loved teaching. LOVED, loved, but I can see in hindsight how all sorts of things came together to make me a writer. For instance, when I was at summer camp when I was twelve, I remember talking about life goals. Mine was to write a book by the time I was twenty five. But I never did anything with it after that. Just a few months ago, my mom was cleaning out her garage and found boxes of old papers from when I was in grade school. She gave me a packet that I made in the third grade. One of the pages said, “I want to be famous for”. I said I wanted to be famous for writing a book. I don’t even remember that! Now, as I look back, there were clues as early at third grade that told me I should have been a writer.
I got the idea for At What Cost through prayer. Once I knew I was going to write a book, I started praying about a topic. God said, “Abortion.” I said, “Ummm, no.” He said, “Ummm, yes.” Let’s just say, you don’t argue with God. It’s always been a topic on my heart and at that time, my husband was on the board of our local women’s services center, so I was able to easily get information in the form of pamphlets. The head of Women’s Services also set me up with several interviews with post abortive women. It was just like everything fell into place. Once I began talking about writing a book on this topic, I had more women approach me and ask if they could tell me their stories. It was really amazing. In the end, little bits of those women’s stories made it into the book.
Loving YA as much as I do, I knew the story would be YA. Through my teaching experiences, I learned just how much teenage girls talk openly about their sex lives. And most of the time it doesn’t matter who’s listening. For a few of my students, I was a shoulder to cry on. All of these things inspired me to write Maggie’s story.

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***I can't wait to read this book!! The cover is amazing and the book description sounds awesome!! And thanks so much for sharing your writing inspiration with us!!***

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me here. It was fun to do a guest post. I see you like the cover. The cover artist did a phenomenal job, don't you think? I was so excited when I first saw it. Anyway, I'm glad I could stop by.


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