Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Because of A Book with Shannon Primicerio

This week's post features author Shannon Primicerio.  Please help me welcome Shannon to the blog.  I am very excited about her post.  When I first started working on this feature, she sent me the following email:
I’m definitely interested. When I was a teenager I read a series by Robin Jones Gunn that made me want to become a writer. Without knowing this, my first editor asked Robin to write the foreword for my first book! So, it’s been wonderful to get to know the woman who made me want to be a writer. I would love to write about the series I read back then, and the new spin-off series she is currently writing. I’ve even emailed her to see if she’d be willing to donate an autographed copy to one of your readers.
 I told Shannon that it sounded like a story that needed to be told, so I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.  Here's a little about Shannon:

From the moment she learned to talk, author and speaker Shannon (Kubiak) Primicerio has been engaging audiences with her wit and wisdom. A writer from the second she learned to hold a pencil, Shannon brings a deep passion for God and a keen awareness of the issues teen girls face to both the page and the stage. Whether you are reading one of her books or sitting in an auditorium listening to her speak, you will feel like you know Shannon—and like she knows you. In addition to writing nine books to Christian teen girls, Shannon also created her own writing curriculum for tweens and teens. She has a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Biblical Studies from Biola University. Shannon resides in Southern California with her husband, Michael.

In junior high I was the epitome of awkward. I had long blonde hair and a gangly frame. In most social settings I was too shy to do something as basic as ordering from a restaurant menu. On most days I just wanted to escape. Whenever navigating the social woes of adolescence became too much for me, I would transport myself into another world through the pages of a book.

I must have been eleven or twelve at the time I met Christy Miller. Little did I know then that she would be a friend I would share countless experiences with. In many ways, Christy Miller saved me from the clumsiness of my life by navigating her own mortifying moments with grace and humility. I’ll never forget the time she went on a date with Todd only to discover, once she got home, that she had chocolate smeared across her face. Or the time she was invited to a slumber party only to be left feeling like an outsider by everyone else there. Christy’s life became so intertwined with my own that I sometimes couldn’t tell where her life ended and mine began. In many ways Christy Miller was like the best friend I never had. To some she may just be a fictional character in a series of books, but to me she will always be more than that.

It’s no surprise to me that the books in The Christy Miller series became best sellers. Many girls have found comfort, humor and respite from their own adolescence and teen years in the pages of her story. Several years ago, I pulled out some of my old journals from my “Christy Miller years” and found a paragraph that took me by surprise. I had written this about the author of The Christy Miller books: “What I admire most about Robin Jones Gunn is her legacy, and I hope to one day touch lives with my writing the way she has touched mine…”

It was on the pages of The Christy Miller series that I first found my passion for writing. During what were some of the most awkward years of my life I began to dream about writing books that would change the lives of teenage girls in the same way Christy Miller changed mine. And in what Christy would call a “God thing” Robin Jones Gunn wrote the foreword for my first book The Divine Dance. My editor had no clue that I even knew who Robin was. She just knew she was a popular author to teens, and thought her endorsement would help sales for a newcomer like me.

The Divine Dance could have tanked and I still would have been thrilled to receive the stamp of approval from a woman whose own words had greatly shaped my life. Thankfully, the book didn’t tank and is still selling six years later. My friendship with Robin also grew into something much more than a simple foreword. And I’m thankful for all she has taken the time to teach me about being an author who truly changes lives.

In 2001 the final chapter in Christy’s story was written, and girls around the world mourned the loss of a friend they had followed for years. Thankfully, though, there was more left to Christy’s story and in 2008 Robin launched a new series with all the same characters focusing on the life of Christy’s best friend Katie Weldon. Now new fans, and old alike, can follow the adventures of a crazy redhead and the forever friend she shared with so many.

One lucky reader will receive an autographed copy of the newest book in the Katie Weldon series. Coming Attractions promises to be a fun adventure with Christy, Katie and all of their friends.

You can learn more about Robin and Shannon at their respective websites: http://www.robingunn.com/ and http://www.beingagirlbooks.com/

About Summer Promise (The Christy Miller series #1):  Fourteen-year-old Christy Miller has the dream summer ahead of her in sun-kissed California, staying with her aunt and uncle at their beachfront home. Aunt Marti loves to shop, and those surfers are cute—especially Todd. Christy promised her parents she wouldn’t do anything she’d regret later, and some of her beach friends are a little wild. But Todd and his “God-Lover” friends are giving Christy a new image of all things eternal. Can this summer live up to its promise?

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powells
Buy it at IndieBound

About The Divine Dance:  We want to be liked—that's why we put so much energy into pleasing others. Life has become a dance that we perform for others, auditioning for a place in the hearts of everyone we meet. We put our energy into performances to please our parents, friends, teachers, boys—even people we don't know. It's simple: We all desire to be loved and accepted. But in this busy, complicated world, we should be dancing as we were designed to—for the One who really cares. When the audiences are gone and we take off our masks, that's the part the Director likes best. Away from the alluring lights and demanding crowds, we can know ourselves and God in a powerful, meaningful way. When we realize that the One who matters already loves us, we will flourish in this life that is the Divine Dance.  

Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powells
Buy it at IndieBound

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