Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bronze by B.B. Shepherd: Character Interview and Excerpt

bronze
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bronze

The Glister Journals: Bronze


Allison Anderson knows she's a little different, but it hadn't bothered her too much-until now. Moving away from everything she's ever known to a new house, new neighborhood, and new school is bad enough, but it's her first year of high school too, making it even more intimidating. She's more aware of her social and physical limitations than ever before. And then there are the new people she meets: the tough-looking girl in her home room; the cute but dangerous-looking boy she first saw before school even started; the quiet, older girl who keeps to herself; the sullen-looking, seemingly isolated junior that doesn't seem to trust or like her at all. Can she trust them? While the peaceful situation of her new home only amplifies the sound of her own doubts, she begins to learn that things are not always what they seem, and her world is turned upside-down by these new friends, two-legged and otherwise. Life soon becomes more complicated, and much more interesting!





About The Glister Journals series:
The Glister Journals series is told from the perspective of a normal but not average teenage girl. It is not obvious, but Allison has a mild pervasive developmental disorder (autism spectrum). She thinks and experiences things a little differently from most of the other kids. In the past it has caused her to be alienated at best and bullied at worst. After the family moves, she becomes involved with a group of teens that open up new worlds to her. The four book series follows her through high school but is equally about her friends who have their own problems, fears, and aspects of their lives they’d rather keep quiet. There is action—mostly in the form of equestrian and extreme sports—and though there are only hints of it in Bronze, there is a love story which will play a more prominent part as the series progresses. The main story is about assumptions, acceptance, love, and friendship, though there are other themes running throughout the series.


 
 

Snow Day 

I stood gawking for quite some time until something hard, cold, and stinging hit the back of my head. Sure of my attacker, I turned around, ready to protest Dave’s behavior, but was brought up short.

Chris stood several yards away, coolly regarding me, expressionless as ever, and forming another snowball between gloved hands. My jaw dropped and my eyes popped wide as I realized he’d not only circled around and hidden in the trees waiting for me to come out into the open, but was now preparing, very deliberately, to pelt me with another projectile. I began backing away as quickly as the snow and cumbersome boots allowed.

“Get her, Henry,” he said, calmly.

What?! The next thing I knew, I’d been tackled by a very robust eight year old, almost knocked off my feet, and was now held quite firmly, my arms pinned against my sides. I expected Chris to lob the snowball from where he stood, but instead he began walking very slowly toward me, holding the large, obviously firmly packed orb in his right hand.

“No . . .” I said, unbelieving and looking for a way out of the situation. I looked to Dave who had moved out of the way as soon as I’d gotten hit, probably thinking he was next. He now watched, looking a little confused but apparently amused enough to allow his brothers to continue.

“Henry!” I said firmly, managing to extricate my arms. “Let . . . me . . . go!” I gasped, now ineffectively working to remove his arms from around my waist.

He just started laughing. Now I was laughing too—very nervously.

Chris continued his slow, deliberate progress toward me, torturing me with anticipation until he stood directly in front of me. He wasn’t looking me straight in the eyes but took brief glances there.

“What? You don’t really think I’d hit you square in the face with this do you?”

I laughed nervously again. “I . . . don’t . . . um . . .”

He scowled slightly as if hurt that I’d consider such a thing. “I’d never do that,” he said, and I felt a moment of relief. Perhaps he was content with having alarmed me badly.
Nope. In the next instant he had slipped behind me, grabbed the back of my collar and stuffed as much of the well-packed snowball down it as he could before Henry’s grip loosened and they both let me go. I squealed loudly, both from the cold of the attack and the absolute fright he’d given me in actually doing it. Henry was rolling on the ground laughing. I quickly unzipped my jacket and tried to remove as much of the offending ice from my back as I could.
 



Praise for Bronze


Allison narrates a gentle coming-of-age story that has a strong equine subplot…undeveloped plot points hint at future complications and will likely keep readers looking for the next entry. — Cindy Welch Booklist Online


Written with intelligent humor, this tale follows an awkward girl as she enters a new school...This is a strong first book, both for Shepherd and for the series. The friendships the characters build are realistic and lifelike, strong, and durable, just like bronze. — Beth VanHouten ForeWord Reviews


The story is well-written and sweetly told. Allison’s anxieties and insecurities are true-to-life, and so affectionately and clearly portrayed as to make anyone who’s ever been through adolescence wince in sympathy. Dave, Robin and Chris are complicated, intelligent, three-dimensional characters whom the reader enjoys getting to know, and all of the minor characters are vividly drawn and believably real. The author is adept at setting a scene, both external and internal, bringing Allison’s mind and world to vivid life. — Catherine Langrehr IndieReader


"Bronze: The Glister Journals" is a well-written novel of teenagers and their world. It is also a story of horses and teenage horsemanship. The main character Allison is a totally delightful fourteen year old girl whose innocence and awkwardness is refreshing. — Alice DiNizo Readers' Favorite






Hello Allison.  Thanks for stopping in. It’s a treat to meet you and find out a little about you.  Tell us about your family.

 

My family used to live in Los Angeles but we moved to a new town last year. I really like it a lot. I’m an only child so I’m alone most of the time, but I don’t mind. My mom works part time at the swimming pool in town. She doesn’t really have to, but she likes it and it gives her some social life. My dad is partners in a computer systems company and travels a lot.

 

My mom’s family still lives in LA. There’s Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Kate and her husband and their three children, and Aunt Audrey and her husband and two children. All my cousins are a lot younger than me. My other grandparents have passed away, but they lived on a ranch in Colorado. Now Aunt Isabel, Dad’s older sister, runs it pretty much by herself. Then there’s Uncle Dan and Aunt Emily, Dad’s younger brother and sister, and their families, but I was only six when I met them on a vacation and I don’t remember much. Dad’s not very close to his family.

 

What was the scariest moment of your life?

 

There’s never been anything too scary in my life before high school, but there were a couple of times last year I got a little scared because of some boys that seemed to have a problem with me. And I had a riding accident that was pretty scary. But last year my dad got very upset with me and I was really afraid he was going to forbid me to see my friend . . . a boy . . . ever again. Actually, that happened twice. I thought he might even make us move again. That was the worst.

 

What group did you hang out with in high school?

 

I just started high school last year, but before that I never really hung out in groups. This year was different though—I made some great friends. They’re not exactly from one group or another, unless you count ‘friends of the Calderas’ a group. I guess it kind of is, but I think it’s pretty diverse. Most of the people in the core group have horses in common though.

 

Do you play any sports?

 

No…sports and I don’t exactly get along, but almost all my other friends are involved in something. I’m a good swimmer though. That’s something I’ve done all my life. And this year I started learning how to ride, so I guess you could say I’m starting to do horse sports. I plan on doing much more too.

 

What are you passionate about these days?

 

I love horses and riding. I love music and I love to draw. But passionate? I’m most passionate about Dave. And my other friends, of course. He’s . . . they’re not going to see this are they?

 

What do you do to unwind and relax?

 

I like to hang out and talk to Remmy. He always makes me feel calm. I like to listen to music and draw too. I do that a lot. Sometimes I just need to sit by myself in the dark in my room. That sounds kind of weird, doesn’t it….

 

Who should play you in a film? 

 

Aunt Kate thinks I look a little like a young Charlize Theron but she’s way old now. Charlize, I mean. Aunt Audrey once told me I remind her of Laura Ramsey. But I’m only fifteen, so she’s too old too. I think maybe I look a little like her though, if I had really blond hair—which I don’t.

 

What makes you happy?

 

Being with Dave—his smile and his attention. Happy and nervous. Horses make me happy. Having friends. Music and drawing. A lot of things, I guess.

 

What is the next big thing?

 

Sophomore year—I can’t wait to see my friends again. It seems like it’s been forever! And learning to ride better. There’s so much I want to do! There’s something else I’m hoping for most of all, but I don’t feel comfortable saying it out loud here.

 

Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?

 
Not to worry. I worry all the time, but Dave was always telling me not to, so I’ve been working really hard on that.





indie reader




Author B.B. Shepherd


BBA graduate of Cal Poly with graduate work at Chapman and U C Santa Cruz, B. B. Shepherd has lived most of her life in California and loves the diverse beauty of its many landscapes. Music, horses, literature, and art have been her passions as long as she can remember. She enjoys road trips, almost all horse sports and extreme sports (as a spectator), and is addicted to research.


As a writer, Shepherd enjoys exploring emotions and motivations: why do people do what they do? She also likes trying to find the funny side of things. She admits to being a hopeless romantic and often gets in trouble for her sense of humor. Bronze is her debut novel, the first in a series of four called The Glister Journals. She currently works full time as a music professional and educator, and lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her youngest daughter and a very silly cat.





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