Guest Post

Blog Tour Part 2: Liz Maccie Talks about the Importance of Research

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 For Part 1 of the LINAMA Blog Tour Click Here.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Today I bring you Ms. Maccie’s thoughts on the importance of research when writing a novel. Many of us know research is an important part of the writing process, but sometimes we forget how crucial it is we do it. Especially when it comes to young adult fiction. Many young adult writers have not been teenagers for several years (and sometimes more than a decade) and it is important we immerse ourselves in a teenager environment. Thank you Ms. Maccie for taking the time to write this for my blog. Without further ado, Ms. Maccie:

Ms. Liz Maccie:

Since I had been out of high school for many years once I started writing “Lesson I Never Learned…” it was important for me to do some hands on research.  I had the wonderful opportunity to go back to my old high school and spend an entire day talking to kids and simply observing a day in the life of a teenager.  It’s funny because many things were how I remembered them to be, but then there were other aspects that I didn’t clearly remember.  One of my favorite parts of my day of research was walking back out to the reservoir behind the school.  The way it looked and sounded and smelled was so specific.  I even found a poem posted to a tree stump that I wound up putting in the book.  It certainly isn’t necessary, but since I was essentially writing about my old high school, it was a wonderful thing to get to go back and allow for my memory and imagination tmarry one another.
 
Besides that day, I really spent time looking back into my own past.  There are fragments of my personal experience woven throughout the entire book and in every character’s story.  So I feel there was an element of “personal research.”  I wrote down an entire list of events that had happened to me and deciphered which I most wanted to talk about.  I would say it was pretty obvious to me the issues I wanted to try and tackle right from the very beginning.  When writing a novel, you really need to open your own life up to be examined.  I do think it’s true, we write what we know, but sometimes its beneficial to research what we know.  What I mean by this is that you really have to get honest with yourself.  You have to do some personal excavation in order to tell the truth about things and that isn’t always easy.  
 
I was also lucky enough, at the time I was writing this novel, to be volunteering at a couple of schools with an organization called “The Young Storytellers.”  This is a fabulous group who helps kids find their voice and then write their very own screenplay, which eventually gets acted out by professional actors.  So even though these kids were younger, I think just being around kids was a great way to do research.  Really, when it comes down to it, we all care very much about a lot of the same things.  We all want to matter.  We all want to love and to be loved.  Kids are so candid and real.  It was great research to just be around such youthful honest energy.   

Author photo

AUTHOR BIO

Liz Maccie was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Bucknell University.  After college, she moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television writing.  She has had two movies produced, “The Thirst” and “Black and Blue.”  She went on to work at The Disney Channel until she found a home at the breakout ABC Family show, “Make it or Break it.”  She is currently adapting the wildly popular YA book, “The List” for MTV as a television show.  “Lessons” is Liz’s debut novel.

If you would like to know more about Liz Maccie or follow her on social media:

LINKS

Websitehttp://lizmaccie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizMaccieAuthor

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Lmaccie

Purchase LINLAMA: http://diversionbooks.com/ebooks/lessons-i-never-learned-meadowbrook-academy

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Special Review, ya contemporary

Blog Tour Part 1: Lessons I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy by Liz Maccie

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Disclaimer: Thank you Diversion Books and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.

Today is the fourth day of the Lesson I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy Blog Tour and I am happy to participate in the tour of this wonderful book. I’ve divided today’s festivities into two posts. Part 1 (which is this post) will focus on my thoughts of the book and such. Part 2 will consist of Ms. Liz Maccie’s guest post that she was so kind enough to write for my blog. Click Here to check out Part 2.

Lessons I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy (Small)

BOOK DESCRIPTION

“Liz Maccie’s debut novel is as tough, optimistic, and beautiful as her heroine, Roberta Romano. Roberta’s voice is heartfelt and funny. Her story is exceptionally moving and honest. I love this book and the hope it has for young women everywhere.” —Stephen Chbosky, New York Times bestselling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The most important lessons aren’t learned in the classroom.

It’s the first day of sophomore year for Roberta Romano, but instead of the comfort of her local high school, she’s been thrust into the elitist embrace of the affluent Meadowbrook Academy.

Surrounded by wealth, Roberta battles her own insecurities to prove her worth and maybe land the boy of her dreams. With the help of two unlikely allies—and an inflatable toy raft—Roberta embarks upon a journey of dark secrets and self-discovery to learn the true meaning of friendship and acceptance.

“Roberta will charm and delight you with a voice that’s candid, hilarious, and hopeful, as she narrates her first day at a new high school, reminding us of the epic nature of each hour in our adolescent lives. Lessons I Never Learned at Meadowbrook Academy will make you laugh, cringe, cry, and cheer for the power of friendships that can change us in a single day.” —Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead

“You wish your first day of prep school was this epic! Every single page of Lessons I Never Learned sparkles with heart and humor. Like a teenage Bridget Jones, Roberta Romano will make you laugh, cry, and cringe as she tries to navigate her first day at Meadowbrook Academy. She finds friends and enemies, earns detentions and serious respect, and makes memories that will last her a lifetime.” —Siobhan Vivian, author of The List

Review:

Our narrator is none other than Roberta Romano. She is a spunky Italian teenager that will leave you laughing or cringing (in a good way) every step of the way. Roberta is a sort of oxymoron because she is just like your average teenager and at the same time, she is not. She has characteristics that a teenager and even someone much older can relate to because we have all thought the same things and acted similarly when we were that age.

What I really loved about LINLAMA is that it talks about issues that should be talked about. Ms. Maccie does a wonderful job at not only making a relatable character, but also showing her grow and learn some very important lessons along the way.

There are a few sections in the book that captured my attention and that truly spoke to me and made me pause and reflect on what I had just read and realize how true those statements were. Here are a couple of those statements:

“Next time I was told by someone they had experienced the most amazing food ever, I would remember to ask who they were with and what they were doing before I asked what they were eating.”

“In my life, I have cried a lot. And I have felt really bad about many things. To be honest, I’ve always thought that no one else in the world could possibly understand just how much things hurt sometimes. But sitting there, watching Annie, thinking about everything the three of us had shared day, I realized that there is a lot of pain in the world. And I’m not the only one who feels it.”

It is very important for YA authors to write these type of realizations into characters. Teenagers today need to hear they are not alone when it comes to suffering and pain. That the meal they eat isn’t so much about the food being eaten, but the company that they are sharing it with. I would have loved to had read this book 10 years ago when I was a freshman in high school myself and I could have understood sooner that in this life YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It may feel like you are at times, but you are not, correction, We are not alone.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Author photo

AUTHOR BIO

Liz Maccie was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Bucknell University.  After college, she moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television writing.  She has had two movies produced, “The Thirst” and “Black and Blue.”  She went on to work at The Disney Channel until she found a home at the breakout ABC Family show, “Make it or Break it.”  She is currently adapting the wildly popular YA book, “The List” for MTV as a television show.  “Lessons” is Liz’s debut novel.

If you would like to know more about Liz Maccie or follow her on social media:

LINKS

Website: http://lizmaccie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizMaccieAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lmaccie

Purchase LINLAMA: http://diversionbooks.com/ebooks/lessons-i-never-learned-meadowbrook-academy