Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Guest Post by Adrienne Kress author of Outcast


I have always found Jane Austen’s novel PRIDE AND PREJUDICE a really compelling story.  And not just for Mr. Darcy.  Who is, yes, rather compelling . . . rather compelling indeed. . . .

Sorry, where was I? 

Right.

I always really appreciated how Austen created a flawed main character in Lizzie.  Someone who had very strong opinions about everyone and who, over the course of the novel, realizes that maybe she wasn’t always right in these opinions (the same, of course, goes for Mr. Darcy).

I found it fascinating, because, well, I related to the experience. 

When I was in high school I had very strong opinions about others.  There is nothing particularly original in saying so, most of us tend to have such opinions.  I’d say most people on the planet often jump to conclusions about other people without really getting to know them. 

In fact this jumping to conclusions without really getting to know people thing was something I was well aware happened.  Thus I tried very hard to get to know people for who they were, not their outwards appearance.  And so it rather surprised me to learn, that, despite my noble intentions, I did have one form of prejudice I wasn’t even aware I had until toward the end of high school.  You see, I tended to have negative impressions of anyone I thought was playing up to a teenaged stereotype.  To me I could never understand, when there were all these films about teenagers and their “types”, why then someone would actually want to live up to those expectations. Further, I definitely judged those who belonged to what one would dub the “popular” or “in” groups extra harshly.

I made assumptions about anyone who lived up to such a stereotype.  And, I must admit, more often than not, negative assumptions.  But as I got older, as I got to know more and more people in my school by being put into groups for projects or whathaveyou, I realised that these folks were complicated and three dimensional (you know, like people tend to be in general).  That just because they were popular, or didn’t mind living up to the teenager role, it didn’t mean they weren’t also interesting, smart and fun.  It was a hard lesson for me to learn, that as an outsider I was just as guilty of being judgmental of those on the inside as I assumed those on the inside were of me.  Especially considering I had always thought I was quite empathetic and open minded.

So I wanted to write about that self-discovery in OUTCAST.

I created a main character in Riley who has certain opinions about certain kinds of people in her community, especially one head cheerleader.  And I wanted to show her grow and learn what I myself ended up learning. 

It’s a simple lesson, but we all need to learn it at some point.  The fact is we all do make judgments about others without really knowing them.  Sometimes we can be correct – and there are certain people that Riley is dead on about.  But sometimes we screw up.  And I think it’s important to acknowledge those moments and grow from them.

I know I certainly had to.  

While this wasn’t the main purpose of my writing the book, I think it is one of those things that I am most excited about in it.  It’s humbling for me to even write about it now.  And a little embarrassing to admit.  But I do hope others will be able to relate.


Visit these other blogs on the Outcast blog tour to find out more about Adrienne and about her newest book Outcast!


1 comment:

  1. Lovely blog! Please follow mine; it's new: readandlovebooks.blogspot.com
    Thanks♥

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