Here's the blurb:
Caryn Alderson just wants to be a normal teenager. Moving from Houston to Indianapolis and trying to make new friends is hard enough, but when she meets Quince Adams, Rosslyn High School’s star athlete, she wants more than friendship. Unfortunately, two obstacles stand in her way: Quince's girlfriend, cheerleader Kensington Marlow, and Caryn's Uncle Omar. So what’s the problem? Kensington’s cheating on Quince, and Uncle Omar died in Vietnam at age 20!
Imagine hearing voices, seeing spirits no one else can see, and knowing things about people they never told you. No wonder Quince and all her new friends think she’s weird! Then just when Caryn thinks her psychic abilities are under wraps, her friend Megan blurts out the truth on television. Can Caryn finally admit her secret and just be herself? Does she really have a choice?
Thanks for stopping by, Pamela. Please tell us about Confessions of a Teenage Psychic. Where did your inspiration come from?
I've always been fascinated with psychics and I've read a number of their biographies. Sylvia Browne is my favorite, but I also enjoy Sonia Choquette, Allison DuBois (the real one), and James Van Praagh. They almost all say they were uncomfortable with their abilities during their childhood and teen years and only came to accept them as an adult. That influenced me in writing about Caryn's insecurities.
However, there was a real-life inspiration that set my mind to churning. I had a student at Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis (Rosslyn HS is a thinly-disguised BRHS) and one day one of her friends came to me and said we were having a fire drill at ????o'clock because Dena said so. I asked how Dena knew, and he said "she's psychic." I began to wonder what it would be like inside her head if she knew stuff like that and it just didn't find its way to the surface very often. That's how Caryn was born. Once I began to flesh out Caryn, I knew she didn't look like Dena (who was blond, popular and athletic, a real nice girl), but I started to think Caryn looked more like another student of mine whose tastes were quite eclectic. Hillary is the physical model for Caryn.
As for my other characters, they're all purely fictional, but I admit to borrowing my students' names a LOT!
Any psychic abilities of your own you want to confess to us?
I wish I was psychic like Caryn, but I'm not. Sometimes I get intuitive flashes in my head about my own life, and frequently I get answers in my dreams that are sometimes pretty vivid. For instance, I saw my son in a dream months before he was born, and I've already seen my grandson who hasn't even been conceived yet. Unlike Caryn, I have no clue about other people.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I don't know that there was any conscious plan on my part to start writing, it's just that I've always been good at it. Novel-writing is a recently acquired interest, but I was always the best in school at compositions, and I'm a prolific letter-to-the-editor writer. Just about anything I send in seems to land in the newspaper, magazine, etc.
What's next? Any projects you'd like to share with us?
I've got a novel that I like to call a "prequel" to Confessions of a Teenage Psychic entitled It Just Makes Sense. Caryn isn't in it, but it's the backstory of all the Benedict women. Mostly it's about Megan's sister Caroline, but the middle sister Allie, who gets a brief mention in Confessions is a major player as well. When I originally thought of Confessions, it wasn't about Caryn at all, it was about Megan (and had an entirely different title, naturally). Caryn was supposed to be a sidekick, but she just shoved her way in and Megan ended up being the supporting character. I love Caryn and in my mind I have a sequel planned, but so far I haven't committed one word to paper (or computer) yet. I hope to get to it over summer break.
What fictional character did you most want to be when you were growing up?
I read all the usual popular novels during my childhood. I'm sure at some point I fancied myself as Nancy Drew, but I also admired Jo in Little Women.
If you were going to a costume party where you had to dress up as your favorite movie character, what character would you choose and what outfit would you wear?
First I'd ask myself WWJD? (What Would Jane Do?) I'm one of those Jane Austen-devotees, as evidenced by the fact that Caryn's Lit class is studying Pride and Prejudice. My second love besides literature is history, and I've always been drawn to the Regency period. So my favorite movie characters all seem to come from Austen's novels on film: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, etc. I'm a bit too old for those young heroines, but I'd still go as one of Austen's characters, or perhaps Jane Austen herself. I would go through the costume shop at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (a living history museum where I work part time) and put together something appropriate. Of course I also have a closet-full of dresses circa 1836, a bit out of the Regency time period, but I could adapt something I think.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Pamela!
We'll be giving away a copy of Confessions of a Teenage Psychic this week. Just leave a comment on the blog anytime this week to be entered in a drawing to win Pamela's fabulous debut book!