Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Guest Post with Lyn Fairchild Hawks, author of How Wendy Redbird Dancing...

How Wendy Redbird Dancing Survived the Dark Ages of Nought
Behind 284 Pages
Released: 27 March 2013
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Me: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords
At the Other End:
At sixteen, Wendy Redbird Dancing flies her freak flag high; she’s a scary-smart white girl with a hippie mom, a missing father, and a rarefied Michael Jackson obsession. It doesn’t help that her mother just uprooted them yet again, this time from California to North Carolina. Now Wendy has to survive a new school and fight bullies who rule this Southern roost.

But one black girl reaches out—Tanay—and she and Wendy forge a friendship to help her fight back. Her mother’s new boyfriend, Shaye, turns out to be decent—not the usual sleaze, but instead, a charming and attractive guy. As he gains her trust, Wendy’s crush ignites, and her hopes for a stable future soar. 

When Shaye starts flirting, Wendy is flattered but confused. When things take a terrible turn, she must go underground, waiting for the day she can escape to London for Jackson’s final tour. All seems lost when the King of Pop dies. But Wendy suddenly hears his ethereal voice, offering guidance and sending her west. Is St. Michael now the only one she can trust?

Author Bio:
Lyn Fairchild Hawks is the author of a YA novel, How Wendy Redbird Dancing Survived the Dark Ages of Nought, and a collection of short stories, The Flat and Weightless Tang-Filled Future. She is also author of several works for educators. In the last few years, she has won a James Jones First Novel Fellowship prize and an Elizabeth George Foundation grant. As Lyn is married to a musician, Greg Hawks, and stepmom to Henry, an aspiring filmmaker, their North Carolina home hums with the soundtracks of clawhammer banjo, classic films, and chattering computer keys.

Find Lyn:
Goodreads  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter
Behind a Million and One Things

I like the title of this site. Behind a Million and One Pages reminds me of my character, Wendy Redbird Dancing. Almost 16, she’s learned the way to survive is to live behind a million and one things. Like her hoodie. Like her Michael Jackson obsession and his soundtrack in her headphones. Like her expanded vocabulary and flat-line exterior.

Check out the book trailer to get a synopsis of Wendy’s strange and troubled life.

Gifted, weird, wise girls are not the kind we put on pedestals. They think too much and they have too much to say. And what they say is usually counterculture. Wendy rants about America in 2009, feeling like a misfit when she looks at what seems to thrill everyone else:

“I wasn’t made for these times. I hate the two thousands, the Ohs, the Oughties, or whatever the hell we are. How bad is it I came into consciousness in a time when nothing matters? Fake celebrities on reality shows, fake talents doing glorified karaoke on Idol, fake money in banks, fake friends on Facebook, a fake President for most of my waking life?”

As actress Caity Brewer who played Wendy told the premiere crowd, it’s important to give voices to the girls who are hidden and outcasts. So much stirs inside them. Behind rough exterior, there’s beauty.

This gifted, weird, wise girl takes a stand with a new friend she’d never thought she’d make—Tanay. Tanay doesn’t fit her crowd either. She disappoints her mother, she doesn’t know her status with the guy she loves, and a friend calls her out for not being tough enough. Actress Hannah-Kathryn Wall who played Tanay told the premiere crowd that How Wendy Redbird Dancing Survived the Dark Ages of Nought reflects contemporary teen life and stands out from the average read where boy meets girl, they dream of forever after despite obstacles, et cetera, et cetera.

We all hide behind things. If you were bullied in high school for having a different thought than the mainstream—if you were ever called out from the crowd as being strange, even for a moment—you know what Wendy’s daily life is like.

Shakespeare’s voice, Mark Twain’s voice, Michael Jackson’s voice—all of these keep Wendy going, and so does the voice of her new friend at the worst time in Wendy’s life. Whatever life preserver we need to cling to, there can be hope. If just one person calls our name and says, “I see you,” we know we have a chance.
~ Lyn

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