Author: Hope Pennington
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
A teenage boy's happy-go-lazy world is turned on it's head when he's yanked into an epic fairytale and shocked to discover that his ability to predict the cliche storyline is the only thing that can save their world from destruction!
How A Cocky Dork Ruined My Life
As a writer I always try to be a good influence on my characters. I never thought they'd be a bad influence on me.
Sean Williams was the character I created to represent everything I thought was bad in society. I was a well-read, church girl who wore skirts and bows. I was shy, ambitious and conscientious. He was the lazy teenager. An apathetic, video-game playing, junk food eating, egotistical jerk.
His creation started as a joke. My sister and I were laughing about “kids these days” with their “teenage slang” and “loud music” We were also laughing about how every new fantasy book we read was cleche and boring. Suddenly we thought of how hilarious it would be if your average teen was thrown into a cleche fairytale and could predict the whole thing!
Pulling up the remains of a cleche book I'd written when I was twelve, I stuck this new teenager into it and let hilarity ensue. For the first half of the book I hated Sean's guts! He was such a wimp. Everything not heroic. Everything not amazing. Everything wrong with America.
But it was NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month in November) and I had to finish the book.
I meant to teach Sean Williams a lesson. In a medieval setting with a specimen of a man like Hansak, a knight in shining armor (literally) maybe he'd start wanting to be an actual man.
Then the impossible happened.
They say a writer becomes a part of every character they create. Somewhere around chapter twelve something clicked and really cared about him. It switched from me trying to bang this kid into shape, to his slang words and cocky smile popping into my mind when I was super stressed like “Girl chill, it's not a big a deal or whatever.”
Yup. It happened. Bit by bit I took a page out of Sean's book (quite literally) and started letting a lot more slide. Enjoying stuff more. Thinking less. Not sure that that's good thing but what can I say?
Maybe a little casual fun isn't as bad as I thought. Maybe I kinda like video games now... Maybe I kinda like how full of himself he is? Maybe his smug smile and casual strut is just kinda fun?
Maybe I listen to the punk music I used to listen to just for the book for fun now. Maybe I started fake swearing now and then. Maybe I even say and do things occasionally just to see people's expressions and have fun with them.
I may have taught Sean a little about manning up, but he taught me a LOT about loosening up and enjoying stuff just “for the heck of it” I even use some teenage slang I would have gagged at a few years ago.
Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I even catch myself grinning like at idiot when he's at his most jerkish.
Let's just say Sean Williams has thoroughly ruined my life and I'm way way too excited to write more about this kid and whatever crazy stuff he pulls next.