Guest Post and Giveaway: Author Molly Ringle

High school seems to be the default setting for YA, and I do see why. At age 14 to 17, you're hormonal and possibly in love, and increasingly confused by and frustrated about the world, but you're still stuck under your parents' roof and your teachers' demands, confined by their rules. It all makes for pretty good drama.

But to me, an even richer phase is right after high school: when you turn 18 and move out (to college or travels or some away-from-home job) and become an actual young adult. You're still a teen in that phase, still hormonal and confused and frustrated. But now you're thrown out into the sea of real life without near as much help from older grown-ups. You have to procure your own food, keep closer watch over your own income and bills, take care of yourself when you're sick, set your own curfews and rules, and feel the consequences of your decisions more strongly than ever. It's part awesome and part awful--or at least, it was in my experience. And that's the phase I've found truly interesting to write about.

In both my novels that might count as YA--Relatively Honest and What Scotland Taught Me--my protagonists are 18 or 19, fresh out of high school, and tackling the world in settings totally new to them. For both books, the teens are even in a different country than they're accustomed to. Daniel in Relatively Honest is a Londoner starting university in Oregon. And Eva and her friends, in What Scotland Taught Me, are Americans taking a work-abroad stint in Edinburgh before beginning college. Therefore they all suffer culture shock on top of the usual unbalanced nutrition and romantic troubles of a person's first year out of their parents' home.

At that age, under the influence of so many new people and temptations, it's common to make more mistakes--and bigger mistakes--than we did as younger teens. My characters are no exception. In fact, despite both these novels being love stories, I don't generally call them romances, because they involve so much more deceit, cheating, and confusion than the romance genre tends to allow. "Coming of age," "new adult," "teen lit," or just "fiction"--I'm happy with any of those labels for them. And if you read them, I hope you might see the appealing, humorous side of the flawed humanity my characters possess. In my opinion, to be young and in love and flawed is one of the most glorious phases of life.
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To enter to win a free ebook copy of either What Scotland Taught Me or Relatively Honest (winner's choice), fill out the form below. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, November 25th.  This giveaway is open internationally, and there are no rules: anyone can enter!

What Scotland Taught Me Summary (taken from Goodreads):
Fresh out of high school, Eva Sonneborn is headed to Scotland with her best friends: scholarly, sarcastic Laurence; gorgeous, ghost-seeing Amber; and responsible, sweet Shannon. They plan to spend the next six months in Edinburgh, enjoying an adventure-filled work-abroad journey before parting ways for college.
But when Eva meets Gil, a local bartender, she figures a little innocent flirting won't hurt her relationship with Tony, her ever-faithful boyfriend back home. But just when things turn less innocent with Gil, the trip starts throwing curveballs at not only her but her friends too. By the end of the trip, they've all fallen in love, sometimes with the wrong people - and with consequences that may tear their friendship apart forever...


Relatively Honest Summary (taken from Goodreads):
Shocking. Disgusting. Deceitful. That's how some might have described Daniel Revelstoke's behavior even before he fell in love with his first cousin.
Previously a don't-tie-me-down Don-Juan type, Daniel doesn't know Julie is his long-lost cousin when he meets her and starts trying to lure her away from her long-distance boyfriend. And by the time his mum drops the family-relation bombshell in his lap, he already loves Julie and it's too late to switch off his feelings. But dishonest habits die hard. He reckons if he can keep Julie from finding out they're related--just a little longer--he runs a better chance of winning her over. He's never loved anyone before, and if she's the one, she's worth a little deceit. Love can do dangerous things to your head. And worse things to your family.




5 comments:

  1. This sounds sweet. (not an entry)
    I've always wanted to go to Scotland.

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  2. I can highly recommend both titles. I've read What Scotland Taught Me twice now and I still come away hugely satisfied.

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  3. Scott-Robert Shenkman11/19/12, 3:55 PM

    Relatively Honest is a three-time read for me. Totally recommend it.

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  4. Both sound good. I agree with you that I prefer to read more about college age drama than high school drama. Mostly because as an adult I think it can be creepy to think of a 15 year old boy as hot/dreamy/swoonworthy, etc, lol.

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  5. Thanks so much, Juju and Dean and Scott--I'm honored any of my books merit a re-read!

    Hah, excellent point, Jennifer. I think I just feel wrong, as a woman in my 30s, writing about the hotness of a 15-year-old. Even if I do remember *being* 15 and thinking along those lines.

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