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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Guest Post + Giveaway ~ Dangerous Reflections by Shay West (Tour)

Dangerous ReflectionsDangerous Reflections 
Adventures of Alexis Davenport Series
Book One
Shay West

Genre:  Young Adult/Teen Fantasy

Publisher:  Booktrope
Date of Publication:  June 23, 2014

Cover Artist:  Shari Ryan

Book Description: 

Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out.

To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?

Guest Post
Writing for a YA Audience

For me, writing dialog for adults is so much easier. I am, after all, an adult (alright you guys, quit yer laughing!) so this sorta makes sense. But you can’t write dialog in an adult voice and connect with YA readers. You gotta speak their language, get in their heads and put on paper the way their thoughts sound in their own minds.

The problem is this: if I were to actuallywrite dialog exactly how young people talk nowadays, it would have to be rated R and couldn’t be marketed as YA. I spent a lot of time listening to conversations carried on by teens who had no idea they were being observed as part of a scientific/writerly experiment. The results were not all that shocking to me: teens have filthy little mouths and use language that isn’t appropriate for a YA audience to read. They throw out curse words as well as derogatory comments that I can’t even write down. They, like, also, like use the word “like”, like a lot! And it’s like so annoying and makes me, like, want to shoot myself. Even writing that was painful. As a professor of college students, it STUNS me how many young people can’t formulate a sentence without throwing in the word “like” after every other word. I think it’s the new “umm”.

So while I totally understand the need to write realistic dialog for a teen audience, I am restrained by the very rules that exist to make YA books appropriate for age 13 and up. Most moms wouldn’t want their teen reading something that has the F-word or the n-word thrown in every time one of my characters opened their mouth. I had to find a fine line between realistic and age-appropriate. My YA series, Adventures of Alexis Davenport, has some mild language (damn, hell, etc) and some mild violence but I think it’s totally fine for teens to read. No worse than Harry Potter.

Now as for the “like” every other word...*sigh*. I had to take a stand as a girl, as a nerd, as an educator to refuse to write characters that sound like idiots. I just couldn’t do it. I think it degrades those teens that are smart enough to construct a complete sentence and sound logical and mature. I would rather write dialog that makes my readers smarter, not encourage them to continue to like, talk like idiots.

About the Author: 
Shay  West
Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University.

She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fundraiser), and Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy).

You can find Dr. West and more of her work at

Tour giveaway

1 - $25 Amazon Giftcard

1 – Paperback copy of Dangerous Reflections (US Only)

5 – Ebook copies of Dangerous Reflections

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. A great post thank you. Loving the sound & look of this.


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