Take yourself by the shoulders. Look yourself in the eyes. Speak gently and firmly. Say “HOME IS IN YOU. NO ONE CAN TAKE IT WITH THEM. YOU HAVE THE GENTLE HANDS. YOU SAY WHEN. YOU SAY STAY.”
“I have another friend who gets what I’m really like, and I get her. She scares me. Did you ever see yourself times ten in another person and want to cover your eyes?”
This isn’t your first rodeo writing about teenage girls. What is it about them that makes for such compelling characters?
There’s just so darn much to explore there. I think teenage girls continue to suffer from these tightly fixed beliefs that they’re supposed to be these happy, smiling innocents—they’re not supposed to express anger, to desire, to have ambitions. So I love looking at all that longing and rage. I love exploring the often covert ways that teen girls frequently have to operate to acquire, or keep, power—since they’re not supposed to want it at all. And there’s so much about teen girls that, in “adult fiction” (note the quote marks), has been underexplored, or not taken seriously. The intensity of female friendships at that age, the unique pressures brought to bear by technology (texting, social media). It’s rich territory. Dramatic territory.”
Just remembered that silent reading was my favourite part of primary school and this sums up so much about me.