Monday, August 6, 2012

Guest Post & Character Interview: Sex in YA by Robert Shields

Today we have a guest post by Robert Shields, author of Diminishing Paige, about the controversial topic of sex in YA because sex is a major theme of Diminishing Paige. Here's a synopsis of the book:

A fool knows the price of everything and the value of nothing is the romantic theme between Paige Wheeler and Storm Lancaster. The intelligent high school expellees serendipitously meet at a garage sale and end up approaching sex in an awkward text book fashion. They start viewing the relationship through the lens of economics as if sex was a commodity.

As they grow closer together, Paige’s promiscuous past comes to light that haunts her, which leads to complications in their relationship. Storm’s ineptness in handling the pressures of a relationship from previously attending an all-boys school causes problems while Paige finds some amusement in his immaturity. Her sterilized view of sex creates consternation for Storm over their rapport.

At their new school, they make a mutual friend in Jamal. The trio engages in pranks as their friendship with him develops. Storm’s proclivity as an adolescent male leads to poor decisions with Paige as Jamal, often the voice of reason and conscience is ignored to the detriment of the couple.

Emotions spin out of control after a frolicking camping trip with Paige’s old high-school buddies and the sexual economics experiment explodes.

Sex in YA by Robert Shields:

The subject is a difficult one. The reality is that surveys show that over 50% of high school kids have had sex at one time so we can’t go around pretending that it does not happen. I will let you define sex. I also have no reason to doubt those numbers. A question that has to be asked though is, is writing about the subject matter that is targeted to the YA crowd helping promote the activity in today’s youth? I’d like to believe how it is written will have an impact on the reader especially if it glorifies the activity. In Diminishing Paige, you get to see how it destroys a relationship. In my book, the two main characters happen to be eighteen year old seniors. I wrote it this way on purpose to avoid writing about adolescents having sex. In fairness, it’s been prevalent in film for some time. I’m going to date myself, but the movie “Class,” was all about high school students and sex. It was a very popular movie starring Rob Lowe. I even remember Fast Times and Ridgemont High, which was highly controversial at the time. Again, I think how it is portrayed could have a significant impact on its reader.

Character Interview with Paige:

Interviewer: When did you first meet Storm Lancaster?

Paige: At the garage sale of course, he kept staring at me. He would have creeped me out, but he was quite charming trying to sell me an item.

Interviewer: Was that the first time you ever laid eyes on him?

Paige: Why does that matter? Sure, we went to grade school together at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. We all did before the girls and boys were split at the high school level.

Interviewer: Do you want to talk about any of the difficulties in your life?

Paige: You already know that answer to that question. I’m going to internalize everything clamping down the balloon on one side until it blows back out the other. So no, I’m not going to talk about it.

Interviewer: What drew you to Storm?

Paige: He was confident, but in a stupid way. He listened to me when I needed a sounding board.

Interviewer: What is next?

Paige: College

Thanks so much for sharing your opinion with us today, Robert. And thank you to Paige for dropping by!

For more on Diminishing Paige check out these sites!

1 comment:

We love to read them. :)

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