Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why the main character in my new book series is a runner

Stickers I found that remind me of Estella and my own competitive running days.
Hey Girls,

In the Careful, Quiet, Invisible series there is a reason the main character, sixteen year old Estella Montclair, was a track runner. I really didn't want her to be a helpless girl, although she has her own struggles, she isn't clueless either although when it comes to boys, sex and flirting she is kind of naive. Yes, she has a big crush, but even that amazing boy is not everything in her world, she had a goal, a plan, a future to look forward to that got smashed. She isn't a vampire or another YA or teen novel character who goes to a prep school and carries the latest designer bag. We've all been there done that/read that. Estella was a girl who had a dream and a purpose that gets drastically changed after she dies.

And another reason she is a runner is because I was a track runner (and a cross country runner). At first she was going to be a tennis player to be honest, but I decided at the half way point of writing that I needed to apply to her character a passion that I could better relate with, so I could better write about her emotions of losing her life and the pain of losing her chance for a future. I wrote about her running career with vivid detail while thinking of my own.

(me, running a cross country race in high school)

Running shaped Estella's life and being a runner in high school (for the 400, 800, 600 and X-country) really shaped my life too. The training, the hours, every day and weekends too, setting goals, pushing myself, the physical pain of it, the focus it took and the feeling of having a passion, something that I was good at that involved challenges, it all created a go-getter and ambitious mindset, a fighter mentality that I have carried with me through the other passions in life that I've pursued and the passions I have today. If I could go back in time and re-live a part of my life for the fun of it and for the lessons learned, I'd go back to those running days in high school.

While writing I thought about a lot of my own track memories. How you'd work so hard for a goal and then comes race day and there's your chance and when the race is over how painful it could be if you didn't run as hard as you could have, or wished you ran harder, because that race is over now and that moment is gone and you can't go back and run it again. And how competition makes you run harder and even faster. I think racing the clock is totally different than racing another runner. Running reminded me that it was all about the now.

I was the Co-captain of the X-country and track team for most of my high school running career, and I came up with this slogan run with your heart and shared it on inspirational print outs I'd write and share with my teammates before a big meet.

I feel like even though it's been years since being a competitive athlete and traveling to meets in Central, NY and all around New York State, the spirit of an athlete is always with me. Even down to what I eat. I still eat pasta and carbs every day, I still have my runner-body type, I still have endurance in my mind for what's in my heart.

In the first book of the Careful, Quiet, Invisible series, although Estella has died and is now a spirit she has so much energy that has stayed with her from when she was a runner-she also ran the 400 meter. She still "runs" and "sprints" and "whips around" her neighborhood, and visits the high school track sometimes when she needs to have a moment with her old self again.

This Track and Field editorial in Interview magazine, in the May 2012 issue, caught my eye.

I thought the editorial was cool and ironic since Estella was a track runner and Heidi, the girl who caused her death from texting and driving, was a hurdler.

Are you going to watch the Olympics? Check out the 400 meter race? Here is news/buzz that caught my eye on the Olympic track and field trials.


Watch the book trailer for Careful here.
Read an excerpt and order an early copy of Careful here.

Modeling agencies in Oregon:  http://www.petitemodelingtips.com/2010/03/portland-oregon-modeling-agencies.html

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