I cannot tell you how excited I am to be finally publishing this new Young Adult series: Bryant Rockwell. I started the first book nearly two decades ago, when the three girls jumped into my busy life, full of sass, humour, and awesome talents.
After writing the first three books, I swapped careers and became a maths teacher in a number of UK high schools. What an awakening! The nice girls I’d written had little in common with today’s teens. After a decade of teaching (when it was impossible to write anything), I revisited the stories, updated them, and wrote the next three.
Unfortunately, when I looked for an agent, all they wanted were tales of magic schools and vampires in order to jump on various bandwagons. So my gorgeous gals were assigned to the back burner, while I wrote five fantasy books set in a mediaeval-alternate-world. If this appeals, check out the Hengist books; all of them were #1 bestsellers in their genre.
I’m thrilled, because my trio deserves to tell their stories to a wider audience; however I put it off for so long because of the number of adverse comments made by US reviewers about British spelling and punctuation. So I’ve compromised by using US punctuation and modifying the occasional word to avoid the real spelling snags (e.g. practice/practise). But these teens speak with British accents, and the UK school system means subtle differences in their daily schedule and terminology. Because of this, I’ve added a glossary at the end so non-UK readers can translate.
Living on this side of the pond means my guys get to watch Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in his very own theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, a treat I’ve enjoyed many times. Hope you enjoy your vicarious experience of this. You can read a little more about the characters here.
The elevator pitches go like this:
New Kid in Town: Liv, Jude and Kat are greater than the sum of their parts. Separately they are Brainy, Sporty and Arty. Together they are invincible. Until Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Ray wheels up.
The Show Must Go On: Liv's a snarky chocoholic, Luke's a reformed thug. Who better to take Dirty Diana down a peg or two? She totally has it coming.
I was encouraged when one beta reader described the first book as “10 Things I Hate About You” meets “Glee,” which is great for people in the US. For UK readers, I’d add in the gritty reality of “Waterloo Road.”
I would call it a character-driven romantic comedy, other people say:
“Funny, intense and endearing. Wish I had such a group of friends,” and “Drama you can't look away from. I was hooked from the first page.”
The review site, Book Viral, called it “Snappy, well-pitched and edgy. An enjoyable read which will appeal to anyone who has a sense of humour and an ear for the ironic.”
And Readers’ Favorite gave it a shiny, silver 5-star medal: “A well written teenage high school experience. The romance elements fitted perfectly with the plot and were the right balance of lust, love, and friendship.”