This week author Trish Moran is interviewing her characters, Violet Netherton, for young adult novel, Shrinking Violet.
As many teenagers know, life can be tough. Violet, Suranna and Charlie are well aware of this fact.
Violet struggles to overcome her shyness, Suranna feels her family background is a barrier to achieving academic achievements and Charlie finds it hard to stand up for himself at school or at home.
When three students make their appearance at their school and befriend them, things start to happen and their lives begin to change. But will the mark they have made on their lives continue when the mysterious students disappear?
While serious issues are covered in this novel: bullying, the stigma that can go with poor social background and developing self-esteem – there is also a good deal of humour and a fast pace with lots of action to lighten the mood.
Buy Links: Amazon
Some nice 5* Amazon reviews
‘It is very well written, in concise and readable language, with well interwoven themes that excite as well as highlight some important teenage relationship issues with their peers and their parents.’ Brian M.
‘An excellent book for teenagers – or older readers. It weaves typical teenage-type issues around the story line keeping the reader interested and intrigued with some supernatural twists along the way.’ Patricia Benton.
‘Shrinking Violet is a delightful read, it provokes thought on being true to yourself and aiming to achieve your dreams. It deals well with the issue of bullying and has several characters who are excellent role models. I enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it.’ James E.
Now let’s move onto Trish’s interview with Violet Netherton
Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview, Violet. I know you don’t like to be in the limelight.
That’s true, before Verace came along; I wouldn’t have had the courage to be here talking to you today.
Tell us a bit about your life before Verace and the other two new students arrived at St Brandeau’s.
My old nickname says it all – Shrinking Violet! I just couldn’t speak up for myself. And some of the other students were quick to pick up on this and to pick on me. It was bad enough at primary school, but at high school it became unbearable. There were other ‘victims’, too. Kids with family problems, ones that couldn’t afford the latest designer things; and even ones with pushy parents. We all felt that bullying was something we just had to put up with.
But surely the school staff or your parents could have helped students like you?
They tried, but they couldn’t be there all the time. I wonder if more work should be done by the students themselves to tackle bullying. In the end, me and my friends learnt that you had to stand up to the bullies – it’s the only way to defeat them. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but we did have the advantage of having some extra special students to change things around for us.
Ah, yes, Verace, Shey and Sid. How did Verace go about helping you?
Verace was the kind of person I dreamt I could be if I had more confidence. She was so enthusiastic about everything. And so fearless – riding a horse bare back, midnight skinny-dipping, getting involved in the Team Game pranks! For some reason, she picked me out to be her special friend. It was a shock when I found out why she had picked me out! Once I learned the truth, I really began to enjoy myself and relax. Slowly, I felt my confidence increasing. The drama production helped me too. At first, I was all for hiding at the back in a very nondescript costume, but Verace was having none of that and transformed me into a badass bunny! I was surprised when I found that I was actually enjoying performing. It was easier to push myself forward in a costume, as someone else.
And what about Suranna and Charlie? Did their new friends use the same strategies to help them overcome their difficulties?
We all had our problems but we all have very different characters, too. Their friends helped them to build up their confidence in different ways. I think Shey was a bit worried about Verace’s methods at times! I know Suranna was worried that I may go off the rails under Verace’s influence.
When did you realise that you had shaken off the Shrinking Violet image?
When I was ready to take the blame in the ‘fossil incident’ and I got a detention I was really embarrassed but knew I was doing the right thing. After that, I noticed that Jake treated me much differently and I did feel proud. But the time I felt really good about myself was when I stood up for Suranna in front of Skylar and Beth. Luckily, I didn’t get hurt but I was willing to risk it to protect my best friend.
The weeks after Verace left were quite difficult, after what happened the night she left. I had a whole lot of trouble to face. But that’s what Verace taught me. I can stick up for myself, I can do what’s right and I can face down the bullies. I should have done it ages ago.
What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied?
Appreciate your real friends. They can support you and remind you that you are much better than any of the bullies. The bullies are the ones with the problems. Make sure you support your friends, too, when they need a boost. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself – like karate, painting, writing, drama, sports – anything. And once you stand up for yourself, you’re the winner!
Trish Moran was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved to the Midlands, UK at a young age. Her first teaching job took her to London and she later taught in Greece. After several years, she travelled to Australia and worked as a bank teller in Melbourne.
After over a decade outside the UK, she moved back to the small Midlands town where she grew up.
Trish has always been an avid reader; one of her friends describes her as a readaholic, nervously lining up her next book as she comes to the end of the present one. She enjoys reading a wide variety of books which includes YA – especially fantasy and stories of more down to earth dysfunctional families; adult thrillers with complicated plots; and stories with quirky characters. She loves to discover a book with a new slant and think, ‘Gosh, what a great idea! I wish I’d thought of that!’
In her thirties, Trish decided she would like to try writing, and completed several (unpublished) short stories and novellas before embarking on the Clone Trilogy – YA Sci Fi; Mirror Image, Altered Image and Perfect Image, published with Accent Press.
Shrinking Violet, published with Solstice Publishing was her first venture into YA Paranormal.
The idea for the Enchanted Series came after a trip to a medieval castle and overhearing a young child saying, ‘Where do the dragons and wizards live now, mummy?’ And it expanded from there.
As well as reading and writing; Trish enjoys going to the gym, walking and nature photography.
Lovely to talk to you, Trish. Wishing you lots of success with your book.
Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/y2q5audb