Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Guest Post with Patty Blount


Book Nerd Guest Post
Photo Credit: Demetriad Studios

Technical writer by day, fiction writer by night, Patty mines her day job for ideas to use in her novels. Her debut YA "Send" was born after a manager suggested she research social networks. Patty adores chocolate, her boys, and books, though not necessarily in that order.

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BEHIND THE BULLY 

People often wonder how I got the idea for SEND and why I wrote it from the bully’s perspective. The answer to this question is a complicated one – actually, it is an answer with several parts that converged into what would ultimately become Dan Ellison’s story.

First, let me tell you about my son. When my oldest boy, Rob, was in sixth grade, he broke down in tears one gloomy night in April and told me he no longer wanted to live. To say I was surprised would be the biggest understatement in history. Turns out, he’d been the victim of bullies since the term began the previous September. I had no clue he was being tormented. I had no idea he was even unhappy. He was twelve years old and suffering through an early puberty. His classmates tormented him over his body hair, his acne, his deep voice and made him feel so freakish, he actually believed he was not normal. We got him help and spoke to his teachers and principal and my son finished out the year with no further incidents. He’s now in college but his scars are deep.

The second contributing factor occurred the following year, when Rob was in seventh grade. I’d left the house early one Saturday morning to run errands with my youngest son in tow. Rob was still sleeping when I left. When I returned to my house, I saw some guy hanging by his fingertips from my living room window. This guy turned out to be the older and very muscular brother of a classmate who claimed Rob was now bullying him. He came over to ‘talk some sense into him,’ which – judging by his confrontational demeanor – was code for ‘see how he likes it.’

I’ve been a parent for a long time now and I KNOW most of us are oblivious to our kids’ shortcomings and faults. I have seen so much denial in my life but trust me on this – the word ‘disbelief’ doesn’t even come close to describing my reaction. How could the same boy in so much pain barely a year earlier turn around and cause that same pain in someone else? Near as I was able to determine, since the child would not directly address us, Rob intimidated this child without meaning to. Rob is large: by sixth grade, he was shaving, had reached five foot nine inches tall, which put him about a foot and a half higher than most of his classmates. What he thought was fooling around or playing was perceived as something entirely different by this boy. Judging by the depth of Rob’s guilt after hearing the accusations from this boy’s family, I have to believe he never meant to intimidate or threaten anybody. His despair over this runs nearly as deep as his scars from sixth grade.

I’d been writing all my life and after Rob’s sixth and seventh grade ordeals, put all that on hold for a while. I picked it up again to write a contemporary romantic trilogy that had been burning in my brain for a few years. I’d finished book 1 and had books 2 and 3 outlined. That brings me to the next significant event – my day job. I write software instruction guides and several years ago, a new executive directed us to start using social media in our work. I didn’t even know what sites like Twitter were. So I started doing the research. I learned not only how people use these sites, but also how they abuse them. And somewhere in the back of my brain, a little voice whispered, “I did that.”

I became obsessed with the idea of guilt – or more specifically, living with that degree of guilt and wondered how a kid who’d done something without understanding the permanence or the reach of his action could endure such guilt. And that little voice replied, “I’ll let you know when I figure it out.”

This voice would not shut up. I’ll be honest, he really pissed me off. I wanted to write book 2 in my trilogy, not turn a bully into a tragic hero. It felt wrong – distasteful – disrespectful – even disloyal to my son. I wasn’t ready to forgive Rob’s bullies. I wasn’t sure I could especially since I knew forgiveness would be an important theme in this novel. The idea of torturing this character in effigy did hold a certain amount of appeal. I gave it a shot and found that the deeper I dove into Dan’s story, the more I actually liked him. The duality of Dan/Kenny was a nod to that persistent voice in my own head that compelled me to write this story – sort of an inside joke.

Would you be able to forgive your or your child’s bully? After reading SEND, do you think most bullies are like Dan and my son, and unaware that they’re causing any pain?



To keep his secrets, all he has to do is listen to the voice in his head and just walk away...

On his first day at his new high school, Dan stops a bully from beating up a kid half his size. He didn't want to get involved. All he wants out of his senior year is to fly under the radar. But Dan knows what it's like to be terrorized by a bully-he used to be one. Now the whole school thinks he's some kind of hero, except Julie Murphy, the prettiest girl on campus. She looks at him like she knows he has a secret. Like she knows his name isn't really Daniel.


Patty Blount’s debut novel, Send, is an interesting story about one of society’s biggest problems: bullying. We are used to hearing the stories of victims to bullying, but Patty provides readers with a unique look into a bully and how he has faced the consequences that it entails. This coming of age story about Dan, who initiated a cyber-bullying incident, tells his journey from boy to man and how he has handled it. His perspective takes readers into a deep insight into his feelings of being remorseful and asking for forgiveness to someone he has hurt that is no longer here.

Patty’s interesting accounts of Dan’s life takes readers into an emotionally filled expedition from that dreadful day he sent that seemingly innocent joke, and the rarely seen after effects of it. Society often do not sympathize a person who drove a suicide-prone classmate over the edge, but Patty’s approach of giving Dan an internal voice that battles him throughout provided a deeper look into his understanding of his inner turmoil and coming into terms to his own situation. Send is truly a breath of fresh air and although what Dan did was wrong, readers can help but to like him. It has strong themes of mistakes, integrity, survival, acceptance, and clemency. This is a book that should be shared amongst adolescent kids about how a simple mistake can have irreparable results.


You can purchase Send at the following Retailers:
    


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Patty & Sourcebooks for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Send by Patty Blount.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
jbnpastinterviews

61 comments:

  1. i usually use the right one but i have the tendency to switch because our cinema chairs arent comfy!

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  2. I ususally take up both! But it depends on if people are beside me. if theres a stranger on one side and my friend on the other i'll the one on the side that my friend is on

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  3. BOTH~~~~~ hahahahahaah thanks for the giveaway!!!;)))

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  4. The right. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  5. Don't go to the movies so neither.

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  6. BOTH!! My sister always complains about that!! :D
    (Ileana-rafflecopter)

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  7. the right one, but i also tend to use both :)

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  8. If I'm sitting on the left side, then right and if on the right side then left.

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  9. The one that is next to my husband.

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  10. Um... this book looks like my kind of contemp read!
    Thanks for the chance to win this.
    As for the armrest... depending who's sitting next to me hehehe... I usually use the right one though :D

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  11. The right one. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  12. always the right one :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  13. Usually the left one. :)
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  14. The right one! xD
    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  15. The right one :P Thanks for the giveaway

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  16. The right one! Thx for the giveaway!

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  17. Hi, just wanted to thank you for letting me hijack your blog and thank all those spreading the word by entering the giveaway! Good luck to all :)

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  18. Usually the left one, but depends on who's sitting next to me. :) Thanks for a giveaway!

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  19. Usually, the right one. I'm right-handed so that's why.

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  20. The left one, even though I'm right handed. It also happens that everytime I'm there with someone else they always sit on the right side of me.

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  21. At the movie theatre, I use both because around here, no one goes to the cinema much, so it's usually quite empty, woo hoo, Thankyou for a wonderful giveaway x x

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  22. When is possible i use both, when not i use the right one.

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  23. The right one since I usually just snuggle with my husband. :D Thanks for the giveaway!

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  24. Usually both! I need a lot of space :D

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  25. I tend to lean toward my hubbie and share his armrest. With friends, I take whatever is available.

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  26. Both, I really need some space to watch movies lol

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  27. I accidentally pressed enter without filling out my twitter username!
    I follow @jeanbooknerd with the username @ReadToLove

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  28. And to answer the question. I use both...haha. But if that's not possible then i usually use the right one.

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. if i have my people both side then both otherwise depend which side i can take

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  31. the right one.
    Thanks for the giveaway
    -Lilian S

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  32. The left one
    Thank you for doing this giveaway!!

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