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Jennifer Castle is a Rockstar!
Because she took on the task of writing out a gut-wrenching tale of a young girl facing life after family are all taken from her suddenly in a car accident, and totally rocked it. Rockstar, rocked it... get it? I'm such a nerd. Anyways...
I've never had the opportunity to meet her in person (someday!), but I did win an Advanced Review Copy of The Beginning of After from her! She was so nice when she emailed me, and she personalized and signed the book too! I love when authors reach out to their audience and seem like genuinely really awesome and nice people.
Jennifer's so much of a rockstar that her editor has offered her a deal for two more books, and they aren't even written yet (see her blog post about it). Rock on, Jennifer!
Laurel, the main character from The Beginning of After, has stopped by for a little chat!
Welcome, Laurel! You've said that "Anyone who's had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It's all about Before and After". What has been the biggest difference between your before and after?
You know what's funny? The answer to that question has changed a few times, for me. If you'd asked me in the months after the accident, I would have had a very different response, and I'm sure if you ask me in a year I'd have another one. But today, in the place I am right now, I'll say this: in my before, I was so embedded in the way things were, the way I thought they'd always be, that I thought my life would be pretty much over if I lost the people I love most. In my after, though, I understand that even when terrible things happen, the world is still full of joyful possibilities and incredibly cool people. I understand that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I can really see that difference and it's one thing I'm really glad for.
Such a great answer. It's great that you can see the good in life still. I've heard that having animals around can be good for you if you're sick or going through something difficult. Have your kitties helped you heal?
Yes they have, and in a big way. I feel like my pets don't see me any differently than they always have. They've got those piercing eyes that are so, so clear -- clear of judging or pity. I love that they don't understand how the circumstances of my life have changed. To them, I am still me, and being reminded that I'm still me...well, that keeps me breathing past the bad moments, when they come. Also, having animals around forces you to reach outside of yourself, even if it's just to pour some dry food in a bowl or stroke a soft furry tummy. It's important to be responsible for something else, although to be honest, I often feel like they are the ones here to protect me.
OK, enough with the deep questions. How about we get to know you a little better by answering some silly questions instead, hmmm? If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
Ah, I love that question! Definitely not be a weeping willow. That's totally cliche and besides, wouldn't it hurt to be bent over like that all the time? No, I would be an oak. I would spread myself wide and thick and solid over the people I care about. I would have graceful curves and big floppy leaves and just be the kind of tree people want to hang around, because I make them feel like they're home.
Your tree answer equals awesomeness! Love it. Moving on... What's in your fridge right now?
Half a grapefruit, pre-cut and plastic-wrapped by Nana. She sure knows how to give leftovers their dignity back. Some kind of mystery meat she's planning to cook tomorrow night. A jumbo bar of 70% dark chocolate that I let myself eat two squares of every day. Yogurt. Cat food. Oh, and milk and juice, in big containers again because you never know who's going to stop by (hint hint).
Ok, one last question: What's the one song you love to belt out and dance around to when no one's watching?
Oh, God. I guess I should be honest here. At first I was going to say something like "Set Fire To The Rain" by Adele, which is a respectable, un-embarrassing song to shout and shake your head to, especially in the car. But, argh. I cannot tell a lie. Sometimes I just have to channel Danny and Sandy and "Grease" because we did that musical at school my freshman year and I helped paint the sets. I know every song by heart. I sing "Summer Lovin'" in my bedroom at the top of my lungs, and yeah, I do the voices and everything, and I refuse to be ashamed!
So fun! Thanks for stopping by Laurel! Thanks to Jennifer Castle for being so awesome, too!
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