Guest Post by Lish McBride.
My topic suggestion: Her thoughts on why she chose to have Ava, Lock & Ezra have such a close friendship.
(As I adored their very close friendship.)
I write a lot about friendship and about family, especially the kind of family you make as you get older, not necessarily the kind you’re born with. I don’t necessarily set out to do this. In fact, I didn’t plan on Ava having so many friends. I’d just written two books with a fairly large ensemble cast and I wanted to try and pare it down. As much as I love big casts, they can be a headache to juggle.
So I was set on a small cast. The thing is, the more I worked on Ava, the bigger the cast became. This might make you wonder why, if I don’t set out to write big casts and I don’t try to write about friendship and family, how these things keep happening.
The thing is, I write about teens going through rough things. They’ve lost parents, usually. They’re hiding what they are, so they have to keep things from family. There’s a lot going on. When these kinds of things are happening, a common coping mechanism is to seek out a support system. Kids build their own family. At least, all the kids I knew growing up did.
That’s the thing—if you take the magic out of my stories, you still have the same problems teens deal with. They lose parents, they’re changing and maybe don’t want to share things with their families. They’re dealing with crazy, complicated, painful stuff. Most of them will seek out people who understand or who will, at the very least, support them through it.
Like most people I had a hard time in high school and many of my friends were having a worse time. So we banned together. We helped each other out. And you know what? I’m still friends with most of them. And we still ban together and help each other out. Only now it’s expanded to include our families. I recently had to go to the emergency room. My friend, Erica, drove me—and even had a snack packed for me. My son wasn’t supposed to be with me, but ended up going with us to the ER. So Erica called her husband and had him come down and pick up my kid and get him dinner. She stayed and sat with me in the hospital until very late at night. Good friends, right? Amazing. I have the best friends, I really do. So how do I know Erica? She married my friend Brian. I’ve known him since I was seventeen, and I know that if I need anything, ever, his family is there. Just like when his wife got sick and he needed to take her to the hospital, they knew that when they called me in the wee hours of the morning, I’d drop everything and get there. They are family. They are important. And those kinds of friend choices are what got me through my rough time. So when my characters are facing the same kind of thing, when I’m running them through the ringer, the least I can do is give them that same lifeline. It’s the least I could do.
Thank you Lish. <3 This guest post is perfect. And you are awesome. I'm so glad you decided to write Lock and Ezra into Ava's life, as I loved reading about them with her. And felt like she needed them too :) Close friendships are the best. <3 Erica sounds amazing.
Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren’t caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She’s one of their main hitmen . . . and she doesn’t like it one bit. Not least because her boss, Venus, killed Ava’s mother.
When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can’t say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum, in Lish McBride’s Firebug.
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