Why YA? The Best Kept Secret Guest Post by Wendi Nunnery
I'm excited to have Wendi Nunnery visit Strands of Thought. She has a shiny new release, The Best Kept Secret, that she's here to talk about. Take it away, Wendi!
Thank you for
having me on the blog today, Kai! I’m so excited to be here and share a
few thoughts with you guys on The Best Kept Secret.
Kept Secret, as you know, is a young adult novel, and I’ve
received a few odd looks when I tell people this is the kind of book I wrote.
Sometimes those who are unfamiliar with young adult novels tend to believe that
the subject matter is light and fluffy, or perhaps even immature, because of
the target demographic. They don’t seem to understand why I would want
to write for this particular genre. At least not at first.
years, young adult books have been making a dramatic shift from vampires and
werewolves back to the daily struggles that teenagers face in an attempt to
connect more personally with readers. Among the day-to-day issues like school,
friendship, and love, authors are tackling really heavy issues, like bullying,
sexual assault, death, teen suicide, eating disorders, sexual orientation and
gender identity, and self-harm. And I think this is important because it helps
people who might not usually read young adult novels remember that teenagers
are real people, too. They aren’t one-dimensional. And sometimes they
face incredibly difficult problems, just like anyone else.
Kept Secret attempts to approach some of these issues - like bullying,
sexual assault, and teen suicide - while still allowing the characters to live
within a broad range of experiences where humor and love and friendship are
still present. To give you a better idea of what I mean, I’d
like to share a little bit about each character.
Emma is the
narrator and protagonist of the novel. She’s a 15-year old
sophomore at Cley High School, located in the fictional town of Cley, Georgia.
She has a loving family and she was raised a Christian. This informs many of
her beliefs, but she is struggling now that her friends are starting to differ
in their views on issues like sex and relationships. Emma is strong and kind,
but she often feels insecure. And this causes her some problems throughout the
Andy is Emma’s
best friend, and he’s also a sophomore. He is 16, though,
so he does all the driving. He’s popular, handsome, and very
likeable. Andy is different from Emma in that most problems just roll off his
back, but he’s loyal to her even when they start to face some big changes
in their relationship.
Jesse is Andy’s
older brother, and he’s an 18-year old senior. Jesse manages
Andy’s band and he is incredibly smart. He’s also quiet and
unassuming, so people usually like Jesse because they like Andy. Emma and Jesse
have never been close, but they begin to build a relationship as Emma starts to
question her other friendships. Jesse is my favorite character.
Elsie is a
junior and she’s Emma’s closest girl friend. She’s
very sweet, but Elsie wants to be liked and kind of follows along with everyone
else. In the end, though, she proves herself to be much stronger than even she,
or the reader, realized.
what I like to call the “Regina George”of
Cley High School. She’s popular and pretty and incredibly
snarky. Georgia does what is best, or most entertaining, for Georgia. And she
causes a few headaches for Emma along the way.
Deegan is the
guy every girl wants to be with, but he has some pretty big secrets. He becomes
Emma’s love interest early on and because of this relationship,
Emma has to answer to herself in ways she had never imagined she would.
Kai, for having me on the blog today! I’m so grateful for the chance to tell
you more about The Best Kept Secret and I hope you enjoy reading it as
much as I enjoyed writing it!
is the author of The Mayfield Family Story. She is also a regular contributor
to The Huffington Post and The Simply Beloved, a lifestyle website for women of
faith. She is a proud alumna of Georgia Southern University and, at any given
time, you can find her with a cup of coffee and a book. She lives, loves, and
mothers in Atlanta, Georgia. The Best Kept Secret is her first novel.
high school, everyone has secrets. Even well-brought-up Emma Fraser.
sophomore year started out all wrong. First, her best friend Andy confessed to
losing his virginity leaving Emma all alone in the V-Club. Then the rest of her
friends got weird and suddenly Emma finds herself feeling like the people she
knows best have become total strangers. And total strangers are becoming
Deegan Burke, a rich, gorgeous senior, asks Emm
to be his date for the prom, Emma thinks her luck has begun to change. But
rather than being able to bask in this newfound glory, her whole world starts
to unravel. And when secrets that once seemed so innocent start to take a very
dangerous turn, Emma discovers that true friends are friends no matter what…and
some secrets aren’t worth keeping.