Last night I had a brainstorm for a new YA book. It’s a cross between paranormal and urban fantasy and my main character is this saucy, little smart-mouthed young lady who is unafraid to ‘give it back’ to her mom.
The following conversations popped out of me as I hunched over my computer at 3:30 a.m. and I realized how much she sounded like I wish I could have sounded when I was a teen. Now, keep in mind. I was a freaking goody two-shoes. I NEVER did anything I wasn’t supposed to do. I wouldn’t be alive today if I’d snuck out of the house or did drugs or drank. My Army dad would have seen to that. This didn’t mean I didn’t want to sass back with some quirky, disrespectful comments (and sadly, I did after my dad passed away).
Iris Ridley is that unabashed teen who readily speaks her mind and doesn’t care who’s in the line of fire, including her alcoholic mother. As a parent, I want to strangle her. As a teen, I totally get her and almost applaud her.
What do you think? Do you hear bits of you in Iris or Mom? if you were/are a teen, how would you respond to Mom?
Mom: “As long as you live in my house, you will live by my rules!”
Iris: “Your house? If that’s true, why is the bank taking it back? Looks like we’re living by their rules, not yours, huh.”
Mom: “You never lift a finger to help around this house. You’re always out with your friends. You just expect everything to be done and ready for you.”
Iris: “Yeah, well at least I have friends. You’re still searching for yours in a bottle and a glass.”
Mom: “You’re the child and I’m the parent. What I say goes.”
Iris: “Fine. Then don’t ask for any money I make from my, what did you call it? Oh yeah, my menial part-time job. I mean, aren’t parents the ones who are supposed to provide for their kids, not the other way around?”
Mom: “I know you are not leaving the house dressed like that.”
Iris: “I can’t believe you’re staying in the house looking like that.”
Mom: “You’ve got a bad attitude, young lady!”
Iris: “You’d have one, too, if you didn’t have your hands wrapped around Captain Morgan all the time.”