Monday, 13 May 2013

Love YA Month - Dear 16 year old Cathy Brett

The wonderful people over at Headline have decided to celebrate everything YA during the month of May. While Headline publish some fantastic YA novels themselves, they also want to promote the YA genre in general – showcasing how good it is!

On Facebook, you can check out the ‘Which Book Next?’ page, which gives some fantastic ideas of what YA book to pick up next, with recommendations from bloggers like myself.

You can also find book suggestions on the ‘Which Book Next?’ Pinterest board.  

In order to celebrate Love YA month, I have a wonderful letter from author Cathy Brett to her 16 year old self. Cathy is the author of books such as Scarlett Dedd and Ember Fury and her newest book Everything is Fine is out now!

Dear 16 year-old Cathy,

(Before we get to the juicy stuff, I’d just like to say, SIT UP STRAIGHT or you’ll regret it! If you continue to slouch like that then one day, in 2013, after decades of hunching over drawing boards, computer screens and writing desks, you will get a trapped nerve in your neck which will make you feel like a very old lady and it’ll muck up your illustration and publishing deadlines for MONTHS. Get hooked on Yoga or Pilates or something, right NOW!)

Rant over. Time for the good stuff. Are you listening? OK.

Don’t worry about why ***** dumped you for someone else. He just did. It’s OK to cry a bit but then move on, because I promise you it wasn’t because you wouldn’t ‘put out’ or because she would. And even if it was, then he’s obviously more concerned about what his mates think than about upsetting you, so basically he’s a pig, you could do loads better and he doesn’t deserve you. There are much better boyfriends just around the corner.

Learn to embrace your shyness. It’s not a fatal disease and you don’t need to cure it. You are not a pathetic failure. The world needs quiet, thoughtful, creative, sensitive people and, really, who wants to be the centre of attention anyway? Girls who crave attention end up getting drunk and being photographed with their knickers showing! Or worse! (Just remember those embarrassing little incidents and store them away to write about later.)

Finally, it might seem like passing your exams is the most important thing in the known universe, but don’t stress it (easy to say, I know, but it’s true). Nobody will really care about what ‘O’ Levels you get. Honest. And don’t worry too much about what Mum and Dad think either. It’s your life. The REALLY important thing is to listen to advice (remembering that you don’t have to follow it) then trust your instinct and grab every opportunity that comes along. Work hard, be kind and respectful of others and you will find the right path eventually, even if it means making a few wrong turns on the way.

Oh, and next summer, don’t accept that lift home in *****’s mini. The drug squad will be prowling the area and you’ll spend the evening at the police station (even though you’re innocent) and Mum will have a total coronary. You have been warned.

Yours sincerely,

Middle-aged Cathy  

P.S. Don’t assume that bottle of factor 6 sunscreen is enough protection. Duh, look at your pale blue skin, Cathy! You need factor 20+, you nitwit! 

If you could write a letter to your 16 year old self, what would it say?? I know mine would tell me to live life to the fullest and experience everything possible as well as to take risks!! 

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