Addison Blakely isn’t so sure she wants to be the good girl anymore. . .
Sixteen-year-old Addison Blakely has tirelessly played the role of preacher’s kid—but she isn’t so sure she wants to be the good girl anymore. Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK, the first young adult novel from Betsy St. Amant, takes you inside the life of Addison Blakely as she attempts to separate love from lust, facts from faith, and keep her head above water in her murky, fishbowl existence. Available in January 2012 from Barbour Publishing, Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK is a real-life, culturally relevant story.
Addison Blakely has never had much trouble pleasing her widowed, overprotective father. After all, he’s a pastor, and she knows her reputation is closely linked to his. But when the bad boy next door, the cute but arrogant quarterback, and a charming new guy all vie for Addison’s attention, she begins to doubt her resolve. To make matters worse, Addison’s best friend suddenly seems to hate her, a talent show has the entire school at odds, and an exotic exchange student from Germany is shaking everyone up.
Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK by Betsy St. Amant
January 2012 / $9.99 / 368 Pages / Paperback
Praise for the Book:
“Betsy St. Amant brings us a delightfully new voice in Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK. Through witty dialogue and thoughtful teen introspection, Betsy has created a story teens will enjoy. . .and parents will be glad their teens have read.
– Dandi Daley Mackall, bestselling author
“This book is a quick, fun read. The author handles issues of faith and growing up in the church with humor and grace. Once you get inside Addison’s head, you won’t want to leave!”
– Debbie Viguie, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Season series
“A captivating heroine, Addison will delight the reader. Her friendships, romances, and predicaments are richly told.”
– Caroline B. Cooney, bestselling author of The Face on the Milk Carton
“Betsy St. Amant captures the joy and heartaches of teen life in Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK. She tackles tough issues with a light-hearted touch and makes you care about Addison and her friends.”
– Judy Christie, author of Wreath
Meet the Author:
Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana—no there are no gators in her backyard, but she does love gumbo!—and is a member of Christian Fiction Writers. Her sixth romance novel for Love Inspired releases Spring 2012, and she has also been published in the Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. She has a B.A. in Christian Communications and regularly freelances for her local newspaper. Betsy is the wife of a fireman, the mother of the world’s cutest toddler, and an avid consumer of both white chocolate mochas and novels, and an everyday girl who loves sharing the wonders of God’s extraordinary grace through her stories.
Q: This is your first foray into young adult fiction. How was the writing process for this book different from the process you use when writing for a more adult audience?
A: In one sense, this book was easier to write because of the fun, first-person style and being able to really get into Addison’s head and become her for a while. My adult romances are done in third person, and this was a totally different ball game. In other ways, though, it was trickier because I had to constantly keep in mind what would appeal to a teen, and remember that teenagers might be too young to get some of the cultural references I first attempted to put in. I’d send text messages to my high school cousin and a few college students and say “Do you know what this means?” or “Do you recognize this name?” And decide from there regarding content. Thankfully, I’m still very much 18 in my heart so that helped me keep it real.
Q: Throughout the novel Addison struggles internally between the expectations of others and her personal desires. What advice do you have for someone dealing with a similar situation?
A: I think this is a relatable situation regardless of age, but maybe especially noted in the teen years. The teen years are so full of self discovery and finding out who we are and if that matches up with who we’ve been, or who we’ve been expected to be. I wanted Addison to be an example to teen girls today who are struggling with questions such as: “Do I believe this because I believe it? Or because it’s all I’ve ever heard?” I feel that sometimes the deepest faith stems from the deepest doubts. As Christians, we’re often (however unintentionally) discouraged to ask questions. But I feel it’s vital in making our faith our own.
Q: Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK is unique in the fact that it is told from the point of view of a PK (preacher’s kid). How did you come up with the idea for this book?
A: I am not a PK, but I grew up in a church where my grandparents were founders of sorts and parents were very well known within the congregation. It was still a fishbowl experience—everyone knew me, even if I didn’t know them. That situation has perks, but it also came with a lot of stress growing up. That feeling is what inspired Addison Blakely’s story. I realized there were teens out there who were Christians and maybe assumed they were, who knew all the Bible stories and Bible verses and regularly volunteered in the church, but who hadn’t ever truly embraced faith for themselves—because they WANTED to, not because it was expected of them or passed down. I wrote this book for them.
Q: Addison Blakely deals with several problems that are common among teenage girls, from personal relationships to her faith in God. What advice do you have for teenagers coping with similar issues?
A: For the faith element, my advice is to ask questions. The worst way to handle doubts about our faith is to stay silent. Research. Grow. Learn. Figure out why you believe what you believe. Because until you do, you won’t ever be passionate. In regards to personal relationships, my advice is to be honest, and stay true to yourself. Addison and Claire had some major issues, which stemmed partly from growing up and becoming different people. Despite Claire’s cattiness, Addison proved to be a true friend time and again—even when she wasn’t getting anything in return. Also, Addison had to finally be honest with her dad over his relationship with her teacher—and while that didn’t bring about her initial wish, it still contributed to a satisfying ending for all. So often teens (and even adults!) tend to hold the truth inside until it consumes them. Talking about our issues and more importantly—talking TO the person we have issues with—can bring about positive change if we just take that first action step.
Q: Each character in Addison Blakely has a “flaw” that makes them real and relatable. How do you, as an author, keep your characters grounded in the real world, dealing with the same everyday problems as your readers?
A: This isn’t very difficult for me because when I’m writing, my characters ARE real. That helps me see their lives as realistic and I’d think, “What would I do in this situation?” or “What would my friend so-and-so do here?”, etc. That helps keep the character arch and motivations relatable. I also think about the teens I know today and my years as a teen and try to remember what I went through, what I thought, what they’re going through and thinking, how things have changed since then, and so on. I really do become part of the story for a period of time.
Q: Ultimately, what do you hope your readers take away from Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK?
A: I hope that readers come away from Addison’s story challenged to re-evaluate their own faith and ask those hard questions that maybe they’ve been avoiding, resulting in a deeper relationship with God. It’s not about how much good we do, or how long we’ve been a church member, or who our parents are—it’s about our own heart and what we believe and why.