Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Realistic Teen Novels - Why They Are Needed

To celebrate the release of my third nitty gritty novel - Off Stroke and my short story Off Balance I'm highlighting why I write realistic teen novels. 

I'm also giving away a $20 Amazon gift card along with Off Stroke and Off Balance as ebooks to one lucky person. All you need to do is leave a comment and you could win. I'll be picking the winner on Saturday, March 9.

Why I write hard hitting realistic teen novels?
Off Stroke is my third nitty gritty realistic young adult novel. I write realistic teen novels because I personally feel there's a gap in the market and authors aren't providing enough reads like this. Life might not be great for many teens but what has always inspired me is their determination. It's okay to not have a hollywood ending. My own teen life certainly wasn't great and I understand the word 'struggle'.

Why did you pick the sport paddling?
That's easy. For the past three summers I've worked as the club manager for my local paddling aquatic club and I have to say it was the best job ever. I learned a ton about paddling and watching such wonderful coaches work with young adult teens, trying to push them to do better, was extremely rewarding. I love everything there is about the sport of kayaking and I hope that comes through in this novel.

Why did you decide to write from an immigrants perspective?
Who better defines the word 'struggle' than a teen immigrant trying to find out where they belong? Eje developed in my head totally on his own and I think I really wanted to highlight a part of  my city that's come under hard times but that's also trying to make a change - Halifax's north end. I tried at first to write this story with Eje being a girl and that really didn't work. I loved how Eje was the 'man of the house' and how he felt all this responsibility to help his family while at times hating his family - isn't that how most teens feel?

Why did you want to highlight gambling?
When I started to write this story I wanted to highlight something that was addictive. That's exactly what gambling is. Gambling can and does destroy people and families and that's exactly what I'm hoping comes across in this nitty gritty novel.

I noticed you are also debuting Charlie's story in a nitty gritty short story, why?
I love Charlie and Jen. When I finished writing Off Stroke I truly felt like they needed their own story and while I didn't want to write an entire novel, I thought a short story would work best for them. It's hard hitting but it also takes up a year later after Eje's story ends.

What's next for you?
A biggie. I'm working on a new nitty gritty novel - The Dressing Room and it's got everything but the main theme is bullying, hockey and dare I say it - cross dressing! I'm having lots of fun writing this story but like most of my nitty gritty stories it's a hard hitting one.

Discover more of what Renee writes at

1 comment:

Jezebel Jorge said...

Hockey and cross dressing. Now that sounds intriguing. Congrats on the new release. I love edgy YA and look forward to checking out some of your books ~ kayfabe2u (at)gmail.