Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guest Post: High School Dances With YA Urban Fantasy Writer, Jo Ramsey!

The very cool, talented author Jo Ramsey agreed to be on my insane blog! I'm so happy to have her here and encourage you all to check out her website: This woman is amazing!

Hey everyone! I'm just off my blog tour, and I'm very lucky to have the lovely Jo Ramsey gracing my blog with a story that my YA-loving soul absolutely loves. Remember prom? Was yours magic? Did you go? Did you dance? Ditch? Celebrate another way? Jo is sharing her story here, and I'd love to ask you guys to share your favorite prom memories in the comments. Also make sure you check the links to Jo's awesome book, From the Ashes, which is book 5 in her fabulous Reality Shifts Series, and the cover of her upcoming short story  The Harvest Dance (where we get to see Shanna enjoy her school's version of Homecoming)!

 High School Dances

If you’ve attended school, chances are you’ve been to a school dance. And if you’ve attended a school dance, chances are that at least once, you ended up upset or embarrassed.

Dances can be fun. My sixteen-year-old daughter went to a semi-formal dance at her school last year. Her unofficial date was her best friend, who’s male and who wasn’t interested in actually having a date to the dance. They went together because it was that kind of dance. Both of them said they had a great time, and my usually shy daughter told me she danced with people she didn’t know.

On the other hand, dances, especially semi-formal or formal ones, can be pretty stressful. I remember agonizing over what I was going to wear to my senior prom. My mother ended up finding her old prom dress and having it remade for me. The problem was, I didn’t have a date. The guy I wanted to go with was two grades behind me, even though he was only a couple months younger, so I wasn’t sure I could ask him. Or who would have to pay for everything if I did ask him. I ended up not asking.

The night of the dance, I got all dressed up, planning to drive myself to the dance and go alone. Then my mother announced that she was driving me because she didn’t trust me to drive her car in high heels. (Huh?) She drove me to the place where the dance was being held, and I saw all the couples walking in and froze. It was bad enough that my mother was my freaking chauffeur, but EVERYONE ELSE had dates and I didn’t. I ended up having an anxiety attack and not being able to go in.

I’ve always kind of wished I had gone alone. The next school day, a few people asked me why I hadn’t, and said they would have danced with me and that they had admired me for saying I would go alone. I’ve also kind of wished I had asked the boy I wanted to go with. But you know what they say about wishes…

I did go to some dances in high school, but most of them weren’t very much fun for me. I was almost never asked to dance, and to this day I cringe when I hear “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” because that was the most commonly-played slow song at the dances I went to. (Though Glee did a pretty good version of that song.) I kept going to dances because I kept hoping that “this” would be the time it would be different. It never was, but I kept trying anyway.

If you like YA urban fantasy, this series is a MUST read!

In book five of my YA urban fantasy series Reality Shift, From the Ashes, Shanna Bailey agonizes over being asked to her school’s “Harvest Dance” (their version of Homecoming) by her former next-door neighbor Ken, who seems a lot more interested in Shanna than he used to. I didn’t manage to write about the dance in the book, since somehow it seemed more important to have Shanna and Jonah preventing the Universe from being vaporized, so I wrote a separate short story about the dance, which will be available this month. Shanna has plenty of reasons to be afraid of going to the dance, and of going on a date, but she pushes through and does it anyway.

I am extremely glad that Shanna gets up the courage to go...I LOVE to relive the fun of high school dances through characters who get to enjoy all the fun I was too busy being nervous about!

You can find out more about Jo and her books on her website, The Reality Shift series so far is available from Jupiter Gardens Press,