Fire and Ice is pleased to welcome author Lori Culwell to our site today for an exclusive guest post and book giveaway for The Dirt.
Mean Girls Grow Up
By Lori Culwell, Author of THE DIRT
I went to a high school in Palm Desert, California (it’s near Palm Springs, in case you’re wondering) a town that had a seemingly disproportionate number of pretty girls. People would comment on it all the time, like, “wow, are there any bad-looking people that go to this school?” The cheerleaders were positively supermodel-esque. In fact, speaking of models, I can name three models who actually went there and whose faces can be seen in magazines.
This, as you might imagine, was not the best place for anyone to go through that mandatory “awkward” phase that you’d find in a normal town/ high school. In fact, many of those good looking people seemed to have skipped right over their tween years, going from totally adorable children to beautiful young adults over night. Some of them even got BETTER looking, if you can believe it (we’re all on Facebook, after al!).
Also, life in the desert (especially when you’re in high school) is mostly about being outside in a swimsuit when you’re not being fabulous with your BMW at school. This can start to wear on you after awhile, like you’re living life in Barbie’s Dream World, where you will not be allowed past the gates if you have a zit or your hair doesn’t look good.
Maybe now would be a good time to mention that I had braces until I was something like 15, plus my Irish skin is so glaringly white, I do not own a swimsuit even to this day, because I do not enjoy it when people make jokes where they compare the color of my legs to things like notebook paper, just to see which one is whiter.
I can’t get a tan, ok? It is impossible.
I, as you might imagine, had a hard time finding my niche at Barbie High. That is why my protagonist in my novel “The Dirt” is a frizzy haired science geek. She has mean girls all around her, and she survives by being smart. Eventually being smart is what saves her (though I can’t say much more about that for fear of spoilers!) Fortunately, I liked being smart, I actually enjoyed taking AP classes, and I didn’t mind spending the time doing homework. I still believe in the power of intelligence, and I try to add to mine a little every day.
All this is to say, if you happen to be the one pale person at a Barbie High School of your own, I hope that you will embrace your differences instead of feeling self-conscious about them. And, if you’re getting a hard time from mean girls because you’re not like everyone else, definitely don’t feel like a geek if you’re doing homework while everyone else is at a party. If you’re in high school and you’re not like everyone else, remind yourself of this simple fact: eventually mean girls grow up, then they go out in the world where it is much more useful to be smart than merely attractive.
About THE DIRT: Lucy Whitley cannot wait to get out of Palm Desert. It’s not a place for a frizzy-haired science nerd, particularly when her fashion-obsessed older sister Sloane is the head of a clique of pretty girls who rule the school – and practically the whole town. Fortunately, life is about to change forever. Lucy’s dad is getting re-married, and then she can transfer to a boarding school in Connecticut, escaping all the mean girls and the endless whispers about the Whitley family scandal. Everything is going to be perfect – as long as the wedding goes smoothly.
Lori Culwell Biography: Lori Culwell is the author of five books. Her first novel, Hollywood Car Wash, was originally self published, then was acquired and re-released by Simon & Schuster. She is also the owner of Get Creative Pages, a consulting firm that provides marketing and website services to authors. She has written for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Salon.com, the Huffington Post, and other publications. She and her husband split time between Los Angeles and New York. You can find her at http://www.loriculwell.com/
The Giveaway: We are giving away one paperback copy of The Dirt to those with a US mailing address. Choose your own entries by filling out the rafflecopter form below. Thanks to Lori for her post as well as the contribution of a copy of her book!