Today I have Laura Harrington, author of Alice Bliss, taking over The Hiding Spot. Below is a quick note from Laura, 10 Life Lessons (per her character Ellis Bliss), and more information about the novel itself!
I had so much fun writing the character of Ellie Bliss. One of my inspirations for Ellie was Anne Fadiman’s memoir “Ex Libris” and the fact that when Anne was a child, she herself was a collector of long, rare words. I was also inspired by the teen fashionista, Tavi who, when I was writing the book was still a pre-teen. If you want to see some of the images that inspired Ellie’s character, check out my Pinterest board!
And what fun it was to write in Ellie’s voice again. I hope you enjoy it. Here she is:
Okay, so I know you’re thinking, she’s only eight; what does she know about life? But maybe that’s a kind of preconception you have about little kids, not that I’m that little. Don’t you think I’ve learned a few things in my eight years on this earth? Wouldn’t it be hard not to? I’ve got my eyes open, I read. A lot. I’m very observant and pretty precocious; which drives my sister Alice crazy, but might help me make a good list. Have you noticed that everybody in the Bliss family loves lists? Except for my mom, but she is her own very special category. She doesn’t even need a list at the grocery store.
So here it is. Ellie Bliss’s Life Lessons:
Please note: I limited myself to ten items. I didn’t want to wear out my welcome.
1) Sing in the shower.
2) Learn one new word a day.
3) Say please and thank you a lot.
4) Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.
5) Send lots of Valentine cards. Homemade cards are best. Sign them: “Someone who thinks you’re terrific.”
6) Have a dog. (I hope my mom reads this because we don’t have a dog. Yet.)
7) Be able to keep a secret if someone asks you to.
8) Wave at kids on school buses.
9) Keep your promises. No matter what.
10) Make friends with your dictionary. You will be richly rewarded.
More About Alice Bliss:
Tomboy Alice Bliss is heartbroken when she learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq. Matt will miss seeing Alice blossom into a full-blown teenager: she’ll learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love—all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and her precocious little sister. But the phone calls from her father are never long enough. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving story about those who are left at home during wartime and a small-town teenage girl bravely facing the future.