It’s a great pleasure to welcome a fellow member of my RWA chapter, Jodie Esch.

Thanks, Anna. Good to be here.

My former career
In what seems like another lifetime, my days revolved around teaching. I worked in elementary schools, a middle school, a university and a community college. I moved into school administration in elementary schools but after twelve years, decided to experiment with something different. 

The power of words
Writing chose me. For the last decade I’ve written a number of novels trying to find my voice. Trying to find me. I tried romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and a middle-grade novel. I think I found what I was looking for in the Young Adult genre.

Teens can be theatrical, driven, obsessed, needy, mercurial, and sensitive. All of these qualities can pull a story forward. I’ve been able to reach back into my memory bank and retrieve characters and their problems and weave them into my fiction.

So, I created The Girlfriends Series –Best Friends Forever
The first book of the series is Little White Lies

The backstory to this novel
When I worked with teens in Grades 6, 7 and 8 a lot of truth-bending took place. Some young people were experts at lying. Lies simply fell out of their mouths without any problem especially when friendships fell apart. Trying to search for the truth was sometimes an exercise in frustration. So, the theme of lying was in my brain.

As well, the issue of internet predators was constantly in the news. Young girls were being lured into inappropriate relationships with men they met on-line. These two themes blended together and I ‘had’ the core of my book.
Little White Lies
Eighth grader Rachel Scott finally has the perfect boyfriend. He’s good looking, athletic and wealthy. The only problem is he doesn’t actually exist. Rachel’s escape into her fantasy world worries her parents and they insist she meet with the school counselor.

Frustrated with her life and without her best friend’s approval, Rachel heads down a dangerous path, looking for love in all the wrong places.

The second book of the series is Little White Pills.

The backstory to this novel
I was fascinated by an article in a newspaper that outlined the ways that first year university students were able to access drugs. They didn’t have to purchase anything illegally. All they had to do was comb through their parents’ medicine cabinets or borrow prescription pills from their friends. It was that easy.

Some students used pills to relax and some used pills to stay awake. Addiction arrived quickly for some users.

Another media focus was the constant pressure on high-school students to have academic success, involvement in extra-curricular activities and have their goals and career paths outlined in stone.

I mixed the two premises together and came up with my next novel –Little White Pills.
Tenth grader Steph Baxter has it all, perfect looks, perfect grades and a perfect life. She’s a model high-school student and a member of the cheer-leading squad. But in her quest for excellence she makes dangerous choices.

Soon her simple solution becomes a complex problem. Follow Steph and her best friend Rachel as they cope with Steph’s unexpected journey. Can Steph find support before it’s too late?

The next book in this series Little White Magic will launch at the beginning of October, 2013.
Rachel is sent to work in a summer camp in Vermont. Mix in a Tarot reader and a reclusive musician and strange events begin to unfold.

The Young Adult Genre
My readers are teens as well as adults. The genre appeals to a diverse readership. In order to stay current, I read a lot of Young adult novels which I’ve always enjoyed. My favourite authors at the moment are Sarah Dessen and John Green. It’s a fascinating genre. Give it a chance if you have the opportunity.

Self-Publishing & Traditional Publishing
There is room in this business for everyone no matter what route an author chooses. Whether I’m traditionally published or self-published, or a hybrid-author, (a combination of both), that is my personal journey. My goal is to present the best story that I can produce. I hope that you will enjoy my novels.

Thanks so much Anna for inviting me to your blog today. All the best in your future writing adventures.