THE GREENLEE PROJECT
by Amanda M. Thrasher
Genre: YA / Contemporary / Cyber-bullying
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Date of Publication: October 31, 2015
Number of Pages: 206
Social media, cruel jokes, and bitter betrayal - watch your teens!
Greenlee Lynn Granger is about to find out how easily social media can be used as a malicious tool: a normal teen one day and ruined the next. Who knew a boy’s affections would turn her life into such a nightmare? Becoming a designated ‘project,’ a joke in front of the whole school, turns Greenlee’s life upside down. Relationships with her family and friends strained, she is forced to make mature decisions. Greenlee knows her choices will determine the future of her abusers.
An emotional glimpse into the reality of cyber-bullying, The Greenlee Project showcases the all-too-common anonymous and cruel betrayals of others through social media, of such magnitude that it devastates a young teen, her friends, family, and the community. Cyber-bullying affects not just the victims, but everyone around them. After being the target of cyber-bullying, what Greenlee does next is shocking.
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How has being a Texan influenced your writing?
This is such a great question! I’ve never been asked it before. I believe it’s impacted my work immensely due to the fact that Texas is the first place I’ve felt the stability of a foundation that feels like ‘home.’ Why? Growing up in England, I can’t count the number of schools I attended, the number of times we moved. Texas is the one place our entire family has stayed in place the longest. I feel grounded here and that contributes to a sense of feeling settled which allows me to tap into my creative side instead of feeling as if I’m on the move the again.
How long have you been writing?
I know everyone says this it seems, but I can’t remember a time I didn’t write something: poems, short stories, diaries, manuscripts, and then ultimately my works.
What kind(s) of writing do you do?
Chapter books, Middle grade readers, and YAs. I’ve also started two adult novels.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I was a full time writer until my duties as CEO of PRPP have become extensive. I’m hoping to delegate a little more and take back more of my writing time. That is the ultimate goal.
What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling?
I think you can pass down traditions and values in a non-preachy or nagging way.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt, in my gut, it was going to help at least one kid. Make a difference. It had me in tears at times writing it. I knew if it could do that to me, it could touch others.
Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured if your book?
Absolutely. Everyone knows the mean kids exist. It’s a fact of life. They never seem to lose. In The Greenlee Project, Laurel is the way she is. Perfect on the outside, broken on the inside. So secure to everyone, yet truthfully massively insecure. Bulimia, anorexia, disgusting eating disorders robbing her of herself; others think she’s got it all together, she doesn’t.
How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
I think they teach, again in a non-preachy or nagging way, how to treat each other kindly and how to respect each other regardless of differences. Even my chapter books, the fairy series, are filled with lessons through the characters on equality, friendships, loyalty, manners and integrity. The kids learn simple life lessons without realizing they’re learning valuable tools.
What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
I think every job writers hold impacts their writing, they’re observers. Over the years since school I’ve had the following: Elizabeth Arden Rep, Store Manager, Horse Trainer, CSR, Regional Sales Manager, and of course Author and CEO of PRPP. Honestly the funniest stories come from really bad signings. Some of them are hilarious. Successful signings are great, but bad ones make great stories for future books. Fake doctors. kids that don’t leave, the list goes on.
What do you like to read in your free time?
Biographies and trade magazines.
How do you choose the character names in your books?
The characters develop and choose their names. As they develop, personalities are formed, which helps define who they are supposed to be. I work backwards, always have. Instead of creating and building up a character, I tear one down. For example: this character isn’t tall or lean, meek or mild….then I see what I’m left with. It tells “me” more about the ‘character’ than trying to create one. This makes total sense to me, but may not to the readers of this interview.
Who would you cast to play your characters in a movie version of your book?
Greenlee – Um…..Mackenzie Foy.
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
My whimsical voice and positive resolutions despite the topic in every ending I write. I like happy endings. I just do. I think the world is full of enough reality; therefore I choose to write beautiful endings.
What projects are you working on at the present?
A new YA piece and an adult novel.
What’s something fun or funny that most people don’t know about you?
I’m OCD about certain things. I’m a workaholic and I can’t stand to sit on hotel couches or chairs in my room. I put towels down first.
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
Write a piece that will be remembered. Doesn’t have to be a literary masterpiece, but it does have to touch people. Make them feel. Laugh, cry, hurt, think, just something to remember the characters and the book. They may not remember my name but if they say, “I don’t know who wrote this, but I love…” that would be it.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Never perfect, but tried really hard.
Do you have any strange writing habits you’d like to share with your readers?
I have to write in silence. Writing YA is different than writing fairy fantasy books. It’s also different than writing novels. Depending what I’m writing that day, it takes a few minutes to go deep in my head and ‘get’ there. “What are my fairies Lilly, Boris and Jack doing today?” “Where are they?” Go deep into the forest, what do I see? Prep time takes me a while. I can’t just sit down and write. I have to visually see it, before I can pen it.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?
About The Author
Multiple Award Winning Author Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas and resides there still. Author of several children’s books including picture books, middle-grade chapter books, YA and even a reader’s theater titled “What If . . . A Story of Shattered Lives.” She conducts workshops, writes a blog and contributes to an online magazine. She’s a multiple Gold recipient of the Mom’s Choice Awards for The Greenlee Project, YA and General Fiction, and for Spider Web Scramble, a Mischief book. As Chief Executive Officer of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, she assists authors with their work and shares her writing process and what she has learned as a publisher with people of all ages.
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I started a blog so I can look back and see my life through the eyes of the books I read. A book a day keeps reality away!