I am super excited to be sharing with you a mini-interview with Jodie Andrefski, the author of The Society! The Society is a new revenge story coming out in May from Entangled Teen. Keep reading after the interview, as Jodie was kind enough to offer a sneak preview of The Society for us to enjoy!
About The Society
Summary (from Goodreads): Welcome to Trinity Academy’s best-kept secret.
You’ve been handpicked by the elite of the elite to become a member. But first you’ll have to prove your worth by making it through Hell Week.
Do you have what it takes?
It’s time to find out.
Samantha Evans knows she’d never get an invite to rush the Society—not after her dad went to jail for insider trading. But after years of relentless bullying at the hands of the Society’s queen bee, Jessica, she’s ready to take down Jessica and the Society one peg at a time from the inside out.
All it’ll take is a bit of computer hacking, a few fake invitations, some eager rushees…and Sam will get her revenge.
Let the games begin.
Interview with Jodie Andrefski
Q: I read on your blog that you are trained as a mental health counsellor. How does this knowledge and experience help you in your writing?
A: I think it has helped me to add depth to some of the character’s motivations. Even when they are acting out in an unhealthy way, I hope for it to be realistic for a teenager. Sometimes as adults reading YA, we think, “Oh that’s not smart.” And the reality is…no it probably isn’t. But the teenage version of ourselves probably did a lot of not so well thought out things, at least I know I did. As teens, it is so easy for emotions to take over and rule our actions…that is a teen’s physical makeup. Their brains are literally incapable of fully processing long term consequences until the age of 19. And if a teen is dealing with something like depression, or anxiety, or in Sam’s case, bi-polar disorder—this can manifest in all kinds of ways when left untreated. Mood swings, poor decision making, etc. She had the loss of both adult figures in her life, then a best friend. She had a strong need to be accepted and was willing to do just about anything to feel accepted, to feel like she mattered. Even if that meant taking actions that if she was just able to stop, step back and think objectively…she might not have done.
Q: Your Ask-a-Teen initiative is a really fantastic method to dig deep into the teen psyche. What is the most surprising response that you have received from a teen?
A: I don’t know if “surprising” is the right word as much as refreshing. I love how open and honest they’ve been. The teen responses have been so blunt and forthright on some tough topics like sex, and drugs and alcohol, and what they want to see in YA, and what they are tired of seeing. It’s been great, and I am so grateful to all of the teens who take time out of their busy schedules to take part on our chats. @Ask_a_Teen If any teen readers want to become part of the Ask a Teen crew, feel free to head over to my author website and check it out! http://www.jodieandrefski.net
Q: The Society sounds like an incredible book full of revenge. What inspired you to write a book about a character seeking revenge on her tormentor?
A: I’ve always loved any stories dealing with secret societies, whether in film or books. I wanted to take that interest and combine it with the very real issue of bullying going on in schools, and examine what can happen as a result. As humans, sometimes we feel we just want to get back at the person hurting us, and this desire can drive us in an unhealthy manner as it did with Sam in the book. She turned into someone she didn’t really like, and made a lot of bad choices and things really snowballed from there.
Q: Is there one piece of advice or inspiration you have received that has helped you in your writing career?
A: To KEEP GOING. Even when you feel like giving up, when you feel uninspired, when you get the rejection letter—KEEP WRITING. Trust me, every writer feels that exact same way at one time or another. When I get to feeling that way (and I still do every once in a while) I commit to a daily word count that is do-able. Even if it is low. Because I find that once I go too many days without writing, it is much harder to start back up again. I also find bribing myself works, lol. For example, “If I finish this chapter, I can watch this episode of Supernatural on Netflix.” Haha Whatever works for you. Just don’t give up. Follow your dream.
Thank you, Jodie!
Sneak -Peek of The Society
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
I pushed through the heavy oak doors leading into Trinity Academy, ignoring the groups of students milling around the wide steps of the ornate brick building. Not like it mattered. They were all busy talking, laughing, and fist-bumping each other, mostly jocks and their adoring fans, none of whom I had the time or interest to speak with.
“Out of my way.”
Bren Fessler—bedazzled toady to my ex-best friend Jessica—shoved past, leaving me gagging from lingering fumes of eau de bitch. I rolled my eyes, hacked through the last of the stench, and headed toward my locker.
Trinity was founded like a hundred years ago, and if buildings really do have a personality, this one had the snooty air of old money. I mean, it was a beautiful campus; it just sucked that I couldn’t stand the majority of the kids who went there anymore. But since Trinity had a stellar academic program that looked great on college applications, I’d remained, even after everything that happened. Besides, my creative writing teacher, Ms. Kemper, had pretty much assured me a shining recommendation to Columbia, her alma mater. I think she felt sorry for me. So I stayed. I wasn’t about to blow my chance at getting into my dream school even if everything around me sucked.
As I neared my locker, five or six members of the golden crew sashayed in a little blond bubble across from me, confident toothy smiles all over their faces. Since it was the start of Rush week, they were probably all certain they’d find a typed note covertly slipped through one of the vents in their locker, an invitation to rush our high school’s hallowed cloak-and-dagger Musterian Society.
Even the name sounded decayed, like a musty blanket you’d find rotting in your grandmother’s attic. I’d looked it up once. Musterian. Turns out it’s Greek for “a mystery confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals.”
There would obviously be no note in my locker. I was way too ordinary, and mortal was putting it mildly. My hair wasn’t blond and shiny enough. I didn’t prance around in a cutesy little uniform with TA emblazoned across my not-quite-big-enough boobs.
The cheerleaders seemed to miss what just about everyone else recognized. The irony in the fact that our school’s initials also stood for a completely different phrase. Then again, they’d probably be just as proud to wear the label, Tits and Ass. Yet these Einsteins were usually the ones chosen to pledge, at least to meet the female initiates quota.
Just about every kid at school dreamed of being invited to rush. Invitation to the Society wasn’t only a guaranteed boost to your social standing, although that was a given. No, being in the Society offered even more tangible, life-changing perks. It pretty much guaranteed acceptance to the college of your choice—past members served on the admissions boards of some of the best schools in the country. Dream jobs tended to follow. The Society members helped their own.
We weren’t supposed to know all that, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out when you saw school acceptance letters roll in. The Society was a who’s who of the in crowd, guaranteeing a life we all fantasize about.
They didn’t ask people like me to join. I wasn’t cool enough, at least not anymore.
Steps away from my locker, the golden crew parted like the Red Sea. Whispers and giggles engulfed me—dark as smoke, and just as acrid.
“Oh my God, it’s perfect.”
I tried to ignore them, just another day in Trinity paradise.
Until I saw it. Jessica. She’d gone too far this time.
About Jodie Andrefski