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Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ends 2/20)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Traveling to Teens: Christina Harner

Welcome Christina Harner! You can find her at her website and purchase a SIGNED copy of Behind Every Illusion there! Hardcovers will be shortly available for purchase!
When describing myself, I often use terms better suited for a mirror maze.

Ever walked through a mirror maze at your county fair? The first one makes you look like an NBA player. The second shows you’ve eaten about one thousand donuts or been squashed by a piano that fell from the sky. In the third, you look like a very odd alien creature or one of those ridged carrot slices. And although we dismiss the images as quickly as we see them, we forget that sometimes our own opinions of ourselves are just like those mirrors.

What do I mean? Well, do you ever hear a compliment (“no! your hair is very pretty!” “you really do look great in that bathing suit!”) and immediately dismiss it? Often we see ourselves as ugly, un-cool, too fat, kinky-haired, when others see us as fun, smart, funny, and just-the-right-kind-of-cool. But no, we always have to see the wavy/squashed flaws.

At least, I do!

When I wrote Behind Every Illusion, I started by taking me (yes, the main girl is me… sort of!) and asking myself, “what would a girl who looks at herself like she’s in a mirror maze do if she began changing in ways that made her go so far as to doubt her humanity?” I mean, sure, a confident twenty-five-year-old guy might think it was cool if his hair suddenly turned white and his fingers grew an inch longer. But wouldn’t a self-conscious eighteen-year-old girl be more likely to run around the room screaming and then hide in the closet for a few days (and eat all those donuts I mentioned earlier)? I think so.

So I wrote a book a self-conscious (and mildly self-hating!) girl like me could relate to.

And then I had to wonder… how could she overcome those fears? Would it takes others who were just like her to finally convince her that she was not the only “squashed/wavy” freak in the world? Or could she learn on her own that being more than human could actually be pretty amazing even if she was alone in her uniqueness?

Of course, it’s much better if Prince Charming comes and sweeps her off her feet and tells her that he, too, is different (take Shrek, if you will). But before the perfect one comes along, there must be that change of heart. I’m married and my husband tells me all the time that I’m beautiful, and most of those moments I laugh at him and shake my head in disagreement. No, Prince Charming can’t fix everything. The mirror must be broken and the illusions we hide behind to keep anything “weird” or “un-cool” from reaching the light of day must fade away.

Once we accept ourselves and get rid of the illusions, life is pretty amazing actually! And then – at least for one particular girl – finding your skin glows in the moonlight and some other crazy things (don’t want to give the ending away!) is wonderful and exciting!

I hope that when you read Behind Every Illusion, you will root for her to gain the courage to break those mirrors. Because in the end, Prince Charming might just show up. And when he does, she needs to be ready to accept who she is.


Christina Harner
It's 10:47 PM. Thank goodness for scheduling options.

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