The Glister Journals: Bronze
Allison Anderson knows she’s a little different, but it hadn’t bothered her too much-until now. Moving away from everything she’s ever known to a new house, new neighborhood, and new school is bad enough, but it’s her first year of high school too, making it even more intimidating. She’s more aware of her social and physical limitations than ever before. And then there are the new people she meets: the tough-looking girl in her home room; the cute but dangerous-looking boy she first saw before school even started; the quiet, older girl who keeps to herself; the sullen-looking, seemingly isolated junior that doesn’t seem to trust or like her at all. Can she trust them? While the peaceful situation of her new home only amplifies the sound of her own doubts, she begins to learn that things are not always what they seem, and her world is turned upside-down by these new friends, two-legged and otherwise. Life soon becomes more complicated, and much more interesting!
About The Glister Journals series:
The Glister Journals series is told from the perspective of a normal but not average teenage girl. It is not obvious, but Allison has a mild pervasive developmental disorder (autism spectrum). She thinks and experiences things a little differently from most of the other kids. In the past it has caused her to be alienated at best and bullied at worst. After the family moves, she becomes involved with a group of teens that open up new worlds to her. The four book series follows her through high school but is equally about her friends who have their own problems, fears, and aspects of their lives they’d rather keep quiet. There is action—mostly in the form of equestrian and extreme sports—and though there are only hints of it in Bronze, there is a love story which will play a more prominent part as the series progresses. The main story is about assumptions, acceptance, love, and friendship, though there are other themes running throughout the series.
Praise for Bronze
Allison narrates a gentle coming-of-age story that has a strong equine subplot…undeveloped plot points hint at future complications and will likely keep readers looking for the next entry. — Cindy Welch Booklist Online
Written with intelligent humor, this tale follows an awkward girl as she enters a new school…This is a strong first book, both for Shepherd and for the series. The friendships the characters build are realistic and lifelike, strong, and durable, just like bronze. — Beth VanHouten ForeWord Reviews
The story is well-written and sweetly told. Allison’s anxieties and insecurities are true-to-life, and so affectionately and clearly portrayed as to make anyone who’s ever been through adolescence wince in sympathy. Dave, Robin and Chris are complicated, intelligent, three-dimensional characters whom the reader enjoys getting to know, and all of the minor characters are vividly drawn and believably real. The author is adept at setting a scene, both external and internal, bringing Allison’s mind and world to vivid life. — Catherine Langrehr IndieReader
“Bronze: The Glister Journals” is a well-written novel of teenagers and their world. It is also a story of horses and teenage horsemanship. The main character Allison is a totally delightful fourteen year old girl whose innocence and awkwardness is refreshing. — Alice DiNizo Readers’ Favorite
A graduate of Cal Poly with graduate work at Chapman and U C Santa Cruz, B. B. Shepherd has lived most of her life in California and loves the diverse beauty of its many landscapes. Music, horses, literature, and art have been her passions as long as she can remember. She enjoys road trips, almost all horse sports and extreme sports (as a spectator), and is addicted to research.
As a writer, Shepherd enjoys exploring emotions and motivations: why do people do what they do? She also likes trying to find the funny side of things. She admits to being a hopeless romantic and often gets in trouble for her sense of humor. Bronze is her debut novel, the first in a series of four called The Glister Journals. She currently works full time as a music professional and educator, and lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her youngest daughter and a very silly cat.
Music is obviously a big part of almost everyone’s life and it seems like most authors have a ‘playlist’ they listen to while writing—music/songs they listen to while writing or have used as direct inspiration for their work. Believe it or not I was blissfully unaware of this as I began writing Bronze, the first novel in The Glister Journals series. In fact, I can’t listen to music while I write. You see, I’ve been a musician all my life (okay, from the age of six or so) and a professional (yes, earning my living) for well over twenty years. I also have a disorder that makes me both easily distracted and intensely focused, and music will trump everything else! I find writing very difficult with any kind of distraction. If music is on I will listen to it actively. If I know it well enough, I’ll be singing along or imagining myself playing the riffs, bass lines, solos. I can’t help it. If I don’t know it, I’ll be learning it, analyzing it. So, no music for Beni while writing. BUT…I do listen to music while doing almost everything else. Especially driving.
I drive a lot and as I do, I listen to several different radio stations (usually rock and alternative) plus my own mp3s. It’s also one of the times I can concentrate on characters, plotting, etc. When I was writing somewhere around chapter fifteen, about the middle of the book, I started to realize that some of the songs I listened to a lot described my characters, or an emotion, or a specific scene I’d already written. The first to occur to me was for the very first chapter and I was tickled pink. It was perfect. The second followed hard on its heels—also perfect. Actually, way more than perfect. I didn’t think too much about it except that whenever I heard those songs, I could vividly picture those characters and/or that scene.
Apart from teaching, performing, and arranging, I have a strong background in putting music together for different programs and tying them in with themes, so this seemed logical and normal to me. It wasn’t until much later, toward the end of writing the book that I began to look through the YA books in bookstores and online. I hadn’t considered that I was writing a YA book when I started it and I really had no clue what else was out there. That’s when I started to notice the mention of playlists which I thought was interesting. I was more used to seeing such things on the art websites I belong to. Drawing, doing art of any kind, is one of those things I want music on for.
I began thinking of these songs that fit my book as a soundtrack—my Bronze movie soundtrack, if you will. I pictured everything I wrote as if it was a movie; it made sense that there would be music too. In fact music is mentioned, one way or another, in almost every chapter, so in a way the music was there all along. A few more songs had already fallen into place by the time I finished the book and the rest I found through one source or another. There’s quite a story behind how I found some of them.
So, on to the soundtrack: it’s built into the book—a double album’s worth! Blame it on my ASD. It’s a puzzle for anyone who wishes to play and I will give you the first clues now! There will be a contest in conjunction with it, and the soundtrack titles will be revealed in a countdown before the second book comes out next year. But for now I just want to let people know about it, how it came about, and give a few clues so they can try figuring it out if they want to. It’s not necessary to the story, but I think the songs certainly enhance it. If you don’t have the patience for such things, you can wait for the countdown, but for those who want to work on it I will be adding clues to the book’s website on a regular basis. I’ll be letting people know about the updates through my blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
I’ve waited a long time to reveal this. For parents, I’m not aware of anything overtly offensive in any of the songs, but mild innuendo is in some of them. The contest will be open to people over-eighteen.
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