Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guestopia: Jenny Torres Sanchez

Today is the launch of a brand new monthly feature here at YAtopia:


On the 26th of every of month, we'll feature a guest blogger, who can write about any topic related to books, reading, writing, or teens. Go here for more information.

Author Jenny Torres Sanchez agreed to be our guinea pig for this feature. Jenny is the author of The Downside of Being Charlie, which you can read more about - and enter to win a signed copy - at the bottom of this post. Take it away, Jenny!


On Inspiration:

The other day I went to see a production of The Lion King. If you’ve seen it, you know the opening act is pretty amazing. The thing is, before anything really started, before Mufasa was double crossed by the unsavory Scar, before poor Simba was ridden with guilt and grief, before the hyenas let out their first crazy yelp, I was crying. I know, right? In the first five minutes. And I felt kind of foolish because, well, there wasn’t much to cry about yet. But there I was, watching the parade of animals, listening to the cast sing The Circle of Life, crying. And thinking just a bunch of different thoughts.

First, I thought damn . . . I wish I were a stage actress. Then I wished I could sing. And then (I think The Circle of Life lyrics were getting to me), I was thinking about life and death and good and bad and art and music and our existence in the world.

This same kind of thing happened to me when I watched Wicked. The same thing happens to me when I watch a really good movie, or hear a really great song, or see an amazing painting, or cool photograph.

And man . . . I love that feeling — inspiration. I love being inspired by things around me. I love being moved to tears (though crying in front of people makes me super uncomfortable). I love getting that feeling in my chest that swells and becomes so much it feels like it could crush me and gets my mind thinking and wondering about all kinds of things. I kind of live for these moments because a lot of times I look at the world around me and I think, man, we’re pretty screwed up. I watch the news and see really horrible things, and I feel really, really sad that we as humans are capable of truly horrid acts. I see strangers be rude to each other for wherever reason and it makes me want to ask them why. It’s safe to say that sometimes I can get a little disillusioned by the world around me and humans in general.

But then I’ll watch something like this, and I think, we’re not that bad. Actually, we are kind of amazing. And we’re capable of great beauty — of creating truly beautiful things, of feeling remarkable feelings and expressing and conveying what we feel in remarkable ways, of making others feel remarkable. And it makes me feel inspired. It makes me want to write and try to capture what I’m feeling somehow in what I’m writing. It makes me want to move others. It makes me believe we are not as hopeless as we may seem sometimes.

And then I’ll listen to that same song, or look at that same photo or source of inspiration that moved me in the first place, and I’ll use it as I write because I just want to hold on to the high. This doesn’t work so well with The Lion King because I don’t have the cast at my ready, but if I did, you can bet they’d be performing The Circle of Life every night in my living room. But eventually . . . like most things, I’d wear it out. It would get a little old. I always do this, but I can’t help it. It’s okay, though, because luckily we are capable of great beauty. And there’s actually a lot of it out there in the world.


Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!

Charlie is handed a crappy senior year. Despite losing thirty pounds over the summer, he still gets called “Chunks” Grisner. What’s worse, he has to share a locker with the biggest Lord of the Rings freak his school has ever seen. He also can’t figure out whether Charlotte VanderKleaton, the beautiful strawberry lip-glossed new girl, likes him the way he likes her. Oh, and then there’s his mom. She’s disappeared—again—and his dad won’t talk about it.

Somewhere between the madness, Charlie can at least find comfort in his one and only talent that just might get him out of this life-sucking place. But will he be able to hold his head above water in the meantime?

How does that sound? Would you like to win a signed copy from the author? Use the Raflecopter form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. nice 1, do you mind if I re-post this on my blog with a link back to your site?

  2. Great Post! LOVE boy POV books - this one sounds really good. And can I say I have serious cover love going on?

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jenny!

  4. Your book sounds great, Jenny! Whoever wins is lucky!