In Bruised, Skilton touches on subjects such as self-defense, control, helplessness and anger, and she explores it all through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old girl, Imogen. I was fascinated by the risks Skilton took in writing Imogen, the honesty and depth with which she approached Imo's situation. I reached out to Sarah because I wanted to know more about the way she sees Imogen, and today I'm sharing her answer with you. So without further ado...
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and kind review of BRUISED, and for hosting this giveaway! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about Imogen, the main character of the book.
As you pointed out in your review, and rightfully so, Imogen’s not always the easiest character to like. You wrote, “I desperately wanted to protect her even though she doesn’t need anyone’s protection.” Strange as this may sound, I feel the same way about her. While writing the book, I wanted to hug Imogen but I knew she’d hate that and would probably roll her eyes and push me away.
She’s definitely a prickly young woman, but more than that, she’s a perfectionist. I think the reason readers are (hopefully) sympathetic toward her is because she’s not a hypocrite – she expects a lot from other people, but she expects the most from herself. Falling short of her ideals the one time it really matters, not to mention the consequences of that failing, are what drive her guilt.
For some people, depression is anger turned inward. For Imogen, who’s a black belt in martial arts, and accustomed to coping with life’s ups and downs through physical activity, it’s especially difficult to handle emotions. When her normal outlets are closed to her, she must confront her problems in a different way, and it’s a struggle. Although her circumstances are intense – freezing up at an armed robbery -- I’m hoping that the discoveries she makes in the aftermath about herself, her family, and her friends will resonate with all sorts of people.
Sarah is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a fact that came in handy while writing her martial arts-themed debut YA novel, BRUISED. She and her husband, a magician, live in Santa Clarita, CA with their 9-month-old son. She's never been sawed in half, but there's still time. She loves to read coming-of-age and YA novels, effed up memoirs, and edgy non-fiction.
Sarah kindly offered to send a signed hardcover copy of BRUISED to one of you guys. The giveaway is international (she's obviously awesome) and as usual, all you need to do is fill out the Rafflecopter and keep your fingers crossed.
But guys, even if you don't win a copy here, make sure to get one some other way. Bruised is a debut you don't want to miss.
Good luck to all.