1. As a preteen I internalized a lot that I was going through and went to books to help me cope with stuff at school. I think I spent the years from fourth grade to eighth reading when I got home. That’s why I put in advice on handling friend issues and frenemies (etc.) in the books for readers who are like I was at that age. I went to a life coaching training to get tips to help my readers deal with anxiety and stress, too!
2. I participated in modeling and fashion shows at Landry’s age and wanted to show the real side of being backstage which was not nearly as glamorous as I thought it would be. I got sprayed in the face with hair spray all of the time. I can’t stand that stuff now. I also can't stand having anyone do my eye makeup now. Do not come near my eyes with a mascara wand or I'll flinch.
3. There is such a focus on hair color and style/texture because I was taking a class in college about how women are marketed to by what they don’t have. We studied ads and commercials and I realized if you had curly hair, they were promoting hair straighteners and yet if you had straight hair, they were promoting every styling product to get curly hair. I wanted to show how sometimes we want what someone else has instead of appreciating what we have. In the books, the girls who have hair Landry likes often tell her that they’d like to have hair like her. A case of the grass isn’t always greener on the other side sort of thing.
4. The grade school/middle school I went to was very much like Hillcrest Academy and I had to wear a school uniform like Landry. Even though Landry and I have very different coloring, the school colors (navy and white) also made me look like a dead goldfish.
5. Landry attends a retro roller-skating party for Thalia’s birthday just as she’s trying to fit in with a new group because I had the same thing happen when I was in school. I remember going to a skating party in 5th grade and praying I’d have someone to hang out with and sit with because of some friend drama. I can still remember who I sat with and I even remember what I wore to that party! Guess jeans and a red Coca Cola sweatshirt. Don't judge me!
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.