Thursday, May 14, 2009
Susane Colasanti is visiting us today to discuss teen sexuality.
Her books include:
When it happens
Take me There
Waiting for You
Ashley: Your new book to soon be released is Waiting for You. Who do you think will be the most intrigued by this novel? Younger teens? Older?
S.C: I’m stoked that Waiting for You will be released on May 14! The characters in this book are sophomores, so they’re a bit younger than my usual characters. I love writing about older teens, but I wanted to tell the story of slightly younger kids so that younger readers could relate to this book in a more meaningful way. I also have adult readers who are looking forward to reading this book. That’s the cool thing about YA novels – they appeal to a wide audience.
Ashley: What would you say the main theme of Waiting for You is?
SC: You can usually find themes about creating your ideal life or the importance of taking chances in my books. These concepts definitely apply to Waiting for You. One of the book’s themes explores how we can enhance our lives by living in the moment, what my main character calls “the Now.” When we live in the Now, we relate to the world in a totally refreshing way. I hope my readers will be inspired to try it.
Ashley: Does it compare in any aspects to your previous novels?
SC: All of my books have similarities. At the heart of each one is a story about soul mates. I love writing about relationships, both the good and bad times. This story looks at the waiting we’ve all felt for our lives to begin and how hard it is to wait for true love to find us. Longing, wishing, and hoping are always present on some level in my books. Oh, and there’s an adorable boy in this book, too. I always like to write about adorable boys.
Ashley: Teen relationships and sexuality are all over the media. Do you have any thoughts on this subject?
SC: Kids are exposed to way more than they should be. The prevalence of sexually explicit images is increasing at an alarming rate. It seems like teens don’t have the opportunity to be teens anymore. I feel like so many teens are rushing into heavy situations before they’re ready. A lot of kids are doing more than they’re comfortable with, whether it’s dressing provocatively or becoming physically intimate, because it seems like everyone else is doing those things (they’re not). Moving too quickly now can cause immense problems later.
I want kids to know that they’re not alone. Everyone feels pressured or rushed at some point, and the choice to resist negative influences is yours. You are in charge of your body and your mind - no one else. So think about the person you want to be, and then make choices that will help you become that person. Disrespecting yourself can only lead to regret. If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will.
Ashley: One last question, what would you tell a teen who is getting "really" serious with her boyfriend?
SC: The most important thing is to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. If you’re having sex, you must have safer sex. Sex is never 100% safe, since there is always the risk of pregnancy or contracting an STI (sexually transmitted infection), but there are ways you can make it safer. Make sure that you are using at least one form of birth control and that you are using it correctly.
On an emotional level, I would strongly advise teens to only get physically serious with someone they know and love. It takes time to connect with another person in a real way. When I hear about teens sleeping with their boyfriend or girlfriend after being together for only a few months, it makes me sad. No one should do anything they’re not ready for. No one should be forced into an uncomfortable situation. The whole, “If you really loved me, then you’d do this” manipulation is skeezy. If someone truly loves you, that love will be there no matter how far you go. For serious.
Ashley: Thanks so much for coming :)
SC: Thank you, Ashley! Please let readers know that I love connecting with them. Here’s where they can find me: