Saturday, August 20, 2011

Blog Tour Guest Post: Shea Berkley


The Quest of One Girl to fit in with the Boys

I get a lot of questions about writing in the male point of view. I get it. I’m a girl. I’m petite. I like to wear dresses and high heels. I have long hair and wear make-up. If you met me, you wouldn’t think, “Wow, what a nice guy.”

Seriously, how can I write in the male POV if I’m such a girl?

Background time.

When I was younger, like six years old, I wanted to be a dude. Seriously. I saw my guy friends doing all sorts of stuff girls weren’t allowed to do. For example, when it was hot, boys got to run around with their shirts off. No one gave that behavior a second look. Not so girls. My innocent, little-girl brain didn’t get it. I got just as hot playing hard and getting all sweaty as my friends. Why couldn’t I just strip and call it even? My older sister put a stop to that show. Ended my little-girl exhibitionistic ways in a heartbeat, but I wasn’t being exhibitionistic. I was hot and just wanted to cool down. Life as a little girl seemed to be overly restrictive. Is it no wonder I wanted to be a boy?

For the longest time, I could out race, out push, out yell, out climb any boy I knew. I lived for competition. That’s what hanging with boys taught me, to be aggressive and go for the win. One of my guy friends taught me how to ski in one day. Do you know how? Every time I fell, he rooster-tailed a ton of snow on top of me. I got angry, as he knew I would, and I concentrated harder. By the end of the day I was skiing without his freakin’ help. Take that!

And then, when I was thirteen, I had my first kiss and there was no turning back. That little-girl desire to be one of the boys evaporated. I discovered after all those years of my sister forcing me into different frilly shirts in hot weather that I actually liked wearing those pretty shirts. Yep, I liked being a girl… because I liked boys. Not just liked, but I liked, liked boys. I didn’t even mind them beating me at sports every-so-often. Most of the time I got a big hug and kiss on the cheek. In a teenage girl’s mind, that’s pretty good consolation for losing.

So how do I know what goes on in a guy’s head? I know, because I was one of the guys for a long time. Truth be told, a part of me still is. I talk to guys, get into their business, and they’re more than happy to talk to me about stuff because guys like to talk about themselves… and I like to listen. I find them fascinating. Really. I know it’s weird, but that’s me, a girl who always tried to fit in with the boys.

So there you have it. That’s my story. I channel everything I learned over all those years into my stories. The main character in THE MARKED SON is Dylan. He’s just an average guy. At least he thinks he is. He has issues (don’t we all), but he’s not a jerk. He thinks things we all think but don’t say, and sometimes says things he regrets, just like any normal teenager. He’s really a great guy who’s put in an extraordinary position and made to fight his way into adulthood. I hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as I enjoyed creating him.

******

Excerpt from THE MARKED SON

Easing back, I press my spine into the prickly bark and rub my hands through my hair. It’s obvious they don’t know I’m in their world. According to Navar, I’m not even real. Granel is a problem. He believes in my existence and has enough sway over Navar that he’s gotten him to at least consider the possibility I’m real and a threat.

After seeing what I’ve just seen, I’ve got to get back home now more than ever.

Before I can move, the guard appears, dangling upside-down from the branch above me with a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. “Hello, mutt.”

He cartwheels out of the tree, lands on his feet, and swings his sword in one fluid motion. I dodge the blade and spring to my feet, calling on the tree branches to capture him. The man is quickly tangled, yet with a heavy blow, his sword slices neatly through the wood. He drops to the ground unfazed.

With eyes glittering, he stalks me.

I fumble for the sword Bodog gave me as real fear begins to grow. This guy is a hardened soldier. I don’t stand a chance.

I dodge his blade time and again, feeling the whistle of cold steel every time it passes. I manage to pull out my sword and then something unexpected happens. The blade ripples to life with a flash of fire. I thrust the sword in front of me and gape. Holy flaming fire!

The soldier stops and smiles. “Well, well, well. You’re full of surprises.”

Just wait. I’ve got more,” I say and shrug with a confidence I don’t exactly feel. Hopefully my act has him thinking I’m used to a good flaming sword fight. To back up my false confidence, I find myself lunging forward, my flaming sword slicing toward his head. He spins away and the battle begins in earnest.

I must be crazy. I’ve never fought with a sword. He acts like he was born with it in his hand. His blade comes frighteningly close to my head and cuts off a few strands of my hair before I push him away. Trees are used as vaulting points. Branches as obstacles. Forest debris whirls. We tussle and my sword flies out of my hand.

Desperate for cover, I duck behind a tree, breathless and sore. I’m at my wit’s end. How long can I postpone the inevitable? I duck as his blade swipes at me again. I don’t want to die. Not like this. Not here. Not now.

******

Thanks for sticking around. I’d like to thank Missy for allowing me to expose myself in ways I’m sure she never expected on her blog. At least I had fun. (grin) If anyone has a burning desire to talk to me, you can find me at: Facebook / SheaBerkley.com / Goodreads / RubySlipperedSisterhood.com



Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he's never met, he had no idea what.

When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents' farm, he knows he's seen her before...in his dreams. He's felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.

Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he's completely insane or he's about to have the adventure of his life, because where they're going is full of creatures he's only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death...

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