Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway Twisted by N.L. Greene


Growing up isn’t always easy. But for most teenage girls, they can rely on their best friend to help them get through the process. A BFF is something that is truly treasured and completely irreplaceable. You share all of your secrets, and are loyal and honest with each other, even when you’re acting just a little bit crazy. You have each other’s backs no matter what and you form a bond that is virtually unbreakable.

At least that’s what normal teenage girls experience.

Nat and Mel have been bestie’s since childhood and Nat has followed her blindly ever since. But as Nat’s friendship with Mel begins to lead her down the wrong path, she starts to question the sincerity of their relationship. Nat starts to see Mel’s manipulative, deceitful ways become more focused on her. Will Natalie hold on tight to the friendship she’s had her entire life, no matter what it cost her? Or will she let her heart lead her to a relationship that’s not so twisted.

Thank you, Mrs. N.L. Greene

Growing up is basically a personal experience. Why did you choose this topic and how did you prepare for it? 
I chose the topic for a couple of reasons. The first was because I’ve seen a lot about bullying and most of the time it is in the traditional situations like boyfriend/girlfriend relationships or the typical bully that obviously picks on other kids. I wanted to show that there was another side of bullying that a lot of people miss. The situation where a best friend, someone a girl trust more than anyone else when she’s a teen, can turn that trust into manipulation and betrayal. I also chose this topic because I could relate to it. I either experienced or watched someone close to me experience all of the situations in my book and more. The topic hit really close to home.

Twisted comes with the warning that it’s recommended for mature readers. But they are already… mature. What good is for them to read Twisted and why cannot the young adults read the book? This all divisions mean that we don’t trust in our young adults’ discernment? 
 I honestly put it in the New Adult category with the ‘mature reader’ disclaimer more as a precaution. The story isn’t sugar coated in anyway. Some of the situations Nat experiences are pretty rough and very vivid, even as a young teen and adult. I would actually like more young adults to read the book, hoping they could learn from Nat the signs of an abusive friend, but I also don’t want a parent getting upset because their child reads my book and they weren’t more aware of the content.

When can we consider that we had grown up? 
 I think that being considered ‘grown up’ all depends on the individual. Maturity has a lot to do with how an individual is raised and the experiences they have while growing up. Some fifteen year olds have the maturity level and understand responsibility better than some thirty year olds. I think it’s all relative and there is no right or wrong answer.

What is the main message of the book? 
The main message of my book is that no matter how much we love someone and no matter whom they are, we have to be independent and think for ourselves. We can’t be blinded by the need for someone and not see what they may be doing to us. Bullying can come from anyone, even our best friends and those can be the most dangerous because we refuse to see how we are being manipulated and taken advantage of.

Do you have an advice for the readers about how they can recognize a true friend? 
I think paying attention to what others are saying and how they see people can play a big role in recognizing the true character of a person. You can’t always believe what you hear but if no one likes that person, find out why. Listen to the reasons and think about them. I also think that we should remember that a true friend will never be mean to you. They won’t take advantage of your friendship, they won’t talk bad about you, and they will always listen to you and take your feelings into consideration.


My name is Natalie and I have a problem.

My problem isn’t one of the normal problems that teens come to their parents with or seek advice from a counselor for. I’m not failing school or worried about ending up in jail. I don’t have a drug or drinking problem. I’m not pregnant and there’s not an STD scare I need them to help me with.

No, it’s not that simple for me. Simple? What’s so simple about teen pregnancy or substance abuse in teens, you ask? Why am I brushing aside the gravity of becoming a juvenile delinquent or contracting an STD? Especially since any person with a lick of common sense can see that these things are no laughing matter. These problems keep parents up at night worrying about their children and thinking of ways to prevent them from falling victim to these exact things. They keep the police out patrolling the streets at all hours of night hoping to catch the evil culprits, or hoping to save maybe just one kid.

I say my problem isn’t that simple, because my problem is my best friend.

That makes even less sense, doesn’t it? I mean, how can anyone call their best friend a problem and then compare that to the problems I just listed? The statement alone is like an oxymoron or something, right? Best friends are those special people that you love almost more than yourself. They’re like sisters but better, because you actually want to be around them as much as possible. They’re that person you can never get enough of, who you share your deepest, darkest secrets with, and who you plan your entire future around. Who cares that the guy you marry one day won’t want a double wedding, complete with matching dresses and saying his vows to you at the exact same time as the couple standing right next to you at the altar? Does it really matter if he wants to live next door to that same couple, and spend every vacation and holiday for the rest of your lives together with his wife’s best friend? No! Because this person is your other half; the one person you know you can depend on no matter what, and therefore you plan for them to be a part of every aspect of your life for the rest of your life.

These are things that besties do. Well, they are if your best friend is all of those great, wonderful things. But the relationship with my BFF is a bit different; a bit twisted. My best friend is the meanest, most manipulative girl I have ever met. She treats everyone like shit, and thinks the world owes her big time. She takes what she wants, no matter who she hurts in the process… and she does it often.

Even to me.

But, I ask you - what sucks even more than having this sort of best friend? Not even knowing it.

My severe case of being oblivious started when I was in the fourth grade.

I don’t really remember a lot from that time period, but I do remember that life was pretty normal and less complicated. More importantly, I definitely remember the day I met my best friend. It was about midway through the school year when we got a new student. Her family had just moved here from another state. I don’t know where they moved from or why they moved, and still don’t to this day. But when you’re ten years old, those aren’t really questions you ask anyway. The burning questions at the age of ten are… Is it a boy or a girl? Where will they sit? The girls all say, “Yay! Our new student is a girl, so now there are more girls than boys!” That’s critical at this age, really.

And luckily, she got to sit by me. Our desks were arranged in small sections; four desks put together to make four separate table-like areas in the classroom. The only empty seat in the class was at my area, right across from me. And thank goodness, because I had been forced to sit with two other boys since Charlotte had left the month before. For that reason alone, I already loved the new girl and decided that she would be one of my best friends. It’s easy like that when you’re so young. You just ask if they want to be best friends, and BAM! Instant best friends.

That’s pretty much how it worked for me and Melanie, and we soon became inseparable. My parents even started giving her a ride to school in the mornings, even though she lived around the corner and not on our street. I wasn’t really at the age to start having sleepovers or anything like that yet, and my parents were kind of over-protective, so I never asked. But Melanie (who by the end of the school year had been dubbed ‘Mel’ and I became ‘Nat’) and I still spent as much time together as we could. We ate lunch together and played on the playground together, which were the sort of things that were critical when you’re in elementary school. Then fifth grade came and suddenly we were in different classes. We still said we were BFF’s and hung out on the playground together, but that was it. From what I can remember, the year was pretty uneventful. What can I say - I was like, eleven? What really happens when you’re that age, other than the occasional new kid coming into your class?

Toward the end of our fifth grade year things began to pick up a little. Excitement and nervousness began to build, due to the fact that we would be going to middle school the next year. Mel was still going to be at the same school as me, and we were even going to be riding on the same school bus. Our parents let us hang out more over that summer between, and now that we were older, we could ride our bikes to each other’s houses and Mel even came over sometimes to go swimming in our pool. We talked about how awesome middle school was going to be, and made plans to be best friends forever - no matter what.

About the author:
N.L. Greene, who is 1/2 of the author duo Riana Lucas, has decided to venture outside of the Fantasy world that she and her best friend created with Poppy and The Deadly Flowers Series to write a few books on her own. While she loves working with her best friend, writing solo has allowed her to explore interest that had solely been her own. She spends a lot of time reading her favorite authors which range all over the place and in every genre, but spends just as much time with her husband and two daughters, traveling, shopping, and playing video games. Nichole was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in Florida, where she and her high school sweetheart live with their two children.

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Chaotic Karma said...

"Twisted" sounds like a great book! And I love the cover! :)

~Veronica Vasquez~

Kai said...

Two strong characters. Each characters have their own agenda. This story is titled correctly. It is "twisted".

Anonymous said...

Nice cover!! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Vera Machado said...

Seems to be a great book! Love the cover!

Thanks for the giveaway!!! :D

Unknown said...

Find it fascinating.. can't wait to have a chance to read. Congrats.

Unknown said...

Keep writing! I love books.....