THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOK, “TRACKS ALONG THE LEFT COAST,” BY ANDREW SCHELLING, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, ALONG WITH THE FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY. OR, YOU CAN CLICK ANDREW SCHELLING’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.
PUBLISHED IN: 2017
THE AUTHOR: Renee Garrison.
THE EDITOR: Liz Sims.
THE PUBLISHER: Southern Yellow Pine Publishing LLC in Tallahassee, Florida, promotes Southern Authors of fiction and non-fiction throughout the Southeast. They strive to publish unique works set in specific locals that reflect the culture of that area.
SUMMARY: What if you were the only girl living in a boys’ boarding school?
My Young Adult book, “The Anchor Clankers,” revolves around a ninth-grade girl who never had a brother, at least not a biological one. But she acquires hundreds of them when she moves (with her parents) into a boys’ military academy where her father is the new Commandant. The book a medalist in the 2017 Florida Authors and Publishers Association Book Awards.
THE BACK STORY: It’s actually the story of my life. Yes, I grew up in a boys’ military academy. I remember my father walking through the door of our apartment, shaking his head and telling my mother, ‘I ought to write a book.’ He died in 1990 but I’m happy to do it for him.”
As a former reporter for The Tampa Tribune, I admit that daily newspaper deadlines kept me from writing the book sooner. When you write stories all day, there’s little time or creative energy leftover at night to devote to a book. However, my husband and I drove to Sanford in 2010 to see the old school building. Though the naval academy closed its doors in 1976, the building was used by a missionary group that graciously gave me a tour of my old home. Memories came flooding back and a book was born.
WHY THIS TITLE: “The Anchor Clankers” is actually a derogatory term that local Sanford boys used to refer to midshipmen who lived at the naval academy.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Though there are no vampires, wizards or dystopian societies, this coming-of-age book has a lot of rollicking good fun. (Think of “Animal House” on a high-school level or Hogwarts without the wands.)
“Renee Garrison has a true gift for developing believable characters. This authentic coming of age story will resonate with teens.” Patty Lapinsky, Literacy Coach.
“This book is kind of Old Florida – the way America used to be before cell phones and the Internet. Nostalgia can be exciting and fun – Suzette is having the time of her life! I hope there’s a film version, because I want to go to a boarding school like this.” — Julie Neely.“
This hilarious book tells the tales of 14-year-old Suzette and her adventures with more than 100 high school boys all living under the same roof. It’s a fun read about Florida, the military academy and Suzette’s ways of finding her place in the world.” Liz Sims, BookmarkIt.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Award-winning author Renee Garrison was born in Washington, DC. Her father was a naval aviator whose job required the family to move every three years. Though she hated changing schools, Renee loved the freedom to reinvent herself in each new city where she lived. She discovered her love of journalism while writing for her high school newspaper and graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Mass Communications. She spent 16 years as a staff writer for the Tampa Tribune.
Most of the time, she writes at home in Florida. But she always carries a notebook and pen so she can scribble thoughts in the car, on beach chairs — she’s even done some pretty good work on the back of vomit bags during airline flights! (She must have coffee, though, and chocolate seems to help her creative process a lot.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: “Whether you ARE a teenage girl or you KNOW a teenage girl, the book will strike a familiar chord. My life was a bit unique as the only girl in a boys’ boarding school. But the book also deals with themes such as prejudice, peer pressure and groping with change, which are common to all teenagers.”
The main character moves from Boston to Sanford in 1971, but her experience is a universal one. Not wanting to move is normal. Leaving behind everything that’s familiar is frightening. I want my readers to remember that they’re not alone. According to the National Military Family Association, military children will say goodbye to more significant people by age 18 than the average person will in a lifetime.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: Check my Amazon Author page or my blog www.Reneewritesnow.wordpress.com.
523 Heron Point Way
DeLand, FL 32724