"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Teens, Sex, and Relationships

You've all heard me talk about the terrific writers of the Kindle All-Stars and I'd like you to meet another of them today. I first introduced you to my buddy Matt Posner (aka Cat's Pajamas) back in April via his poems "Vampire Poet" and "Famous Fathers." His work goes far beyond poetry and he's here again today as my guest. Teen Guide to Sex and Relationships is co-authored by Matt along with his writing Partner, Jess C. Scott. Matt was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me about the book and about Jess.

Teen Guide to Sex & Relationships
is now available on Amazon
LAURIE:   All of my readers know I love being a Bostonian, but I fraternize regularly with New Yorkers. Please assure me you're NOT a Jets fan and all will be just fine. (Feel free to lie if you must.)

MATT:  I don't care about the Jets at all. No one from Miami likes the Jets. I've been to Boston twice so far and consider it a great place to vacation. The whale-watching tours are cool. Julie and I also like to go over to Cambridge and shop at the Harvard Coop. There is no Boston/New York rivalry that I'm involved in. I'm from Miami originally.

LAURIE:  So what's in this book? Who's the target audience and what should they expect?

MATT:  This book is written for teenagers of both genders and all sexual preferences. They will find separate sections for questions and answers about sexuality and about relationship issues. Jess and I write separate answers to every question from our own distinct points of view. Jess is a cool young woman with a nonconformist view, and I'm an older teacher of conservative personal habits. Jess and I agree on all matters to do with young people's safety and happiness, but our advice isn't always the same, as we are from different generations. We explain topics about love, lust, and anatomy, and we talk about how to begin, maintain, and end relationships and how to recognize feelings for what they are. We also explain unfamiliar or partially understood terms and we shatter a lot of myths.

LAURIE:  Many advice books are written by only one author. Why two in this case?

MATT:  When I envisioned this book, I thought I should have a female to counterbalance my very male point of view. I know some things about the female heart and female anatomy, but a female should mentor a female just as a male should mentor a male. Also, readers would, I think, want to know what the other gender is thinking!  

LAURIE:  Why is your book different from other books on this subject?

MATT:  Our book is designed to read like a conversation with an older friend. We aren't therapists or doctors or social workers or theoreticians:  we're just people who've been around whom you can trust to be on your side and do their best to advise you. Like your older sister who just came back from college with fresh ideas, or your uncle who tells you what he thinks and doesn't judge you like your dad does. That kind of people.

LAURIE:  How was it to work with Jess C. Scott?

MATT:  We've turned out to be a good team. We rarely disagree, and if we ever have disagreed, we've settled it so cordially that neither of us could even be sure there was a disagreement at all! Jess is super prolific and works on many projects at a time; I also work on many projects at a time, and I write fast, too, when I'm actually writing; however, I don't write every day, so to keep up with her, I had to go on vacation! So I wrote about a third of my share of this book during a couple of days holed up in my house in North Carolina.

LAURIE:  How did you guys come together as a team?

MATT:  When I was new in the business, in November 2010, I saw her request for reviewers of Other Side of Life and answered on a whim. What a good decision! She proved to be very business-savvy and gave me some good advice to get me started. We kept in touch sort of in the background of having separate careers, but although I thought it would be nice to team up for a project, I didn't have one in mind, because she was working on Elven Trilogy (and still is) and I was and still am committed to School of the Ages. About a year and a half later, it finally occurred to me that my dormant Teen Guide project was the right collaboration. I suggested as much, and here we are now. We are talking about co-authoring several more projects.

LAURIE:  Thanks for appearing on my blog.

MATT:  No, Consigliera. THANK YOU.

Samples available online:


Your comments are welcome and I'm happy to forward any questions my readers may have to Jess or Matt.

Happy Reading!

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