A Conversation With Bruce Edwards
In your new book, The Age of Amy: Bonehead Bootcamp, your lead character doesn't like computers, smart phones, or any of the electronic gadgetry most teens use today.
It's not that Amy doesn't like them, she just doesn't like what our fixation on them does to people. Her family, for example. You can't tear her parents away from their big-screen TVs. Her siblings are obsessed with online gaming and Facebook. Not that she's immune to the lure of technology herself; she texts on her cell phone as much as the rest of them.
Teens typically rebel at that age, and Amy is no exception. What makes her different?
That she's really not the rebellious type at all. Her most radical expression of teenage angst is the blue highlight she dyes into her hair. That's it! To Amy, her rebellious behavior is a means of being helpful, even though she's perceived as being a trouble-maker.
She's awfully disagreeable, you have to admit.
At 16, Amy hasn't had a lot of experience in diplomacy. True, she gets way too vocal with her opinions. But she means well. All she really wants is to reconnect with her family and be accepted by her peers.
Amy's experience at Bonehead Bootcamp is often scary, but also humorous and heart-warming at times.
Ya know, so much of today's teen literature is so dark and heavy. What's wrong with a little light-hearted levity once in a while? I think teen readers could do with more "chocolate factories" in their books. Don't you think?
Your story touches on several sociopolitical issues. Is it your intention to raise teen awareness?
I don't consider it an issue-oriented book. I try to delve beneath the surface of issues, to expose the roots of why these problems exist in the first place. And what better way to do it than through fantasy?
What prompted you to write this book? Why target a teenage audience?
Turn on the news. It's depressing! More wars, more corruption, higher costs with less to live on. Then we announce that our sons and daughters will have to pay off our ballooning national dept. I feel like covering their little ears -- "Don't listen!" I guess it's just my way of saying, don't follow our example. Look inside your own hearts. That's where the answers are.
What's next for you?
I plan on sending Amy on more fantastic adventures in a continuing series of "Age of Amy" books. As always, my goal is to entertain as well as enlighten. There's no reason we can't have a little fun while exploring the absurdities in human behavior.
Read an excerpt from The Age of Amy: Bonehead Bootcamp HERE