In this episode of Quality Time, Daddy Clay interviews Daisy Whitney. She is the host of the New Media Minute and the author of "The Mockingbirds". This novel for teens is about an elite boarding school's underground student-run justice system and deals with the controversial subject of date rape. She tells us why she decided to write a book for teenagers and what is the appropriate age for your teen to read the book.
Interview with the Author of The Mockingbirds Daddy Clay: We're here again at the Baby Bjorn Booth at the ABC baby and kids expo here in Las Vegas we’re going to take a little break from our usual programming to talk to an old friend. Today I'm being joined by Daisy Whitney. Now we have been following Daisy has worked for a long time as a journalist. She’s got a book coming out for young adults called The Mockingbird we’re here today to talk to her about that. Daisy Whitney: As you said it’s a novel for teens it’s called The Mockingbird it’s an underground student run justice system acts in a boarding school and the different cases that they try and one of the main case of the story centers around date rate. Daddy Clay: What drew you to the subject manner and also to writing for teens. Why a novel for these audience and not on adult? Daisy Whitney: I just think there's so much more you can do with it. I felt that I was a little bit boxed in when I was trying to write for adult and I feel like when you write for teens because they're just experiencing so many things like you almost have more freedom as a writer to try different things and to present more challenging subjects matter I mean what teens are going through is they're experiencing everything for the first time you know whether it’s first love, first kids, first pain whatever it is and that’s what really kind of drew me to this genre to be able to try to communicate that and get in touch with them that way. Daddy Clay: This is sort of a tough subject. Although it’s a really important one to address do you have any worries that there may be some fears running the subject that kids may not pick up the boat because of this subject matter? Daisy Whitney: When you push the envelope yeah you're going to get some pushback but I also think that from early teen readers from teens who got their hands on this copy and for teens that I've met along the way I've had the opportunity to do a couple free publication events for teenagers. They really responded to it and they like that books don’t tab down to them. I mean they want books that deal with some of the more challenging topics in life. One of the teen books that has done really well over the last few years is 13 reasons why by J. Usher and that deals with teen suicide. I mean these are scary things but real things that are happening to teens around us and I think by giving them the opportunity to talk about it and to read about it and discuss it in fiction then we are providing a forum as parents of adults as writers to hopefully give them something to discuss and something to consider and maybe change their world view hopefully. For the better. Daddy Clay: But the question for me is I've got a 12-year old, some of these issues are starting to come up with that situation. Well is it too early? I mean what's the right point at which to introduce The Mockingbird in the subject to a date rate to your kids? Daisy Whitney: I'm truly dependent on the category. I believe this is 14 and up and that’s just what the publisher has to put out as a guideline because it has done deals with some more of the sure things. so this is really a situation where you have to know your kid. Daddy Clay: The protagonist of your novel is a teenage girl and a lot of the message in the book it seems to me is how to empower girls to speak out. is there any reason for boys to read this book? Or is this just a book for girls? Daisy Whitney: Date rate and speaking up for yourself and speaking up for your friends is not just something that girls, teenage girls will do. The main character has very close male friends as well who stand by her and are very supportive. Daddy Clay: Well Daisy I want to thank you very much for joining us today and also for writing this fantastic book. It’s called The Mockingbird. It’s a controversial topic but don’t be afraid of it because this is important for parents to be educated. If you want a really great insight in what it’s like to be in this world to be a teen to be facing these issues I really highly recommend this book. You can get it on Amazon, you can find it online and you know what while you read it visit Daisy’s site at daisywhitney.com. daisy thanks again for joining us. Daisy Whitney: Thank you too Clay. Daddy Clay: Thanks a lot for Baby Bjorn for letting us join you here from their booth at the ABC baby expo. We’ll see you next time here on dadlabs.