Friday, September 6, 2013

GYDO: Liz Coley

Liz Coley, Author of Pretty Girl-13

Way back in seventh grade, the social divisions were fairly well established even in a tiny private school. There were the cute boys who played basketball and then the rest of the guys, ill-assorted and usually awkward. For some reason, these traits went together, although looking back on yearbook photos, I realize in retrospect that although there were dorky athletes and cute nerds, those category cutting exceptions weren’t noticeable at the time.

In some private schools, there’s one additional category of student—the kid who is there because he’s been kicked out of the public school system. Oddly enough one of these kids became one of my best guy friends in seventh grade.

His name was generic enough that I’ve no hope of finding him again—Jeff Smith—though I would love to know what ever became of him. He arrived at our school in seventh grade as a bird of a completely different feather. He was worldly, he was a bad boy, he was kind of cute, with shoulder length wavy brown hair and a ready smile. He smoked cigarettes and pot, he shoplifted, and he broke into houses. For reasons I can’t even begin to guess, he decided to hang out with “the good girls” at lunch. Maybe because we were so nice, we just accepted him, with all his baggage. Maybe because our eyes sparkled at his tales of mischief and misdemeanor. Maybe because we were as much a curiosity to him as he was to us. He nicknamed me Albert, after Einstein, and I answered to that name as if it were my own, all year. I considered it a badge of affection and something completely mysterious and indefinable.

I think he managed to flunk seventh grade. He knew he was leaving in early June, and on our last day, he presented the three of us girls in his odd posse with necklaces, personal to each of us. Mine was an owl, the others a dove and a choker that said “oh shit” on it. He proudly announced that while he had stolen the money, he had actually paid for the jewelry in a store. Shades of moral gray. It seemed like a step in the right direction to us—that’s how charmed we were. I’ve still got this token of the charismatic delinquent who brushed my life for just a few hundred days, and it’s still an unaccountably precious memory.

Pretty Girl-13 Blurb
Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home…only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen-or at least that's what everyone tells her.
What happened to the past three years of her life?
Angie doesn't know.
But there are people who do — people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?
Liz Coley's alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing - and ultimately empowering page-turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

Author Bio
Liz Coley's short fiction has appeared in Cosmos magazine and speculative fiction anthologies. Her passions beyond reading and writing include singing, photography, and baking. She plays competitive tennis locally in Ohio to keep herself fit and humble.
With a background in science, Liz follows her interest in understanding "the way we work" down many interesting roads. Pretty Girl-13's journey into the perilous world of dissociative identity disorder is one of them.



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