Have you ever been to a class reunion? If not, have you met with old friends or family members that you haven’t seen in a long time? What did you do to prepare for the get-together? Were you more concerned with what they thought about you—how you looked, how you aged, and how successful you were in life—than you should have been?
The very common human condition of insecurity that stems from childhood is what motivates my characters in the Class Reunion series as they get ready to go to the big event. I wanted readers to get to know the people in my story and join them on their journeys. The editor and I agreed that the best way to do this was to write it in first person. Since I wanted to show the lives of more than one person in this group, all of these books are written in multiple points of view. To add to the immediacy and intimacy of the characters’ experiences, these books are present tense.
About the characters and their insecurities:
Priscilla Slater was class Valedictorian and voted “Most Likely to Succeed” back in high school. Everyone expected her to follow in her college professor parents’ footsteps, but she surprised everyone by dropping out of college and going to beauty school. Although she still wants her parents’ approval, she’s not willing to be miserable in a career she doesn’t want.
Tim Puckett’s dad abandoned him and his mama when he was a young boy. His dad’s brother took over and paid for Tim to go to college with the stipulation that he must work for the family business after graduation. Although Tim’s dream job isn’t being a beauty supply salesman he’s not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. The bonus is that he meets the love of his life. Too bad she doesn’t see him as more than a pal. But maybe if he helps out a little more, he’ll win the girl of his dreams.
Trudy Baynard’s beauty pageant trophies and Miss Piney Point crowns gather dust as she navigates her way through being a divorced woman who has packed on a few pounds and needs Spanx to get into her slinky dresses. She had enough sense to leave Piney Point after her no-good, womanizing man dumped her, but now she wants to see her former classmates. Her mission before the reunion is to get her high school figure back and make it look like she’s successful without Michael.
Celeste Boudreaux is tired of being the wallflower, so she forces her way on to the class reunion committee. It’s hard giving up her bad attitude, but once Priscilla works her magic on her and makes her downright pretty, she thinks she might wind up with a full dance card.
Laura Moss is exhausted. I mean, who wouldn’t be after a long day of keeping four young’uns and a sweet but alcoholic husband in line? And now that she has the class reunion to coordinate, she’s found her limits. But she can’t let on, which is why she allows others to contribute, even if they don’t do things the way she does them.
Do you see yourself in any of these characters? As I wrote their stories, I dug deep and found a piece of each of them inside me. Whether looking for acceptance like Priscilla or feeling “put upon” like Laura, my insecurities have shown themselves at some of the most inconvenient times in my life. Even as a writer, I worry that I won’t live up to the expectations of readers, editors, family members, and friends. Sound familiar?
|About the Author|
Pretty Is as Pretty Does
|Pretty is as Pretty Does|
by Debby Mayne
Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she’s a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren’t exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth—and she may be surprised at what she discovers.