Siobhan Vivian is the author of A Little Friendly Advice and the newly released, Same Difference. So, without a futher ado here's Siobhan talking about Same Difference!
Same Difference was a very personal story for me. I based it off the summer before my senior year of high school, when I went to a summer art program in Philadelphia.
When I was growing up in New Jersey, I knew how to play what I’m going to call “the game”, which means that I knew what to do to blend with the in-crowd, the “right” friends to have…all the stuff that keeps you afloat in high school. It wasn’t all bad, necessarily. I had good friends. I liked my life. But I also felt like there were parts of my personality that I had to bury, to hide from my friends, because they’d think I was weird. A lot of times, I felt like a phony. Like I was playing pretend.
But then I go to Philly and meet all these super cool artsy kids who just don’t care what people think of them. They’re doing crazy stuff and into music I’ve never heard before. It was all so exciting and inspiring, and I found myself drawn into this whole other world. I was totally inspired by the confidence they had. I let some of those hidden parts show. It was exhilarating!
Only, that was a game too. You needed to act a certain way to be friends with those artsy kids. You couldn’t like things that were popular. You had to put on a show. And did I mean it in the same way the artsy kids did? Or was I acting again? In a way, both groups were similar. There were rules you had to follow.
By the end of that summer, I was so mixed up. I didn’t know which version of myself was the real one. Was I the suburban girl who played by the rules, or the arty wild girl who didn’t care what people said/thought about her?
So that became the inspiration behind SAME DIFFERENCE…the story of a girl who has to find true herself, while she splits her time between two very different groups of friends.
Thanks so much, Siobhan. That was a great guest blog!
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