My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Guest Post + Giveaway: Popular by Laurel Bradley

by Laurel Bradley

I received a list of questions for a recent on-line interview and was asked to pick five. One of the questions threw me for a loop. It asked if I was popular in high school.

Popular. What does that have to do with anything? Popular.

I stared at the question for a long time remembering my high school years. Back then, I was a little awkward, but not horribly so. I was honor roll smart but not valedictorian smart. I dated my share of guys but didn’t fall in love. I had a nice circle of friends, but popular? No. I wasn’t popular by any stretch of the imagination. I’m not sure what it requires to be popular. I didn’t know then, didn’t know when my kids were in high school even though some of them were, and I don’t really know now. Viewed from the outside popular people seem to have a list of characteristics that shouldn’t make them popular, but apparently does.
Clearly, I wasn’t looking at popularity correctly. Time to do some research.

So, naturally I did what everyone does when faced with one of life’s pressing questions—I consulted musical lyrics. (This is why I love Sondheim’s Into the Woods so much, but I digress.)  Wicked has a very clever song on that deals with the question of popularity. In it, I learned that my aptitude wasn’t the problem. It is, I’m afraid, rather a perceptional issue. How the heck does a person change the way she’s viewed?
Elphaba required a change in hair style and clothing.

Clothing… Hmmm… I have no idea what type of clothing that might be the popular kind. Sporty, classy contemporary, dress casual (whatever that is), or the latest in tart-wear? Clearly I need help as much help today as I did back in high school, though there seemed to be fewer clothing options then. Does this mean jeans aren’t jeans?

But back to the song…
The list of challenges continued. Apparently, I also needed to hang with the very people I couldn’t hang with because I wasn’t what they were, namely, popular. I also needed to be “good at sports.” No luck there. I may have looked athletic at different times in my life, but trust me, appearances can be deceiving.

I think the key might be held in Glenda’s direction to follow her lead. Elphaba became popular because Glenda decided to befriend her and Glenda was popular.

Case solved.
To be popular, you need to be popular.

Sigh. Does anyone out there have greater insight they’d like to share?

So…what does any of this have to do with my newly released suspense novel Trust No One? Nothing. But maybe it gives you a little insight into the way my mind works. And maybe that will motivate you to pick up Trust No One or my previous titles A Wish in Time and Crème Brûlée Upset

Or maybe you’ll give a Glenda-esque assist and pull the veil off of popularity for those still in high school or politics where popularity matters most.

For more about Laurel, check out her website at

Laurel Bradley, author of Trust No One, A Wish in Time, and Crème Brûlée Upset, lives in a small town in Wisconsin with her handsome husband and the youngest of their five charming children. The first three kids are now men. The eldest is grown and flown. He’s a rocket scientist, no less. The second is in seminary discerning the Catholic priesthood. The third just graduated from college in three years (yes!) and is getting married to a wonderful young woman at the end of the month. We are thrilled. Number four is the sole girl. She just finished her freshman year of college. So…there’s only the youngest son at home. He’s amazed how much mowing and shoveling there is to do and shocked that his older siblings think he has it made.
You can find Laurel Bradley on Facebook or Twitter also.
IT'S ALL ABOUT SECRETS... Taylor Wilson's husband, Phil, has them. His best friend and art agent, Sean, has them. Everyone has them except Taylor—yet she's the one someone is trying to kill. Moments before a bomb destroys Taylor’s home, Phil disappears. Soon after, her landscape design business blows up as well. FBI agent Mark Cochran puts her into protective custody, but whoever is behind the bombings continues to stalk her. Cochran thinks Taylor’s husband is the culprit, but she refuses to accept it. She believes the cryptic messages Phil is sending her are proof he’s trying to protect her and lead her to where he is hiding. However, while searching for Phil, Taylor learns he may not be as innocent as she believed. Will Taylor’s faith in the man she loves keep her safe—or get her killed?


Laurel has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of Trust No One. It is open Internationally because as Laurel stated "It’s very nice to have a following overseas." Contest will end July 2, 2012. Just fill out the Rafflecopter for below..:D
a Rafflecopter giveaway


erin said...

Thanks for the great post and giveaway! Congrats on the new release :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new book Laurel! Great post. I think popularity is an illusion created by other people's insecurities and their desire for approval.