Christa’s note: As a high school teacher for the past twenty years, I wish I could give this book to every girl who steps over the threshold into my classroom. Bombarded by media hype and smothered by peer pressure and angst, so many girls want and need practical and timely advice. They fear making the wrong decisions, not realizing that deciding not to decide may be the worst decision of all. Trish’s advice meets them where they are, and she doesn’t pretend sex, drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, and abortion don’t exist in their world. As a teacher, I most appreciate Trish’s approach to guiding them to write their own scripts. She doesn’t give them the “right” answers; she leads them to search for the script to guide their lives in ways that will make God smile.
Q and A: My Life, Unscripted
An interview with Tricia Goyer
Q: Tell me about My Life, Unscripted
Sure! With real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, My Life, Unscripted helps teen girls explore their own inner struggles and outward relationships. It’s my hope they’ll learn the importance of “scripting” their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise. By contrasting real-life with TV/movies, it’s my hope that teen girls will understand they don’t have to get caught up in the drama. They don’t have to face situations as they arise, but rather they can think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before they hit the big screen of their lives.
Q: Is it true that much of YOUR story shows up in these pages?
Gulp. Yes, I’m afraid so. In fact, I shared parts of my story that I SWORE I’d never tell a soul. My teenage script (portrayed in the book as Trish Valley) wasn’t one I’d suggest my daughter, nor my readers to copy.
Q: Tell me about these scripts.
The introductory script of Trish Valley shows a scene where Trish urges her mom to follow Trish’s boyfriend into the McDonald’s parking lot so she can “spill her news.” The other girl in the car and her boyfriend’s response to Trish’s pregnancy are unfortunately not fiction. I wrote out the scenes as they would appear in an actual script. I even use all the correct terms and layout.
Q: In addition to teen pregnancy, what are some of the other “scripts”?
Do I have to tell? Well, I guess it’s in print now … Let me see: fists fights with a rival, sneaking out of my parents’ house, getting caught by my boyfriend kissing his best friend … does that give you an idea? Do I have to go on?
Q: No, you can stop there. But WHY? Why did you decide to share these stories?
First, because I want girls to understand the heartache of unwise decisions. I want to them to be able to relate to me . . . rather than feeling preached at. Also, I wanted to share my stories because many young women have faced the same type of situations, or they know friends who have. And finally because they are great object lessons for the importance of following biblical truth. That is something I did learn!
Q: What does your teenage daughter think about this book?
Leslie thinks it’s great I’m able to connect with other teens. She’s heard these stories for a while! She was 11-years-old when we first started volunteering together at a support group for teenage mothers together. As I taught the young moms things like nutrition and potty training, Leslie assisted adults in babysitting the toddlers. And while we loved giving and serving, it was the ride home that soon became the most meaningful part.
As Leslie sat in the passenger’s seat, I could see her mind considering my life as a teen mom,and she started asking questions. Although it was hard to talk about my past mistakes, I knew this was an ideal opportunity to share real-life truths with my daughter. Each person walking this earth has regrets. Our talks showed me that instead of hiding my past troubles (and hoping my kids didn’t find out) sharing my mistakes could actually give my daughter a better understanding to why values and wise decision-making skills are important.
Q: So now you’re “having a heart-to-heart” with other teens through this book?
I sure hope that’s how they see it! Those first talks with my daughter brought us closer, but I knew not every girl has had someone to offer advice such as: “build a supporting cast of people you can trust” or “consider the character qualities you’d like for a leading man.”
Q: Okay, so your book is for teens, but what about the moms out there who feel they have past mistakes they don’t want to share?
Well, they could each write a book about their teen years … just kidding!
But for those moms out there … maybe your teen years were not as drama-filled as mine. Or, if they were, maybe you are fearful of sharing them with your teen. The truth is, teens learn best not with information and knowledge, but rather by hearing life examples and understanding how decisions can affect all parts of our lives.
So, time to get brave, Mom. Open your heart and share what worked and what didn’t. It just might help your daughter write a better script for herself.
Oh, yes, and consider buying your daughter My Life, Unscripted … hopefully every teen girl can get some take-away to scripting a bright future!
© Tricia Goyer, 2007