I was raised to embrace my individuality, my creativity and my imagination. For some reason I have yet to figure out, I was the world's most amazingly confident little kid and teenager when it came to embracing myself. I give credit to my mom for this. She raised me to love myself, to accept myself, and to never listen to what ignorant people said. So, because of my healthy self-esteem, I went through school wearing gothic, lace up shirts with blue sparkly tights, or reggae wear, or my letter jacket over a tie dyed dress, or button up shirts that were a size too large and looked like a Picasso painting. I was involved in the arts, yet I played volleyball. I was a drama geek and a smart kid and I had friends from football players to the nerdiest nerds. I defied all stereotypes and absolutely loved high school because of it. I never had to endure the awkward pressure most kids do.
To this day, I am an advocate for individualism. I am anti-trend and anti-conformity. But I do understand that not all people grow up with the same kind of confidence I had. This is one of the main reasons why I write what I write. Because whether it is a story about a road trip with friends, or a fantasy novel about an assassin, there is one thing you can always find within a Brieanna Robertson novel, and that’s the message to always be true to yourself.
Being successful, or being popular, or what have you, has nothing to do with being trendy or looking like the latest model on Cosmo. And it’s not just an issue teenagers face. There are many adults I know and have known who still don’t know who they are or what they really want at 40.
To me, life is too short to play a game of pretend with yourself. Be who you are. Like what you like. Don’t be afraid to fly your own freak flag or you’re going to end up repressed and depressed and may have a mid-life crisis. It doesn’t matter if anyone else says it’s okay for you to be who you are. No one needs anyone else’s approval. You only need your own approval. And it doesn’t matter if everyone on the planet thinks you’re insane for being a dreamer. Dream your dreams. Fly your freak flag. And do it with gusto.
In my book, Better Than Chocolate, the main character is a musician who was teased and picked on in high school because he was different. In the dedication I wrote: "To everyone who dances to the beat of their own drum. The artists, the musicians, the eccentrics. You are the beauty of the world. Sing your song proudly." And I mean that. Those who have the courage to stand up and be who they are have my undying respect. There are far too few true individuals in this world. Those who decide to step out of the box are true gifts and should be treasured.
This is a philosophy I told to in my life, as well as in my writing. One of the books that displays this theme boldly is my fantasy romance Warrior’s Rise. Check out the blurb and excerpt below. It is available in print and ebook at www.purplesword.com
Logan Savage is a man’s man. His idea of a good time has never included watching over and entertaining a bunch of kids at a summer camp. Especially when that camp happens to be full of kids with a love for mythology and medieval fantasy. In other words—a bunch of geeks. Unfortunately, in order to avoid a jail sentence for assaulting a cop, that’s exactly what he has to do. Head counselor and owner of the camp, Willow Avaris, is a nice surprise. Beautiful, fiery and sexy… Too bad she loathes his very existence. Plus, the kids are making his life a living nightmare. Could the summer get any worse?
Bravery and strength were things Logan always thought he had in spades, but as the summer goes on, and strange, surreal events take place around the camp, Logan is forced to look within himself and figure out what’s important to him. It’s safe to remain the self absorbed, shallow man he’s always been, but can he find the courage to reach inside and embrace the true warrior he was destined to become?
Willow jumped at the unexpected voice and smashed her head against the bottom of her desk. She swore, covered her head and extracted herself from underneath the piece of furniture, shooting a contemptuous glance over her shoulder at the intruder.
He bit his lip as if to stop a smile. “Sorry about that.” He let his eyes graze brazenly over her body and, before she stood, she noticed them linger on her backside.
Scowling, she asked, “And you are?” She snarled and flung her papers on the desk, put her hands on her hips and turned to face him.
He grinned. “Logan Savage. I‘m looking for Willow Avaris.”
She gave an agitated sigh. Great. She could already tell he was going to annoy her. He was tall with an athletic build and light brown hair that hung roguishly in front of his face. He was undeniably good-looking and he knew it. Arrogance was etched into every line of his body. He stood like the world owed him something. It made her jaw clench in irritation. “Ah yes, my parolee,” she jeered as she turned back to her desk.
He frowned. “I‘m not a parolee,” he corrected. “I never did any prison time.” He snorted. “I mean, not like I killed anybody.”
“Right,” she grumbled. “You just felt like hammering your fist into someone‘s face.” He opened his mouth to speak, but she held up her hand and negated him.
He frowned again and folded his arms across his chest as she continued to search through her scattered papers. “So, you are Willow Avaris?” he asked.
“Unfortunately. I own and run this camp.”
He nodded and glanced around the office before resting his eyes back on her. She saw him smirk out of the corner of her eye, and she bristled as he sidled up next to her.
“What are you looking for? Need some help?”
He was standing entirely too close. Sexual energy pulsed off of him like he was radioactive. Thankfully, she spotted the last paper she had needed to retrieve. She added it to her pile, turned and plastered the stack against his chest, pushing him back a few steps. “No, I don‘t,” she stated. “Those are yours. It‘s the rules and a list of suggested activities. You are in charge of your own lesson plans, but there are suggestions in case you get stuck or can‘t think of anything creative. There‘s also a map in there. I circled where your cabin is. You‘re a big boy. I‘m sure you can read a map, right?”
His smile was gorgeous, but so egotistical she almost gagged. “Honey, I can find my way around anywhere. I don‘t even need a map.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Good for you. Now, breakfast is at seven every morning. Lunch is at noon and dinner is at six. Lights out is at nine, but that rule is only really enforced with the younger kids. The older ones kind of do whatever they want. I put you in charge of some of the older ones as I didn‘t think having a felon watch over the little ones would go over necessarily well with the parents.” She handed him another paper. “This is your list of kids. They‘ll be arriving on a bus in about an hour. At that time all of the counselors will call role and take their group to their assigned bunks. That‘s also on the map.”
Logan looked over the list. “How old is older, anyway?”
“Your age group is fourteen to eighteen.”
“Why do I only have five?”
She sighed. “Because I said so. Now, go take your things to your cabin. The kids‘ll be here before you know it.”
He raised an eyebrow, then put his hand to his forehead in a salute. “Yes, ma‘am,” he mocked.
She glowered at him, then turned her back, dismissing him. She bent back over her desk to try and organize the chaos spread out across it.
“Hey, one question.”
She suppressed an aggravated growl and looked up at Logan. He‘d almost made it out the door. So close… “What?”
He scratched at the back of his head and looked genuinely puzzled. “Where are the strippers?”
She did a double take, then stood straight and placed one hand on her hip with a frown. “I beg your pardon?”
He pointed down at the papers in his hand. “Well, this is fantasy camp, right?”
She just stared at him. Was he serious? The befuddled look on his face told her that he actually was. She cleared her throat and gave him a level, flat stare. “Medieval fantasy, Mr. Savage.” He still looked confused. She sighed. “You know, dragons, wizards…?”
He blinked rapidly, then scrunched up his face. “Geek camp?” he cried.
She did growl then, and if looks could have killed, he would have at least been seriously injured. “They are not geeks,” she spat, “and I will kindly ask you to refrain from calling them that. They are a bunch of children, most of which have either bad home lives, or not many friends to speak of.”
He snorted. “Gee, there‘s a surprise,” he muttered sarcastically.
“Mr. Savage!” she snapped. “This place is somewhere where these kids can come to be around other children like them. It is a place where their creativity is embraced and praised. If you can‘t respect that—”
“Okay, okay, lady! Cool your jets! Dang!” He held his hands out and rolled his eyes. He ran a hand through his hair and huffed.
“Didn‘t you even read the papers the judge gave you?” she asked.
He frowned. “Uh… I never really got past the part that said Fantasy Camp.” He shook his head. “I got really wasted and kind of threw up on them.”
She stared at him. “Lovely. You‘re a real winner, aren‘t you?”
He met her eyes and grinned.
She sighed and turned her back on him, hoping, praying he would leave. He didn‘t, of course.
“Hey, speaking of fantasies,” he said. “I‘d really like to know some of yours.
She looked up at him. He was chewing on his bottom lip and smiling. It would have been cute on anyone but him. She sighed again, then smirked and swaggered up to him. “You know, it‘s funny,” she said. “I have one about you, actually.”
His green-gray eyes sparkled and he looked smug and victorious. “Oh yeah?”
She nodded. “You and me, alone, in the desert.”
“Mmm, I like it so far,” he purred, taking several steps closer to her.
She smiled up at him. “You, in a straight jacket.”
He looked taken aback for a minute before he raised an eyebrow. “Kinky…okay.” He grinned again.
Her smile was sickeningly sweet and she knew it. “Buried up to your neck in the sand. With your jaw wired shut. And buzzards circling overhead.”
He opened his mouth, then frowned as if trying to process her words. He held one finger up. “I‘m not sure I understand the point of the buzzards.”
The breath she expelled sounded like a mix between a growl and a hiss. “Let me put it in terms you‘ll understand. You have five seconds to vacate my office before I kick you wear it counts. Capiche?”
He raised his eyebrows and backed up. “Capiche!”
You can also find the rest of my work at www.brieannarobertson.com.
If someone were to ask me what I am, it could be summed up in one, simple word: Dreamer. Ever since I was a small child my imagination has run wild. I have been telling stories for as long as I can remember, creating grand worlds in my head and going on adventures that were invisible to others around me. Am I eccentric? Yes. Am I proud of that? Absolutely.
I write about the things that inspire me, both in this world and in realms only seen with the imagination. My heroines are sassy and strong. My heroes are sometimes shy. I have an obsession with music (and musicians) and a fascination with wings. I believe true love does exist, and sometimes it is found in the strangest, most unexpected places. I also believe that family and close friends are the glue that hold people together.
Above all things, I believe in being true to yourself and seizing the day. Life is an amazing gift. Make your experience as beautiful as you possibly can.