Author taps into the teen scene with ‘Giving up the V’

November 3, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Serena Robar

Serena Robar

With a newly released book, “Giving up the V,” author Serena Robar, 40, of Issaquah is hoping to conquer the sticky conversation about teen sex.

Teens talk about it with friends, hear about it at school and see it on TV and in movies. So, why not address it in a book that can help parents and young women talk about virginity together? Robar asked.

Far from her first book — she began writing in 2003 — “Giving up the V” is the first where she’s tackled a really serious issue. But she hasn’t lost the fun, quirky, irony-filled prose she’s known for her from her other teen books.

In her latest book, May Valley High School student Spencer Davis has just turned 16 and as a right of passage, her forward-thinking mother takes her for her first gynecological exam. But Spencer is conflicted about the situation. She repeatedly tells her mother she doesn’t want to have sex, is embarrassed by the prospect of the pill and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. But one day, Benjamin Hopkins enters her life and her emotions turn upside-down.

In an e-mail question-and-answer interview Robar explained her new book and its importance.

Q: Why is writing important to you?

A: I have stories to tell and writing them down seemed the best way to share them with as many people as I could. And I get to work from home. Big bonus.

Q: Why did you choose teen issues?

A: I watch my 15-year-old daughter and see that things haven’t changed since I was her age. There are still bullies, teen sex, first loves, etc. Writing about teen issues resonates with me most.

Q: How do you keep current on teen issues, trends and speech patterns?

A: I have a teenage daughter and I love listening to her with her friends. Next year, she will be old enough to drive and I won’t be privy to all the gossip anymore. Hmm.

Q: How did you get the idea for your latest book?

A: I heard a gyn doctor tell his receptionist about a teen patient whose mother wanted her on the pill, even though she claimed she wasn’t ready to give up “the V” yet. Loved it!

Q: Did the book cause any controversy? If so, how did you handle it?

A: It’s been well-received. It’s a great book to open dialogue about sex between teens and parents because of the way it’s written. Teens relate to the tone and moms appreciate the candor.

Q: What would you like your readers to walk away with after reading it?

A: Be true to yourself. There’s lots of conflicting information out there, but only you know what’s right for you. Stay true to your beliefs and you can’t go wrong.

Next up for Robar, the rerelease of “Braced2Bite,” “Fangs4Freaks” and “Dating4Demons,” and her sequel to “Giving up the V,” — “So, Was it Good for You?” which tells the story of Spencer’s best friend, Alyssa, after she chooses to give up “the V.”

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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