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Gail Giles ...talks about Playing in Traffic
What Happened to Cass McBride?
Kyle: Alive, David: Dead, CASS: Somewhere in between.
Kyle Kirby has plotted a cruel and unusual revenge on the most popular girl in school for the death of his brother, David. He digs a hole. Kidnaps her. Puts her in a box-underground. But Kyle makes a fatal error. He doesn't understand who he just
ALIVE. . .
Young Adult
—Little, Brown and Company, November 2006
Don't Miss this Book!

Playing in Traffic

"I was the ghost of school corridors.
Skye was the devil.
And I was doomed from the day she spoke to me."

Skye clearly has a dangerous agenda, but how can Matt resist the mystery and drama she trails in her Goth wake? She promises a way out of his dreary existence-but at what price?

Why has multi-pierced, multi-tattooed Skye Colby, the sexy and weird Goth Girl, singled out Matt, an almost invisible nobody, for special attention? This gripping page-turner will propel you from one shocking revelation to the next-right to the astonishing ending.
--Roaring Brook Press 2004
Young Adult

Shattering Glass
"Simon Glass was easy to hate....I guess, really we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn't realize it until the day we killed him."

Fat, clumsy Simon Glass is a nerd, a loser who occupies the lowest rung on the high school social ladder. Everyone picks on him -- until Rob Haynes shows up. Rob, a transfer student with charisma to spare, immediately becomes the undisputed leader of the senior class. And he has plans for Simon.

Rob enlists the help of his crew -- wealthy, intellectual Young, ladies' man Bob, and sweet, athletic Coop -- in a mission: Turn sniveling Simon from total freak to would-be prom king.

But as Simon rises to the top of the social ranks, he shows a new confidence and a devious side that power-hungry Rob did not anticipate. And when Simon uncovers a dangerous secret, events darken. The result is disquieting, bone-chilling...and brutal.
--Simon Pulse 2003
Young Adult

Also by Gail Giles:

Dead Girls Don't Write Letters

Right Behind You [When he was nine, Kip set another child on fire. Now, after years in a juvenile ward, he is ready for a fresh start. But the ghosts of his past soon demand justice, and he must reveal his painful secret.]

Gail GilesPLAYING IN TRAFFIC is not what I call a "fluffy bunny" novel; one of those feel good, nothing bad happens kind of books. It starts with the main character's feeling of doom and it gets tougher from there. My books tend to do that. Tough issues, good kids making bad decisions, things goings all kinds of wrong, and some kids making it out and some not making it. People ask if I was repeatedly bounced on my head as a child or toilet trained at gunpoint, but no, I'm a relatively optimistic person.

But—and there's a big one here, I take my position as a writer for young adults seriously. I won't write down, I won't sugar coat the truth, and I won't try to minimize the experiences young people have. And I think the biggest lie we tell young people in some of our books and movies and TV shows is that "everything will turn out all right." You know what? Sometimes it doesn't.

When you are young it's so frustrating to be protected and safe all the time. The lure of wanting to walk on the wild side, to dare, well, to play in the traffic is seductive. I'd like young people to read my books and go all the way through the consequences in fiction rather than deal with those dark impulses in life and wonder what went wrong from behind prison bars.

I wrote PLAYING IN TRAFFIC for the kids like Matt. Not the loners looking for their place in the world; tons of books have been written about them. But those kids that fly under the radar, have friends just like them, and want to ghost their way through high school where they know they will never be given a chance to shine. Lay low and get out and maybe college will offer something else. Not many books are written about these kids because they are so good at camouflage.

I taught high school for twenty years and I got to see the fads and fashions come and go, but I was amazed at how the things that drive kids stay so constant: the need to belong, the need for friends that become a kind of substitute family, the need to leave. Yes. One of the things I was struck with was the teens need to leave. To get OUT. Out of high school, out of "this" town, just out. I saw it as a need for change. Anything would do, as long as it was different. That's what drove Matt, and Skye. They each wanted out of high school, out of their rut, just out of their lives. Each for different reasons and certainly each had a different plan.

I don't assume the Matts' of the world will meet a Skye, especially one with an agenda like the girl in my novel has, but I think there are teens that will be hit with a choice and that choice could be seductively dangerous. Do I think they are lots of Matts' out there? I wrote the book for them. I hope I hear from a few.

PLAYING IN TRAFFIC is a tough book. It was tough to write. I try to give teens a good read and respect their intelligence.

About Gail Giles

Born in Galveston Texas lots and lots of years ago. Lived in LaMarque, Texas for most of my school years and it was a FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS kind of town. Yup, I was a snotty cheerleader. I'm still repenting. But I was also a "drama mama" in all the plays. A strange hybrid.

I still write like an actor. I see things in scenes, like a play. And if I can't say the dialog out loud and make it sound as if it could be spoken easily, then I have to rewrite.

I went East to college. East Texas. Stephen F. Austin State University. Drama and English major. Then I taught school. But I taught Reading. In high school. Remedial Reading for ninth grade students and Speed Reading for college bound students and later Creative Writing.

Then the moving started, to downtown Chicago which I loved, then to upstate Indiana, then to Fairbanks, Alaska, then to Anchorage, Alaska and recently to The Woodlands which near Houston, Texas.

I have one handsome son, one very amusing grandson, one grandson on the way, a charming daughter in law, a total prince of a husband (no kidding), two REALLY BIG dogs (Great Pyrenees) and three cats. (One snooty, one cuddly, one hoodlum.)

Total night owl, I read a lot, a watch TV (love stuff like Buffy and Roswell and Smallville, etc.) and cook more than I should. I have a great office and have to have the dogs and cats around and lots of noise when I work.

And the person that invented the iPod should be made an Emperor. Just an observation.