Today, our guest is Lenni Flemming from Anna Marie Kittrell’s Dizzy Blonde, the second book in the Redbend High series.
Lenni, I first met you in Witcha’be, but I want you to introduce yourself to our readers. Tell them a little about yourself, what you enjoy doing, where you live, things like that?
Yay! Okay, my name is Lenni Flemming—oh, sorry, you already said that. I live in a small Oklahoma town called Redbend, and attend Redbend High School with my two besties, Molly and Bianca. We’re all sophomores. Of the three of us, I love school the most. I don’t really like the work so much, but I love spending time with my classmates and my boyfriend, Saul. Everyone calls him “too-tall Saul” because he’s, like, six-foot-something.
Anyway, besides my besties, my school, and my boyfriend, I also like—No! Wait! Make that LOVE—the best rock-star in the whole entire universe, Dizzy. Me and Bianca saw her in concert last year, and it was amazing. I wish Molly would have gotten to see her too, but things didn’t work out so well. We all three plan on getting tickets to her next show, so it’s all good!
What else do I enjoy… Ohmigosh! I can’t believe I almost left out the Cornerstone Youth Group! Molly, Bianca and I go there together every Wednesday, and twice on Sunday. It is so much fun. Saul plays guitar in the band and everything. We have a neon-green wall called the Kneeling Zone, where everybody prays, and a big Pray-Dough can where we put our offering. Greg and Sandy are the youth pastors. They are really cool, and make learning Bible scriptures a complete blast. You should totally join us sometime!
Lenni, your story has to strike a chord with many young adults and teens because of the pain you have endured with the divorce of your parents. I know I’m delving into painful territory, but can you share with us a little of what you feel about your dad’s leaving your mother and his remarriage?
When I first found out Dad was leaving Mom for his secretary, it was the worst pain—ever. I thought I would literally cry my heart out—that it would stretch through of one of my tear ducts and plop to the floor. Then, when Dad told me he was getting remarried, my heart froze solid, and I couldn’t feel anything at all. That was almost worse than the tears. As more time passed, the pain dulled, and my heart started tingling, like a foot that falls asleep and then gets its feeling back. Even with God’s help, it took a really long time to completely feel again, and for a while I was afraid my heart had frostbite.
It’s better now, but sometimes it still hurts. Mostly when I think back to when I was a little girl, and remember what Mom and Dad were like together. The time he tickled her and she laughed so hard she lost a false eyelash in the carpet. The time he moved her hair aside and kissed the back of her neck while she washed dishes. The way Mom cried when Grandpa died; the way Dad cried with her. It’s sad knowing they’re not in love anymore. That they’ll never touch again.
Your entire life took a 180 degree turn. Can you talk to us about that?
All my life, I’d been the perfect child, but still my parents were divorcing. I felt invisible. Angry. I made up my mind to get rid of my Princess Goodgirl image and become more like the person I admired most in the world—my favorite rock-star, Dizzy.
But as it turned out, to kill old Lenni, I had to turn my back on those who loved me the most. I ended up trading in my true friends just so I could hang around with a shady upperclassman who almost ruined my life.
Now, thank goodness, I know the value of good friends and the importance of an honorable reputation. I’m so glad God brought me to my senses before it was too late.
I’m not sure how to put this next question, but Lenni, how is it that you are so patient with the things that are going on around you and so kind to those who wrong you?
I don’t really know. Part of it probably comes from my mom. She’s very caring and tenderhearted. Both of us really enjoy making people feel comfortable. I’m really fortunate to have such a compassionate—is that the right word? Yeah, I think that’s right—mother. And another big part of it is God. My whole life, I’ve always loved people. But now that I know Jesus, I love people more than I ever thought possible. The Bible says in Jeremiah 1:5, God knew me back before I was formed. Way back then, he knew I would someday belong to Him and use my love of people to further His kingdom. How cool is that?
You met up with some truly despicable people who twisted things, shared things, lied to you, and even brought harm to you. What kind of advice would you offer someone who is dealing with people like that in their lives?
Gee, that’s a tuffy. I guess the best advice I could think of, is to pray for those people. As crazy as it sounds, it really does work. Sometimes it’s hard, because you’re angry and don’t feel like praying. For some reason, we think holding onto anger keeps us in control. But that’s a lie. Holding onto anger makes us lose control. Trust me—I know. I lost everything because of anger. Only by the grace of God did I get back those things I’d lost. It chills my heart to think of what could have happened if God hadn’t intervened in my circumstances.
Then, after you’ve prayed, forgive. That’s what truly sets us free. To forgive someone doesn’t mean you have to become their doormat or their punching bag. It just means you no longer have to hate or judge them. You are relieved of those burdens, and able to move on in God’s perfect will. When you forgive—it’s all good!
Lenni, thank you, again, for visiting with us. I look forward to Wednesday’s interview with your author, Anna Marie Kittrell.
More About Dizzy Blonde:
All of her life, Lenni has been the perfect child, but still her parents are divorcing. Invisible and angry, Lenni trades her innocent princess image for the rebellious likeness of her favorite rock icon, Dizzy. In an effort to shed the old Lenni, she turns her back on those who love her most, trading true friendship for a dangerous affiliation with a shady upperclassman. When deception and rumors threaten to ruin Lenni’s life, she learns the value of good friends and the importance of an honorable reputation. But can this realization save her from the clutches of danger? Or was the lesson learned too late?
Is the power of forgiveness really stronger than a Witcha’be spell?
New to the small community of Redbend, Molly Sanders is delighted when she and Lenni Flemming become instant friends during the final weeks of her first Oklahoma summer. However, Bianca Ravenwood, Lenni’s best friend and self-proclaimed witch in training, is less than thrilled. In fact, she’s cursing mad, vowing to destroy Molly while honing her craft in the halls of Redbend High School.
Molly’s new school becomes a waking nightmare as Bianca, beautiful wannabe witch, targets her in a jealous rage. Plagued by terrifying, inexplicable occurrences and an embarrassing case of panic-induced hiccups, Molly is unable to escape Bianca’s snare.
But if Bianca refuses to back down and Molly refuses to stand up, not only will Molly lose the best friend she’s ever had…she may also lose her sanity.
About the Author:
Anna works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown of Anadarko, Oklahoma, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband of twenty-four years, and their seventeen-year-old daughter. With a son, daughter-in-law, and precious grandbaby nearby, life is her favorite story.
Anna has written for as long as she can remember. She still has most of her tattered creations—leftover stories she was unable to sell on the playground for a dime—written in childish handwriting on notebook paper, bound with too many staples. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.
Connect with Anna at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and at Prism Book Group.