Front and Center (The Dairy Queen Trilogy)-Catherine Gilbert Murdock

  • Title: Front and Center (The Dairy Queen Trilogy)
  • Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock
  • Released: 2009-10-19
  • Language:
  • Pages: 272
  • ISBN: 0618959823
  • ISBN13: 978-0618959822
  • ASIN: 0618959823


Product Description After five months of sheer absolute craziness I was going back to being plain old background D.J. In photographs of course I'm always in the background... But it turns out other folks have big plans for D.J. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who's keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is done with, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway... Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Catherine Murdock

Dear Amazon Reader: The Dairy Queen series began with a dream and ends with a pizza. In late 2003, I had a dream about a girl playing football. As I'd been studying screenwriting for eight years, I immediately began to craft this idea into a script. Then, all too aware of my script failure rate, I decided to attempt a "practice novel" using everything I'd learned about character development, plotting, dialogue, and description. Today, I can offer aspiring authors this hard-earned advice: If you want to write halfway decent books, start by writing truly horrendous screenplays. I set in Wisconsin, as I have family there and so can visualize the landscape, and I laid it out as a traditional three-act script, the only story structure I knew. I never intended to write a second book--I really love the vagueness of Dairy Queen’s ending--but when the publisher asked if I had a sequel in me, what could I answer but "Yes"? I love 's ending as well, but readers (may I mention how utterly fantastic the fan mail is?) wanted more. So--boom--I found myself writing a third. All of a sudden I had a trilogy. Given what I'd learned about college sports recruiting from the first two books, it seemed only natural to examine this in Front and Center, while of course continuing the saga of D.J. Schwenk's love life. So many stories have as their conflict "Will the hero(ine) get the scholarship? Will s/he get the love interest?" And of course you already know the answers on page 1. To me, a much more challenging story, both to read and to write, would be "Does she want a scholarship? And which love interest will be it be: the dreamboat who keeps breaking her heart, or the safe, fun guy who's not quite Mr. Right?" Call me old fashioned, but I like a little mystery in my narrative. Which is why I'm also not going to tell you how the pizza fits in. But it does. Really. Sincerely, Catherine Murdock

(Photo © Greg Martin)

From School Library Journal Grade 8–11—This final installment in the "Dairy Queen" trilogy kicks off with Wisconsin junior D.J. Schwenk back at school, having spent several weeks away helping big brother, Win, with his rehabilitation. She's catching up with classes and best friend Amber (also newly returned). D.J.'s excited and nervous for basketball season, which might score her a much-desired college scholarship and a less-desired position literally calling the shots on court. Her ex, Brian, is neither out of sight nor off her mind. But reluctantly famous D.J., who generally craves anonymity, wants a boyfriend who acknowledges her in public. Enter energetic friend Beaner, an attention magnet interested in actual dating. When recruitment letters pour in, talented athlete D.J. feels the weight of obligations and expectations (yet again) from well-meaning family, friends, recruiters, coaches, and from herself. Will she be ruled by fear or will she step up and make the choices, whether between colleges or guys, that'll make her happiest? The self-conscious teen is socially anxious, hyper aware, and cleverly observant. Her fans won't be disappointed, but new readers may occasionally feel out of the loop, compelled to read the prequels for a more invested experience. Fortunately, Murdock successfully integrates fresh trials and pressures, well-developed primary and likable peripheral characters, and amusing introspection into the backstory. Occasional doormat D.J. is ultimately a responsible, realistically flawed, funny, endearing, and strong heroine worth rooting for whether on the court or on the page—Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ END pdf
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