Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blog Tour/Guest Post: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Also Known AsAuthor: Robin Benway
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover

Good morning all my lovelies!! Today I would like to welcome the beautiful and talented Robin Benway to Charming Chelsey’s! Robin has a wonderful guest post to share with you all today as a part of this tour and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did! Thank you so much for being here with us, Robin!

Prompt: Do you feel that self-identity or self-discovery is important for characters within Young Adult Literature? Why or why not? Can you also relate that to your heroine, Maggie Silver?

Not only do I think it's important for YA characters, I think it's important for ALL characters, young and old, fictional or not. I think you discover who you are not by the successes you have, but in part by the mistakes you make, and I have yet to meet someone who doesn't make mistakes. (I have, on the other end, met a few people who think they don't ever make mistakes. They are very wrong about that.)


Let's be honest: perfect people are boring. They are snooze-inducing. Even just thinking about perfect people makes me yawn and desperately crave a nap. I mean, who wants to spend time with someone who doesn't have anything to add to the "my most embarrassing story" conversation? Did you once trip over your own two feet on a Friday night at the movies in front of 300 of your closest friends? (A purely theoretical example, and not at all what happened to me six years ago at the Grove in Los Angeles, ahem.) Then come sit by me, friend. Did you ever do anything that hurt someone else, that you regret, that you can't take back even though you wish you could? Then let's hang. Because chances are you have a story to tell and you're more than willing to hear mine.


In "Also Known As," Maggie identifies as a spy. More to the point, a kickass, adrenaline-needing, world-class safecracker. (Her words, not mine.) She thinks that's all she'll be and, more importantly, that's all she'll need in her life. If she can just do her job perfectly, she'll be set for life. And then she goes to high school and, like most of us who have attended any sort of school, she commits some spectacular mistakes. I mean, they're huge. She really screws up, makes some bad decisions, and the experience completely changes how she views herself. Is she really that great of a spy? And worse, does she even want to be a spy? For the first time in her life, her mistakes have opened her up to being more than just a spy: she's now someone's best friend, someone's girlfriend. If she wants to be a perfect spy, she'll have to give them up, and she doesn't know if she can do that.


I once read a quote (it was actually graffiti on a Barnes & Noble café wall, but whatever) that said, "In between this rock and this hard place, I'm making diamonds" and I think that applies perfectly not only to Maggie's predicament, but to anyone trying to figure out who they are. You're not going to do that without being challenged somehow. It doesn't matter if you're young or old, real or fictional. The most interesting people are always learning new things about themselves every day and are never quite sure who they're going to become. But at least they're trying and at the end, no matter who they are, they'll have something beautiful to show for it.


  1. Go Robin! While at rehearsal earlier this week, a fellow cast member remarked that she was feeling pressure as we approached opening night, and I reminded her that pressure creates diamonds. :)

  2. Cool guest post. I've been trying to find time to read this book. Hopefully, soon :)