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Tour: Guest Post — TMI by Patty Blount

Patty Blount is here today to tell us what inspired Bailey Grant's love of video game design in her newest book, TMI.

What Inspired Bailey Grant’s Love of Video Game Design? By Patty Blount
When I was writing TMI, Megan’s character was sort of born fully developed. But Bailey’s character was too flat. All she wanted was a boyfriend. I had to keep writing scenes for her to see under all her fluff to discover what she really wants. And then I finally figured it out. Bailey wants to be loved, yes, but she really wants to find out who she is. Not knowing her dad and her efforts to find him were really to find herself. All her previous attempts to find love all failed because she didn’t yet know who she was. Was she a rock-climbing nature girl? Was she a stamp-collecting antique fan? A race-car driving adrenalin junkie? Bailey’s tried on a number of hobbies and none of them were a good fit until Simon introduced her to video games back in ninth grade.

Girls aren’t supposed to like video games. Some do, certainly. But Bailey really loves them. And for the first time, she gets a glimpse of the person she can be – maybe even the person she’s supposed to be. Bailey’s journey of self-discovery was really my journey as a writer – as her creator – to find out what made her tick. It began when my son demonstrated Assassin’s Creed for me. I’m not a video game fan myself (true fact: Xbox games give me motion sickness). But I do enjoy watching someone else play. AC has a rich back story, a detailed game space, and sympathetic characters. As my son played, he admitted he’d love to find a girl who loves AC as much as he does.

That got me thinking… wouldn’t Bailey be exactly the kind of girl to play Assassin’s Creed just to impress her latest boy? She would indeed. And for a girl who doesn’t quite know how she fits into the real world, sinking into a game world would definitely hold a lot of appeal.

But things in video worlds aren’t as easy as Bailey thinks. That’s why her game design is sort of a mash-up of all her favorite games… at first. It’s not until she meets Ryder that the game takes on a real shape of its own.

If I could design my own video game, it would have a haunted house theme. I love the TV show Supernatural and think it would be awesome to investigate hauntings, collecting protection points and weapons as you try to prove whether the level you’re on is really haunted or just a hoax.

Do you play video games? What are your favorites? What would your ideal game be like?

TMI by Patty Blount
Published: Sourcebooks Fire (August 6th, 2013)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Best friends don’t lie.
Best friends don’t ditch you for a guy.
Best friends don’t post your deepest, darkest secrets online.

Bailey’s falling head-over-high-heels for Ryder West, a mysterious gamer she met online. A guy she’s never met in person. Her best friend, Meg, doesn’t trust smooth-talking Ryder. He’s just a picture-less profile.

When Bailey starts blowing Meg off to spend more virtual quality time with her new crush, Meg decides it’s time to prove Ryder’s a phony.

But one stupid little secret posted online turns into a friendship-destroying feud to answer the question:

Who is Ryder West?

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