Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Meet the Geeks of Spanish Fork High!

In honor of Science Geek Appreciation Week, I have some special guests on the blog with me today! A true geek is only as good as her club, so I'd like you to meet the members of the Spanish Fork High Science Club. (Or the Science Squad as Grayson calls them.) I've invited the lovely Mel from Words Feather Blog to join me today and interview this amazing bunch of kids, so I'm going to pass the mic and let Mel do what she does best!

Mel: Thanks Kelly! First of all, thanks for inviting me to the party. I'm excited to be here, and especially excited for the chance to meet all of you guys. I loved you all so much in The Avery Shaw Experiment, and I can't wait to see what kind of trouble you get into next in The Libby Garrett Intervention. So, why don't we start by letting you all introduce yourselves? Can you tell us your names, position in the science club, and a few things about yourselves? Let's start with our stars, Avery Shaw and Grayson Kennedy.

Name: Avery Shaw
Science Squad Position: Co-President
Year: Senior
Scientific Focus: Physics
Wants to be when she grows up: Aerospace Engineer
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite TV show: MythBusters
Hobbies: reading, watching documentaries, billiards and pool, tutoring, skiing, museums

Name: Grayson Kennedy
Science Squad Position: ex-secret member 
Year: College freshman at Utah Valley University
Scientific Focus: Social Science
Wants to be when he grows up: Social Psychologist
Favorite color: Orange
Favorite TV show: Utah Jazz games
Hobbies: basketball, dancing, movies, parties, snowboarding, working out

And for the rest of the club, lets start with the current 
Co-president, Aiden Kennedy!

Name: Aiden Kennedy
Science Squad Position: Co-President
Year: Senior
Scientific Focus: Physics
Wants to be when he grows up: Journalist
Favorite color: red
Favorite TV show: the news
Hobbies: debate, snowboarding, watching documentaries, reading, museums, writing

Name: Brandon Campbell
Science Squad Position: Vice President
Year: Junior
Scientific Focus: Bio Chemistry
Wants to be when he grows up:  Biomedical scientist
Favorite color: green
Favorite TV show: House, Mystery Diagnosis
Hobbies: reading, board games, word puzzles, babysitting, research, science experiments, museums, learning, hanging out with friends, 

Name: Elizabeth “Libby” Garrett
Science Squad Position: Secretary
Year: Senior
Scientific Focus: Astronomy
Wants to be when she grows up: yet to be determined, but it will be awesome
Favorite color: purple
Favorite TV show: Bizarre ER
Hobbies: snowboarding, freeboarding, skateboarding, reading, stargazing, tutoring, cats, learning about rare freaky diseases, romantic comedies

Name: Levi Engel
Science Squad Position: Treasurer
Year: Junior
Scientific Focus: Computer science/nano technology
Wants to be when he grows up: video game designer
Favorite color: blue
Favorite TV show: Doctor Who
Hobbies: Role-playing, LARPing, reading, movies, board games, video games, science fiction and fantasy

Name: Tara Lindsay
Science Squad Position: newest member
Year: Sophomore 
Focus: Biology
Wants to be when she grows up: Marine biologist
Favorite color: pink
Favorite TV show:  Downton Abbey
Hobbies: reading, music, movies, animals, camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, renaissance fairs, hair braiding

Mel: Wow! Sounds like we've got quite a mix of brilliant minds here today. Thank so much everyone, for coming today.

Avery: Oh, of course! We have so much going on with Libby's upcoming story, and we're excited to be here. 

Mel: Well, why don't we start with the co-presidents? We all heard about the success of last year's science fair. How do you feel about having brought this great distinction to your school, especially when it was something so personal for you?

Grayson: *snort* Great distinction? To Mr. Walden, maybe. The science squad doesn't get any love from anyone else in the school. No one besides us even really knew about us winning. Even since we put that giant trophy in the trophy case, no one knows what it was for.

Aiden: *grumbling* Lucky for you, right?

Grayson: Um, yeah. Duh.

Aiden: So you were embarrassed to be part of the science club.

Grayson: Duh. The squad was really great about keeping my involvement on the down low though. They're cool like that. *gives fist bumps to all the geeks present except his brother, and squeezes Avery in a hug*

Aiden: *glaring* So you're embarrassed of your friends? Of your girlfriend?

Grayson: *glaring back* Hell no. I hang out with the Science Squad all the time. They're cool. People know I have respect for them. And I'm way proud of my brainiac. I show her off all the time, and I love that she's so smart. *kisses Avery's cheek* Her intelligence is the first thing I brag about to people. I always say I'm not worthy of her.

Avery: Yes you are. And you're smart too. You're doing great in your first semester of college. You may be an athlete, but you fit right in with us nerds.

Aiden: *bursts into laughter*

Grayson: *kicks Aiden's shin from his seat* *grimaces sheepishly at Mel* I wouldn't say I fit in, exactly, but I like them. I have fun with them, and I respect them. We're friends.

Aiden: Whatever. You're a big ol' nerd, just like the rest of us.

Grayson: Shut up, loser. I'm nothing like you. What are you even doing here? You don't belong in this interview.

Aiden: Me? Mel asked that question of the co-presidents of the Science Club. That's Avery and me. Not Avery and you.

Grayson: *stiffening in his chair* You had nothing to do with last year's science fair. You bailed on science club, remember? You aren't even on the science squad anymore!

Avery: *Grab's Grayson's hand and tries to calm him down* Aiden is part of this team. He came back at the end of last year and we welcomed him.

*heads nod slowly all around except for Grayson and Libby who both glare at Aiden*

Avery: And Aiden had everything to do with our success at the science fair last year. 

Grayson: He broke your heart!

Avery: Exactly. Without Aiden, I wouldn't have been heartbroken and there wouldn't have been a project at all.

Grayson: *grumbling* I'd be okay with that.

Avery: Without him, The Avery Shaw Experiment never would have happened. You and I wouldn't have happened.

Grayson: *sighs* *smiles* You win. *Grins at Mel* See? She's brilliant! Can't argue with a genius. 

Avery: To answer the original question, the people that matter to us, our friends and family, know what we accomplished last year and that's what counts.

Levi: In the high school science world, everyone in the country knows about the Spanish Fork High Science Club. We're proud of that reputation. 

Brandon: Very. We're so proud of Avery and Grayson, the Avery Shaw Experiment, and everything that came with it. 

Avery: The fact that it was so personal to me only made it that much more special.

Grayson: *smiles wickedly* And of course, we're still enjoying the spoils of our victory. *plants a hard passionate kiss on Avery that makes Tara blush and everyone else groan*

Avery: *pushes Grayson off her with a shriek* Grayson! We've talked about this! Not in public!

Grayson: *rolls his eyes* *sighs*

Mel: So it sounds like all of you were part of the experiment, and not just Avery and Grayson. Was it just moral support, or were you actually involved?

Brandon: Of course the experiment was Avery's and Grayson's, but as a team, we all felt it. Aiden leaving the club hit us all very hard. And what it did to Avery? *shakes his head* Avery and Aiden were our presidents--our leaders--and suddenly one had completely destroyed the other, nearly shattering our entire group.

Aiden: *cringes and looks at his lap* *mumbles an apology*

Avery: *Reaches for Aiden's hand and squeezes it.*

Libby: *ignoring Aiden* As a group, we were pretty wrecked. But then Grayson showed up as Avery's knight in sagging basketball shorts, and not only did things get much better looking, but our girl got better.

Tara: We all wanted to see Avery succeed with her experiment and get over her heartbreak. We helped her try to reach her different stages of grief as much as we could.

Levi: Plus, when we adopted Grayson into the squad as our mascot, the whole dynamic of science club changed. So yeah, after everything that happened, we all feel like we had a hand in it. It was personal for all of us. Avery the most, but she's one of us, our leader. What happens to her happens to all of us.

Avery: *smiles at her team as her eyes gloss over* Thanks guys. I couldn't have done it without all of you. *looks at Mel* It was definitely a group effort. They all supported me so much. Even Aiden helped me reach acceptance in those final stages.

Mel: *smiles* So, you’re more than teammates. You really are friends. 

Avery: *nods enthusiastically* The best of friends.

Libby: Like family

Aiden: A highly dysfunctional family in Libby's case.

Libby: *rolls her eyes* At least I'm not the family idiot.

Avery: *sighs* Guys. Come on.

Mel: *clears her throat and tactfully moves the discussion along* What is the coolest thing about you all sharing your passion for science?

Aiden: I think our shared passion for science is the coolest thing about our friendship.

Tara: I like that we can be ourselves and we don't have to worry that the others are going to make fun of us for the things we like.

Grayson: Unless you're Levi. He's a little weird even for the science squad. *winks at Levi*

*heartbeat of silence passes then the whole group cracks up*

Mel: *eyebrows hit the ceiling* Wow. Well, um, I guess I'm glad you all understand one another. But probably not a lot of people do. How do you handle it when other people label you as the freaky nerds of the school?

Grayson: We remind them that Spanish Fork High also has a chess club. *laughs at his own joke*

Avery: *smacks Grayson's shoulder* Be nice! Sun Li and Louis Sanchez are in the chess club and they're both very nice.

Grayson: But they're definitely geekier than the science squad. You guys aren't the freaks of the school.

Levi: You mean "we" Grayson. You're one of us, don't forget.

Grayson: *grins* I'm graduated, Levi. I'm not a science geek.

Levi: Really? What's your major at college?

Grayson: *sighs* Social science.

*laughs and giggles all around*

Brandon: *snorts* You're definitely one of us.

Grayson: *frowns* But I'm not a geek. I make science cool.

Avery: Yes, you do, Grayson. And we love that about you.

Grayson: *grins again* And I love you.

Aiden: *groans* You aren't answering the question again.

Grayson: *blinks* *frowns* What was the question?

Mel: Um, I asked how you handle it when other people label you as the freaky nerds of the school?

Avery: We stick together.

Brandon: Who cares what the rest of the school thinks? We're happy. We have fun together. We get to do what we love with friends who understand us and share our same interests. What more could we want?

Libby: *mutters* Seven minutes in Heaven with Owen Jackson.

Avery: *giggles*

Grayson: Don't you mean a photo booth?

Libby: *flashes Grayson a wide smile* Same thing my vertically gifted friend.

Mel: *laughing* You guys are the best! Thank you so much for stopping by today and letting us get to know you a bit better. I'm sure we'll all be rushing out to pre-order The Libby Garrett Intervention just as soon as this is over. It has been a pleasure. Geek power!

Grayson: Actually, it's nerd power.

Mel: Excuse me?

Grayson: They're nerds. Not geeks. There's a difference. Nerds are smart. They like learning and knowledge. Geeks are different. They're passionate about hobbies. They're fan boys and girls.

Libby: Like Levi.

Grayson: Yes! Levi is a prime example of a geek with his passion of role playing and Doctor Who.

Brandon: But he's a nerd too, as he appreciates gaining knowledge and likes academia. 

Mel: Okay. Well, thank's for that distinction. Power to the nerds then. And, some geek power for Levi.

Levi: Thanks Mel. 

Mel: Anytime! So , we're going to open it up to questions now from some of your fans.

Aiden: We have fans?

Mel: Well, um, mostly Avery, Grayson, and Libby do. You sort of have a hate club.

Aiden: *sighs* 

Mel: *feels bad* Sorry. It's just, people really love Avery. It was hard to see her so hurt. People were really upset with how you treated Avery last year.

Aiden: I know. I suppose I deserve a hate club. I hate myself too, you know, for what I did to Aves. I made mistakes that I can't take back and I'll never forgive myself for them. I just wish people knew that I really do love Avery. I didn't mean to hurt her, and I'll spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to her.

Avery: No need, Aiden. I understand even if the rest of the world doesn't, and I've forgiven you. 

Mel: You know, Aiden, if you'd like to do your own interview, and maybe defend yourself and set the record straight, I could come back. We could give you some time in the spotlight by yourself. Maybe you could help the rest of the world understand a little better. I think they might appreciate that.

Aiden: Yeah, I think we could manage that.

Mel: Great! We'll plan it. Friday sound good?

Aiden: Yeah, friday works for me.

Mel: Great. I'll meet you then, same time same place. Now, lets get to these last few questions, so that all of you can go home. This first question is for Libby.

Libby: Sweet. I win.

Mel: Libby. Your fans are dying to know--what is with your cat obsession?

Avery: *snorts*

Libby: Are you kidding me? Cats are only the cutest animals in existence! I mean, hello!!!


But more than that, cats are also extremely smart and full of attitude. Nobody bosses a cat around. A cat does what it wants. It lures in it's less intelligent prey with it's incredible cute and cuddliness and then RAWR! GOTCHA SUCKER! Cats are awesomesauce!

Mel: Thanks Libby. Next, I have one for Levi and Brandon. What hobbies do you have that aren't related to the Science Squad?

Levi: Well as the others previously mentioned, I appreciate the wonderful world of gaming. All kinds of gaming--video games, board games, roll playing... I'm an active LARPer (Live action roll playing). I also like to read. Science fiction and fantasy are my favorite. L.P. Morgan is my favorite author! He's coming to Salt Lake soon for a signing and Brandon and I are going to meet him. I'm pretty excited. 

Brandon: Yeah, L.P. Morgan is amazing. That's going to be fun. I love reading too, but I don't just stick to one genre. I'll read anything from fantasy to text books. I love reading biographies. I'm not too big into video games like Levi, but I'll play board games with him. I like strategy based games and co-op games where the players are all on the same team and have to beat the game itself. I also like problem solving games--word puzzles and stuff. But mostly I love doing my own experiments. I have a genius IQ, and I need to constantly be learning. I research for fun, watch documentaries, and go to museums. But I also like to relax and hang out with my friends too. Sometimes it's hard being so smart. It's hard to turn it off, you know? I never really feel normal. When I need a break, I like to spend time with my family. I have twin little sisters. They are crazy, and a handful, but they don't see me as a weird genius. To them, I'm just their big brother. So I like spending time with them. Actually, I like all little kids for that same reason. They simplify things, and sometimes I just need to keep it simple, so I love to babysit too.

Mel: That's amazing! You're an actual genius?

Brandon: *Blushes*

Avery: He is! There's no one in the world like Brandon Campbell. He actually got recruited by MIT this year.

Mel: MIT! At what? Sixteen?

Brandon: *shrugs* It was cool. But I'm not going to go. I want to finish high school the normal way. I'll go there after I graduate. But I'm going to do this special summer program this year though, after school is out. I'm pretty excited about that.

Mel: *shakes head in awe* Very awesome! So, who's next? How about one for Grayson. Grayson, what career do you see yourself pursuing in the social sciences? Y'know, just in case the basketball thing doesn't work out.

Grayson: Ah, I've always known the basketball thing would never be a career. I'm good, but I'm not that good. I'm not a division 1 superstar or anything, you know? The NBA won't be knocking on my door, but that's okay. I love the sport, but it's never been my life. I enjoy too many other things to be so devoted as professional athletes have to be to the game. As for what I want to do, the experiment with Avery last year really opened my eyes to some things I'd never have thought about before. I'm thinking right now that I might like to be a social psychologist. I really like studying people's behaviors, and just the different types of groups of people. The Science Squadders were so different from anyone I'd ever known, that they fascinated me.

Levi: You were quite the case study for us too, Grayson.

Grayson: *chuckles* I'm sure I was. Seriously, though, the squad freaked me out a little at first, but they made me curious too. Then, helping Avery and seeing the changes in her--I really liked being a part of that. I liked that I was helping to make her life better and I think I'd really enjoy doing that kind of thing for others.

Mel: Aw, that's so sweet!

Grayson: *grins at Mel* That's me. Sweet, sensitive, caring Grayson.

Aiden: *scoffs*

Avery: It's true. That's what I've always loved about him. He likes to hide his sweet side, but it's definitely there under the surface, and it's amazing.

Mel: You two are just the cutest couple ever! And your story is so awesome. But, Avery, what about you and Libby? We know how you met and became friends with Grayson and Aiden, but you and Libby seem just as close friends as you and the Kennedy brothers are. How did the two of you become friends?

Avery: Oh! Well, that's easy. I met Libby the first day of kindergarten. I've always had a problem with anxiety--especially social anxiety. Aiden and I were in the same grade and went to the same school, but we were put in different kindergarten classes. When we got to school that first morning and had to stand in separate lines, I started crying. Libby was standing behind me and asked me what was wrong. I told her I was scared because my friend wasn't in my class. She said she didn't have any friends either and told me she would be my friend so I wouldn't be scared anymore. She took my hand, picked the desk next to mine, and we've been great friends ever since.

Mel: Aw. That's amazing. I can't believe you've all known each other for so long. You must have so many memories.

Libby: A lifetime of them. 

Mel: Speaking of memories, Grayson, a lot of people have asked, what's your most memorable moment with Avery?

Grayson: *grins like the devil* Do you really need to ask? The shower, of course! I will never, ever forget anything about that moment. 

Avery: *sighs* Grayson. Can't you be serious? Please?

Grayson: I am being serious! It was more than just the fact that we were in the shower together, Aves.  And that there was nakedness involved... And that you  looked beyond amazing in a wet t-shirt...

Avery: Grayson!

Grayson: Seriously, though, Aves, I was shocked that day. Forever changed in that moment. You'd always just been Little Avery Shaw to me before that. My stupid kid brother's geeky little girlfriend. You were practically a sister to me. I knew you, but I'd never paid attention to you before that day. Then, suddenly you were real. You were beautiful and vulnerable. That was the first time I ever really saw you for you. And I knew right then, as I held you while you shattered in a million pieces in my arms, that I wanted to take care of you. That I had to help you and protect you. *clears a surprise lump of emotion from his throat* That moment changed my life, Aves. It changed me as a person. You changed me.

*collective sighs from girls all around the world*

Avery: *blushes* *Grayson kisses her--a sweet kiss that she doesn't get mad at him for*

Mel: *still swooning* what about you, Avery? Do you have a most memorable Grayson moment?

Avery: *also still swooning* As much as I'd like to say it was the shower too, that moment didn't have the impact on me that it did on Grayson. I was so distraught that I hardly even knew what was happening. My attitude change toward Grayson happened a lot slower. He was like an older brother to me, the way I was a little sister to him.

Grayson: Actually, she thought I was like a gross older brother. And she liked to say as much.

Avery: *grinning* I don't deny it. You were gross. Maybe that's why it took me a lot longer to fall for you. 

Grayson: Maybe you're just that much more amazing than me.

Avery: Not possible. But anyway, I guess the most memorable moment I have with Grayson was probably the night we went to that party and he taught me how to dance.

Grayson: Mmm, that was a good moment.

Avery: I'd never spent time with anyone other than my small group of friends before and suddenly I was at this rager of a college party. I was so far out of my comfort zone that I could barely function. I was terrified, but Grayson was right there with me the entire night, keeping me in control. I know sticking with geeky little me who wouldn't drink or dance, or even socialize, and who wasn't going to make out with him, wasn't Grayson's idea of a party. But he stayed glued to my side and even seemed to enjoy himself. That night I realized Grayson wasn't just hanging out with me for extra credit, or because he felt sorry for me. He genuinely cared about me and liked spending time with me.

Grayson: Of course I did.

Avery: Then when we danced... *shivers at the memory* *blushes* That was the moment I fell completely head over heels for the Grayson Kennedy charm, even if I wasn't ready to admit it. He wasn't just Aiden's crazy, annoying, and yes, gross, older brother anymore. And when I realized that I wanted to kiss him, that I really really liked him, I knew things were going to change.

Grayson: *snickers* Took you long enough, Aves.

Avery: *rolls eyes* I was heartbroken thank you very much. And you had a reputation that was hard to overlook.

Grayson: *smirks* Well, don't worry, I have quite a different reputation now, thank, you very much.

Libby: *snorts* What reputation? Completely whipped?

Grayson: Exactly. I lost all my street cred and had to give up my man card.*sighs playfully* It was worth it, though.

Avery: *pokes Grayson in the side* You are such a smooth talker.

Grayson: Maybe. But that doesn't make what I say untrue. You're worth everything, Aves. I love you.

Avery: I love you too.

Mel: Aww. And I think that's our cue to end this interview! Thank you so much, everyone, for coming today! I hope you've enjoyed this interview as much as I have, and don't forget to buy your copies of the Geek Squad books and witness the science in action!

Kelly: Shameless plug time! Avery and Grayson's story, The Avery Shaw Experiment is on sale right now for only $0.99!! Download it now from Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo. 

And then, make sure to go pre-order your copy of The Libby Garrett Intervention so you don't miss out on the next great Science Squad adventure. (With Libby Garrett driving the story, you're bound to go for a wild ride!)

Libby: You mean a wild journey, Kelly. Get it right, girl. You know, for someone so creatively awesome, your grammar in your first drafts... tisk tisk...

Kelly: Hey! It's a rough draft! 

Libby: *snickers* Rough, is a good word for it.

Kelly: *sticks out her tongue like a five year old* Be nice to me Libby, or I'll give you a zit on prom night.

Libby: *gasps* You wouldn't DARE!

Kelly: *raises an eyebrow* Don't think so?

Libby: *smiles sweetly at her creator* Have you done something different with your hair, Kelly? It looks fabulous! And, have I thanked you yet for giving Adam tattoos??? So HOT. You're brilliant.

Kelly: *snort* Why thank you, Libby. Aren't you so kind! 

Kelly: Goodbye everyone! See you tomorrow with more great bonus material! Don't forget to enter all the giveaways! 

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