Guest Post with Láyla Messner, author of Overwhelm

Today we have author Láyla Messner stopping by to chat about her awkward years as a teenager and how awkward is the new sexy. 😉


Láyla Messner is a young-adult author and the founder of Chrysalis Sanctuary for healing childhood sexual abuse. She has an M.A. in embodied writing from Goddard College and her novels provide New Sexual Mythology for teens.

She believes that love is real. She does not believe in unsolicited advice or the word “impossible.”​



guest post

Revenge of the Awkwardly Sensitive Teen Girl

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally,inhumanly sensitive. To [her]…a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy isan ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god…”- Pearl S. BuckI was a…sensitive teenager.

To say high school made me awkward would be a massive understatement. I wasn’t merely awkward. If you had come to my school looking for the Queen of Awkwardville, you would have found me, wearing all black, with my hair pulled back in a severe braid.

Forget about dating boys; I couldn’t even smile at one!

When my friends started holding parties that included—*gulp*—dancing with guys, I spent those parties staring at the wall as if it were the most fascinating thing in the world and refusing to look away from it, no matter what boys did to attract my attention.

I once attended a Boy Scout camp—guys everywhere, ahh!—at which I earned myself the nickname, “The Wall”, because nothing a boy did could make me react.

This was less because of self-control and more due to terror. I was sexually abused as a child and pre-teen and though I, like many sexual abuse victims, forgot the abuse pretty much as soon as it happened, my body always remembered.

Teenage guys terrified me, and my terror made me awkward.

But what they say about the geeky girls is true, you know; we do grow up to be bombshells.

I know. I did.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m still awkward. The other day, I fell headfirst and backward off my lawn chair.

I wasn’t trying to attract the attention of the muscular, tattooed man across the pool, but I certainly did. When he came over to make sure I was okay, he told me how adorable I was.

Let’s translate that into a simple equation:

Awkward = Adorable

Awkwardness is sexy. Why? Because awkwardness is vulnerable.

Vulnerability is the hottest trait out there, because it means you can be touched,really touched, to the core of your being.

The only reason nerdy girls don’t get all the dates in high school is because teenage boys don’t have mature eyes. They don’t have enough experience to know who’s really going to be the best date.

Most teenage guys—and if you’re a guy reading this, you’re probably the exception, and I’m impressed!—most teen guys only know how to look with their physical, mass-media-influenced eyes.

They haven’t yet discovered the eyes of their soul, the eyes that see true beauty and sensuality and connection.

They will. Guys grow into geeky girls.

It’s a pain waiting, though. I know that first hand. I suppose that’s one reason I wrote the characters in my novel, OVERWHELM, the way I did—With a sensitive and popular female protagonist, who has trouble letting in love; and a wild, masculine leading man who can’t get enough of her.

Another reason is…well, revenge.

Cynthia Ozick said, “One reason writers write is out of revenge. Life hurts; certain ideas and experiences hurt; one wants to clarify, to set out illuminations, to replay the old bad scenes and [say] the words one didn’t have the strength or ripeness to say when those words were necessary for one’s dignity or survival.”

Being an author of teen fiction gives me a second chance to speak up about the truths I wish I’d been able to verbalize in high school. Truth such as…

Creativity is sexy.

Sensitivity is a superpower.

Deep people have deep sex, and deep sex is the hottest sex there is.

So this goes out to all you awkward-hot ladies, young or old…

You are adorable! Own it!

about the book

By: Layla Messner
Publisher: self-published
Release Date: Nov. 13, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy


Meet the three teenagers responsible for sinking Atlantis:

KALIOPE is an empath, a water person who feels other people’s emotions as if they are her own. All she wants is to grow up and escape her cruel mother.

DANICA is Kaliope’s guardian and secret lover. She will protect Kali, no matter the cost to herself or anyone else.

CHIARAN is the reckless prince of the fire people. His deepest wish is to be seen as something other than a monster.

When Chiaran arrives in Atlantis, he’s the first fire person to set foot on the island in a hundred years. Kaliope naturally considers him an enemy and attacks him. But the battle reveals that the two have more in common than anyone could have guessed.

Anyone, that is, except the living crystals who feed elemental energy to Atlantis.

The citizens of Atlantis depend on that energy to create better and better technologies, homes, and standards of living. Each year, they use more energy—and the crystals become more exhausted.

Sixteen years ago, the crystals came up with a plan to make it all stop.

As Kaliope’s fight to escape her mother’s control winds her tighter and tighter into the crystals’ plot, she struggles to make sense of her confusing feelings for Chiaran and Danica.


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4 Thoughts on “Guest Post with Láyla Messner, author of Overwhelm

  1. “The only reason nerdy girls don’t get all the dates in high school is because teenage boys don’t have mature eyes.” So true 🙂

  2. Is it still sexy when you’re still awkward and in your late 30’s? LOL

  3. If awkward is the new sexy I’ve got that in spades.

  4. Deanne Patterson on 29 November, 2015 at 6:24 pm said:

    What a great way to give confidence to others. This author has it going on.

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