The Gripped Characters: Q&A with Deirdre Mitchell on ‘Blindsided’

Written by Deirdre Mitchell, Villanova, PA

Deirdre Mitchell is a junior in high school and attends the Academy of Notre Dame in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Deirdre enjoys dancing, traveling, and being with friends and family. One of Deirdre’s favorite places to travel was London. At school, Deirdre is a part of the dance company, environmental club, and campus ministry. Deirdre also runs her own non-profit organization, called Community Dress Shop, where she collects prom dresses and gives them to girls who would normally not be able to afford one.

How has your opinion of Taylor changed from the beginning of the series until the end of book 2?

My opinion of Taylor has changed in a positive way from the beginning of the series. For example, at the end of book two Taylor is on his way to Northeastern to see if his grades are good enough for him to transfer to a better school for football. His actions show that Taylor still has a passion for football even after everything he has gone through and he has not given up on his dreams.  

How has your opinion of Chris changed since the beginning of the series?

My opinion of Chris has changed in a negative way. I think Chris has been a very bad influence on his friends, especially Lisa. One night when everyone was at Chris’ house, he encouraged Lisa to take Molly with him. This was a very bad decision because Molly is an addictive drug, which someone, especially as young as Lisa, should not be exposed to.  

After reading books 1 & 2, are you rooting for Cathy to end up with Jason or Marc?

After reading books one and two, I am rooting for Cathy to end up with Jason. Cathy and Jason are my favorite couple of the series because, in my opinion, they are a good fit for each other. I admire how they always check in with each other to make sure neither of them are getting too involved in drugs. I also appreciate how they both respect each other’s beliefs and morals. For example, Cathy’s religion is very important to her therefore, Jason respects her values, and does not pressure her to give up her virginity. 

What are your honest thoughts on Chris and Lisa’s relationship?

Unlike my opinion on Cathy and Jason’s relationship, I think Chris and Lisa are a bad couple. One reason I think Chris and Lisa are not meant to be together is because they pressure each other into experimenting with different drugs. One night, Chris made Lisa try Molly which lead to her having a reaction which almost concluded in the two of them having sex. 

Who are your two favorite characters so far in the series and why?

So far, my two favorite characters are Marc and Jason. I like Marc because of his relationship with Taylor. Even though Marc got mad at Taylor for his poor decisions, he never lost his belief that his brother would turn his life around. I like Jason because of the way he treats Cathy. Jason loves Cathy more than any girl he has ever been with and he consistently proves his love throughout the series. Jason always respects Cathy’s morals, values, and decisions and never pressures her into anything.


Now being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman!

Fourteen-year-old Chris Dunkin is known for being the life of the party and everyone’s favorite friend. Despite his amicable nature, he carries around deep-seated pain from his childhood that he frequently numbs with alcohol and drugs.

After hosting a party, Chris awakes with a strange vibe running through his body and no recollection of the previous night. When he learns the horrifying truth of what his night entailed, the trajectory of his life is changed forever.

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.