Published by Forge Books
Published on June 7th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
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At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.
Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.
Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.
To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?
Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novel? Why?
Oh, the last line, no question. Because it has so much more weight behind it. It has to connect with everything that’s come before it and leave a solid lasting impression.
First lines have to hook the reader, yes, but you’re starting fresh, a blank page, literally.
Which comes first in your writing process, the title, or the content of you story? (Do you always know what your book’s title is going to be?)
The content always comes first. Sometimes I’ve written a good portion of the book—or even the whole thing—before I have a title. I use temporary titles for the word docs, usually the first names of the characters while I’m writing (e.g. Amanda and Chase)
Let’s talk character names. How do you go about selecting names for characters in your book? Do the names you pick have any significance to you, or do you ever feel inspired by a name?
I have to have the right names before I can start writing. It drives me crazy otherwise. I have baby name books and sites that I visit. I like checking the meanings and origins of names, but sometimes it’s just about finding one that feels right.
In this case, because 738 DAYS was inspired somewhat by Elizabeth Smart’s story, I wanted a name that had a similar rhythm and style. Traditional Girl’s Name + Positive Attribute (that can also serve as a last name). Amanda + Grace
Chase was a slightly different story. I’m kind of obsessed with the whole “real names of celebrities” thing. Ben McKenzie is one of my favorite actors (Ryan Atwood 4-ever!), and I know from IMDb-stalking him that his real last name is actually Schenkkan. He goes by his first and middle name, professionally. So, Chase does, too.
How do you plot your books, do you write it down on paper/index cards/etc, or do you write on the fly? Do you ever find that your plot changes as you write, or does it stay pretty close to how you planned it?
I’m not much of a plotter. I have to know the first scene and I need to know roughly where I’m going to end. I take lots of notes ahead of time on the characters, their histories, what they want, etc. But I don’t do any kind of formal plotting.
That means, though, that I end up doing a LOT of revising. That’s when I break out the notecards and post-its.
What’s in your “Author Survival Kit”? (Pens, Caffeine, iPods, Prozac?)
Purple pens, Starbucks gift card, iPad, wireless keyboard, earbuds, and fresh notepad.
Do you have a favorite place to write? Tell us about it!
I write in my local Starbucks. Such a cliché, I know! I have a preferred seat (on the bench, closest to the milk bar). It’s great for people-watching—oh, the stories I could tell! And we have a community of regulars in the coffee shop, so it’s kind of like having a co-workers, which helps in a job where you spend a lot of time alone/in your head.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Technically, it’s a drink but Starbucks hot chocolate.
What is something you never leave home without?
What is your favorite movie?
I can’t choose! I love too many of them. Movies and TV are my hobby.
What are the last 3 books you enjoyed reading?
Borderline by Mishell Baker, Paper Princess by Erin Watt, and Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff
Do you have a favorite hobby/pastime?
I learned how to knit last year. So knitting and Netflix!
This or That?
Sunrise or Sunset? Sunrise (especially on Maui. I’m a morning person there! Thank you, time difference!)
Coffee or Tea? Hot chocolate
Hot or Cold? Cold
PC or Mac? I write on my iPad, but I have a PC as my main computer.
By Land, or by sea? By sea?
Half-empty or Half-full? Half-full
Autumn or Spring? Autumn
Summer or Winter? Summer
E-book or Print Book? Print Book! No question, I love the weight and the smell of paper books.
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6/20: Lost In Lit – Review
6/21: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
6/27: Andi’s ABCs – Q&A
7/1: Bookiemoji – Top 10