Give a brief description of your novel, 37 Things I Love (in no particular order).
In 37 Things I Love, fifteen-year-old Ellis is approaching the end of the school year with a lot more on her mind than finals and summer vacation. Her father is in a coma after a construction accident, and he will soon be removed from life support, which means he will die. Ellis struggles with the impending loss, because she was very close to her father. Meanwhile, life around her is going on as usual, even with Ellis’s best friends Abby and Colin, who don’t seem to recognize quite how upset Ellis is. Then an old friend, Cara, re-enters Ellis’s life in sudden and surprising ways, shaking up Ellis’s world even more. But somehow, Cara’s friendship helps Ellis stay steady, even as it feels like the whole world is falling apart around her.
Why should readers pick up your book?
Why not? I’m told it’s a pretty good read! I enjoyed writing it, and I get lots of great feedback from my readers about the story and the characters, so I would say it’s a good book to pick up. Also, there’s a pretty hilarious scene involving lime jello, placed somewhere….umm…unusual.
What are you working next?
I am about to hand in the first draft of a new YA novel to my editor (the same editor who worked on 37 Things). This novel is called How it Went Down, and it’s a multiple-viewpoint novel about how a community responds to the tragic death of a boy named Tariq who lived among them. Most of the characters are Tariq’s friends and family, who are directly affected, and others are neighbors and classmates who didn’t know him as well, but still feel affected by his death.
What are your summer plans?
I plan to travel and write. I will be making various stops in New England and in the Midwest, among other places, and I will be alternately working on my new novel and a non-fiction book.
Where can readers purchase 37 Things? Your local bookstore (if it’s not on the shelf, you can ask to have it ordered), or online at IndieBound (http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780805094657), Barnes & Noble, or Amazon. You might also find a copy in your local library. The hardcover version is available now, and the paperback will be out in October.