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Q: You started your career as a journalist and your first book is a travelogue about going around the world. Is YA literature a departure for you?
Gayle Forman: Actually, it’s more of a homecoming. My first writing job was at Seventeen, where I spent five years on staff and as a contributor reporting the magazine’s social-issues stories. I loved writing for teens then because—contrary to popular opinion—they really care about serious issues (from child soldiers in Africa to kids embroiled in the drug war here) and the engage in their reading with such passion. So, now that I’m writing young-adult literature, it feels like I’ve come full circle.
Q: This book explores some serious themes. Why is this a book for kids and not adults?
GF: It’s a book for kids precisely because it explores serious themes. Teenagers are grappling with choices about life and love as much as adults, so why shouldn’t their reading reflect that? I don’t set out to write YA. It just seems like I’m drawn to stories about young people. That said, I think If I Stay is for adults, too. I love the idea of teens reading this book and then handing it off to their parents.
Q: Many key characters are serious musicians, and songs are referenced throughout the book. Are you a musician?
GF: No. Except for piano lessons when I was a kid and a brief spate of guitar playing in my teens, I’ve never played an instrument. I am, however, a huge music fan. And my husband is a musician; he was playing in a punk band when we met, so I’ve spent a lot of my life ensconced in that scene. I seem drawn to writing about musicians, though I’ve never been all that interested in the cello until Mia popped into my head.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
GF: Music. Oregon. People I have loved. And unfortunately, the book is inspired by a real-life tragedy that happened several years ago.
Q: This is a book about death, but it’s not depressing. Why is that?
GF: Maybe because it’s really about the power of love—of family, friends, music—and therefore it ultimately affirms life.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Will there be a series on this character!! Read both so far...is there more!?Published 3 hours ago by Susan Schneider
This book Is a great read and I recommend it to other readers. It is also a fast read for those wanting a quick book for a trip!Published 5 hours ago by Angela Estrada
I read this having been intrigued by the movie trailer. The book was just "eh".Published 5 hours ago by folk fan
a very emotional story of a girl who has lost her parents in a car crash, then later her brother. She is in a coma and can't make up her mind whether to stay in this world or go... Read morePublished 5 hours ago by Thomas Murawski
What a good book! I sped through it. It was really well written, moving smoothly back and forth between the present and past.Published 6 hours ago by frankie'sgirl
I was so emotional by the time I got through the auto accident I quit reading it. I'm sure it only gets better from there and will pick it up again soon. Read morePublished 7 hours ago by cheryl hayden