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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.
Love the Book, but I haven't had time to see the Movie and wonder which is better.Published 22 minutes ago by Gloria N. Rodriguez
What a great read. Story plot is very awesome and can't wait for the book 2 to be released.Published 1 hour ago by Adepth
Very interesting. I wanted to see the movie but I'm glad I read the book first.Published 5 hours ago by mj
This book caught my eye the first time I saw it. It had me at tears and had me wondering what would happen. I really like the cliffhangers that Gayle Forman leaves. Read morePublished 7 hours ago by Mari D'Alessandro
Much better than I expected it to be. A beautiful story and I am so glad there is a second part.Published 13 hours ago by Lacy Walker
Well written story. Love the use of fancy words, gives me a better picture of the main character Mia. And I also like the metaphors; they put me inside of the story. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Nelly Sabel