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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 book started out okay...but then it became torturous to read. It was soo slow and the author really dragged this book out. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by jenni pidgeon
Book was ok spent a lot of time when she was in hospital wish it would of spent some time on her recovery and what happened after.Published 11 hours ago by john e haley
I loved this book so much!!!!! It was so sad but all so happy at the same time. I love it can't wait to see the movie and read the next bookPublished 14 hours ago by Stephanie Tadjiki
I don't understand everyone's appeal of this book. The book was overall boring--I found myself skipping over pages and pages of her background school/life stories. Read morePublished 15 hours ago by Brooke
Why on earth have I waited this long to read this book??!! From the first page I was hooked. Read more
This book was ok, it was a fast read. It ended abruptly and left me hanging so I had to read book 2 to find out what happens. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Therese Capuano
Breathe taking!!! As I read this book I almost felt that I was there... that I knew what Mia was filling.Published 2 days ago by Vicki T. Richardson