Hi everyone! Welcome to my stop on the 2016 Contemporary YA Scavenger Hunt! There are 16 awesome YA contemp authors participating in the scavenger hunt, so as you make your way through the posts you can discover new authors, add new books to your TBR, and win some great prizes! I'll have an ARC of IN REAL LIFE up for grabs in the big giveaway, and anyone who comments on this post will be entered to win an IN REAL LIFE swag pack! Click here to see all the stops on the hunt and enter the big giveaway.
I'm thrilled to feature an interview with Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott, authors of The Way Back to You. I absolutely loved Mindi's debut Freefall, and I can't wait to read this one!
Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident. Her best friend, Cloudy, is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.
Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.
As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they’re barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot out of character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again.
Or maybe it will BE a huge mistake.
Ok, let's talk to Mindi and Michelle and find out more about this book.
1. Since you cowrote The Way Back to You, what was your writing process like? Did you each write a different POV?
Michelle wrote all the chapters narrated by Cloudy, and Mindi wrote all the chapters narrated by Kyle. Before and while we were writing the book, we spent a lot of time communicating through texts, emails, and chats to figure out who our characters are and what stories we wanted to tell about them. Michelle wrote the first chapter, Mindi wrote the next, then Michelle, then Mindi, and so on. The chapters were written in chronological order—except we did go back to the beginning and fully revise the first half of the book before we started writing the first draft of the second half.
2. Who or what was your biggest inspiration for becoming a writer?
Michelle: “This is probably a weird answer for a novelist, but I was such a huge TV- watcher as a young adult. It was just this amazing era (dare I say Golden Age??) of teen-centric programming. So shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek, and Gilmore Girls really got me excited about words and shaping them for myself.
Mindi: “There are too many whos and whats to narrow down one “biggest,” but young writers such as Anne Frank, Mallory Pike (from the Babysitter’s Club series), and Anastasia (from Lois Lowry’s Anastasia Krupnik books) were all hugely inspiring to me in middle school.”
3. Mindi, has your writing process changed at all between your first novel and this one?
My writing process evolves with every novel (and attempted/abandoned novel). Probably the biggest difference between how I wrote when I was first starting out and how I write now is the planning. I used to simply write whatever came to me and see what unfolded as I went. Now, I sometimes spend months getting to know my characters and outlining my stories before I ever write a single word.
4. Michelle, how has your debut author experience been so far?
100% terrifying! But seriously, it’s been a really special time, and I’m trying to soak it all up. I’m very fortunate to be part of two debut groups, the Sweet 16s and Sixteen to Read, and each is brimming with enthusiastic and talented people. And I consider myself unbelievably lucky to have Mindi in my corner through all of this. How many writers can ask one of their favorite authors for advice whenever they need to?!
5. I love the cover for The Way Back to You, but if you were given a blank canvas and told to design the cover, what would it look like?
We wouldn't know where to start with designing a book cover, so we're very relieved that professionals worked on ours—and so happy with how it turned out! There was some discussion of different looks, and if we'd gone with a more photorealistic cover, we were big fans of the cover for The Next Together and an evocative blackandwhite photo we came across of two teens on a road trip:
6. What’s your favorite 2016 release you’ve read so far?
We’ve both read Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods and Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and loved them! And Michelle is just going to list every 2016 book she's read so far because no lie: they are all fantastic and not to be missed:
Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker
Michelle lives in New York City and The Way Back to You is her first novel. Mindi lives near Seattle, and her books are Freefall, Live Through This, Violent Ends, and The Way Back to You.
Websites: michelleandreani.com / mindiscott.com / michelleandmindi.com
Instagram: michelle_etc / mindiscott
Pinterest: michelle_etc / mindscott
Twitter: michelle_etc / mindi_scott
Get The Way Back to You:
Thank you, Mindi and Michelle! And don't forget, everyone who comments on this post will be entered to win an IN REAL LIFE swag pack! Plus you can win an ARC in the big giveaway...or check out my giveaway for an annotated ARC! Lots of chances to win! Have fun!