1. Can you give a brief summary of THE PULL OF GRAVITY?
I would love to. Here’s some rough jacket copy I’ve been working on. (Tell the truth: what do you think of it?):
“So?” Her cool blue eyes stare into me.
“I gotta go,” I say.
She follows me downstairs, unlocks the front door, and walks out into the fresh air. Jeremy is just pulling around the corner in Dad’s blue car.
“Nick? Yes or no? Are you in?”
I shake my head at how crazy it all is, but even as I do, I know.
“Jaycee, why are you even asking? Do I really have a choice?”
“No,” she smiles, “No choice at all.”
Nick Gardner is having a rough year. His brother’s a jerk, his big fat dad has hit the road, and his sort-of best friend is dying.
When a feverish hallucination puts Nick on a collision course with a water tower, a television news crew, and one Jaycee Amato, a girl with Siberian Husky eyes, his whole life begins to change. Together, they set out on a secret journey to keep a promise to their dying friend.
Will they accomplish what they set out for, or merely discover the beauty of Steinbeck, the crappy truth about plans and a few small facts about gravity?
The Pull of Gravity is a coming-of-age story about first love, friendship, and the true nature of family.
2. Did you put any parts of people you know in real life into your main characters Nick and Jaycee?
Nick has bits of both my sons in him. He’s kind of a mix of how I thought they might be at his age. One of them IS his age now, but I haven’t gotten to see him yet with girls, so that part I don’t know. Jaycee is how I wish I was as a teen. She’s quirky and a bit of a wiseass, but she’s fearless and funny. And she tries to hide her vulnerability. That is definitely me. Then and now.
3. In what ways is Steinbeck a part of your novel?
I love that you ask this question! Thank you. The book Of Mice and Men – still one of top required reading assignments in high schools around the
Ultimately, one of the huge messages in the book plays out in their adventure. In rereading Of Mice and Men for my story, I had a new appreciation for Steinbeck and what he was able to do in a mere 100 pages! (Of Mice and Men is really a novella). Have you read it?
4. What is one book you think every teenager should read?
You’ll age me here! I still think every teen should read The Outsiders (and my son did recently read it and loved it, so I guess it still resonates). Also, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is an amazing book. I love K.L. Going’s books – her MG book The Liberation of Gabriel King is one of my all-time favorites, and her upper YA St. Iggy I couldn’t put down. Still have more of hers to read. My reading pile is HUGE. I write (and read) both YA and women’s fiction. I can’t keep up!
5. How did you come up with the title, THE PULL OF GRAVITY?
It comes from a Yoda quote from one of the Star Wars movies that The Scoot -- Nick and Jaycee’s friend who is dying in the book -- says to Nick. You’ll have to read the book to know which quote. :)
Thanks so much, Gae!
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