Saturday, November 18, 2017

0 Megan Frazer Blakemore, author of GOOD AND GONE, on thinking about a project for years

We're thrilled to have Megan Frazer Blakemore stop by to chat about her latest novel, GOOD AND GONE.

Megan, how long did you work on GOOD AND GONE?

I worked intensely on GOOD AND GONE for at least a year, but I had been thinking about it for several years before then. I looked back at my computer files and one dates from 2009. There's a scene early in the novel in which Lexi is annoyed with her brother, Charlie, and goes out for a walk. That scene actually came from a notebook I found of writing I did in high school or college, so we're talking fifteen to twenty years ago. Clearly, Lexi has been in my head for a while, it just took a long time for her story to emerge.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

Like SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson and WRECKED by Maria Padian, this is a book that deals with sexual assault and consent. Stylistically, I think people who enjoy writing by Jandy Nelson or the honesty of books like STORY OF A GIRL by Sara Zarr would enjoy GOOD AND GONE.

What was your inspiration for writing GOOD AND GONE?

I mentioned above that Lexi had been in my head for a long time. Something else I had been thinking about for a while was this idea of wanting to escape fame. In 1997 the singer Jeff Buckley disappeared from his tour bus. His body was not found for five days. Sadly, he died of accidental drowning. In the days before the discovery, though, there were a number of theories passed around about what had happened to him. Some people believed he had died by suicide, but others thought perhaps he had simply walked away from his life as a musician and celebrity. That story, and others like it, inspired the character of Adrian Wildes. In the book, Adrian is a singer that has gone missing and Lexi, Charlie, and their friend Zack go looking for him. The road trip they take provides structure to the story.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Good and Gone
by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 11/14/2017

When Lexi Green’s older brother, Charlie, starts plotting a road trip to find Adrian Wildes, a famous musician who’s been reported missing, she’s beyond confused. Her brother hasn’t said a nice word to her or left the couch since his girlfriend dumped him months ago—but he’ll hop in a car to find some hipster? Concerned at how quickly he seems to be rebounding, Lexi decides to go along for the ride.

Besides, Lexi could use the distraction. The anger and bewilderment coursing through her after getting dumped by her pretentious boyfriend, Seth, has left her on edge. As Lexi, Charlie, and their neighbor Zack hit the road, Lexi recalls bits and pieces of her short-lived romance and sees, for the first time, what it truly was: a one-sided, coldhearted manipulation game. Not only did Seth completely isolate her, but he took something from her that she didn’t give him permission to.

The farther from home they get, the three uncover much more than empty clues about a reclusive rocker’s whereabouts. Instead, what starts off as a car ride turns into an exploration of self as each of them faces questions they have been avoiding for too long. Like the real reason Charlie has been so withdrawn lately. What Seth stole from Lexi in the pool house. And if shattered girls can ever put themselves back together.

Purchase Good and Gone at Amazon
Purchase Good and Gone at IndieBound
View Good and Gone on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Frazer Blakemore is an author for children and young adults. Her middle grade novel, THE WATER CASTLE (Walker Books for Young Readers, 2013) was named Kirkus Best Children's Book of  2013, a Bank Street College Best Book 2014, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and has been included on numerous state lists.

A school librarian, Megan has a B.A. from Columbia University, and an MLS from Simmons Graduate School of Library Science and Information Science and is currently pursuing a doctorate in library science. As a librarian, she focuses on raising reading achievement and giving voice to students through such programs as Coffee Houses, a Film Festival, maker spaces, and various reading programs.

She lives in Maine with her husband and two children as well as a cat and (sometimes) a hive of bees.

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Have you had a chance to read GOOD AND GONE yet?
How long do you like to think about a project before actually starting it?
What tips can you offer to others on moving the project from an idea to the page?
Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Charlotte, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Erin, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

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