Saturday, April 11, 2015

1 Janet Gurtler, author of THE TRUTH ABOUT US, on being true to yourself

What do you hope readers will take away from THE TRUTH ABOUT US?

I hope readers will look at themselves and be honest with themselves about who they really are, and what they really want from life. It's easy to get caught up in what other people want or what the "popular" consensus is, but being true to yourself is one of the best things you can learn to do and be.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

It took me a while to get published. About nine years. I think I wrote about four or five books that never got published. I was really fortunate when I got a book published with Sourcebooks, as they ended up publishing 6 YA titles from me!

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

I think every novel is hard to write and different in many ways, but one thing I think that really helped me was that I realized I didn't have to tell the reader everything right at the beginning of a book. I didn't have to explain everything, rather I could show it through action and dialogue. I learned to jump into a story without drowning in a bunch of backstory, and that's it's actually really effective to slide backstory in slowly. I also really love keeping secrets from the readers now, something I didn't know how to do before I got published.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I work at home and at a coffee shop. I have no office, I sit on the couch and I like it to be very quiet. When I'm at a coffee shop, or writing somewhere in public, I do wear headphones with music on, just to drown out noise. I get distracted by other people's conversations and use the music more as a buffer from the real world around me.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Learn your own process and what works best for you. Writing is definitely not a one size fits all kind of job.


The Truth about Us
by Janet Gurtler
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 4/7/2015

A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I'm Not Her that's "Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult."-Booklist

The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.
She's made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she's paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.
She pretends it's all fine. That her "perfect" family is fine. But it's not. And no one notices the lie...until she meets Flynn. He's the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.

The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care.
But Flynn is the definition of "the wrong side of the tracks." When Jess's parents look at him they only see the differences-not how much they need each other. They don't get that the person who shouldn't fit in your world... might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.

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Janet GurtlerRITA ® Finalist Janet Gurtler lives in Calgary Alberta, near the Canadian Rockies, with her husband and son and a chubby Chihuahua named Bruce. She does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says "eh" a lot.

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