Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.
Be sure to check out my review for Forgotten HERE!
How long did it take you to write Forgotten from concept to published book? And did the original idea/story change much along the way?
I got the idea for Forgotten mid-November 2008. I started writing immediately, and submitted the first draft to my agent on February 2, 2009.
Over the next five months, with the help of my agent, I edited the heck out of the novel. I laughed when I read this question because when I was writing Forgotten, my agent teased me that I’d send him a new book every time I did any editing. That’s an exaggeration, but the book did change quite a bit from those earlier drafts. It was always about London’s condition—there was always Luke—but I struggled to find the right mystery angle. When I found it, I got chills. (I won’t say any more on that so I don’t spoil it for readers.)
In August 2009, Forgotten sold at auction to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Then there was about six months of editing and copyediting to fine-tune things. So, adding up all that time, it took about 13 months to finish the book (and a few more to do marketing plans and cover treatment, etc.).
Being that this is your first published title, was there anything you were surprised about during your road to becoming published?
I was surprised about how long it takes to publish a book. It’s been two and a half years since I had that book idea eureka moment, and nearly two years since the book sold. It felt like a very long time to wait, mostly because I was so excited to see it on shelves.
What were your favorite part and the hardest part about writing Forgotten?
My favorite part was letting London’s story spill out of me. I’d written a (truly terrible) adult fiction novel years before, and if nothing else, that exercise taught me that I could write something novel length. So, when I got the idea for Forgotten, I didn’t second guess myself—and I didn’t wonder whether I could do it. I knew I could. I really believed in the idea and I just…wrote. It was so fun!
The hardest part was finding time to write, and feeling guilty about doing it. I have twin daughters who are almost three now; I wrote Forgotten before they were one. On one hand, it was an intellectual outlet when I could have given in completely to Mommy Mush Brain, but on the other, time spent in London’s world equaled missed moments with my girls. Ultimately though, I was able to find a good balance, and I truly believe I’m a better mom because of it.
Can you share with us a favorite line or two from Forgotten?
Some of my favorites are from the second half of the book and will give away too much if I share them. So, I’ll choose one from chapter two that I think really points to the dilemma of London’s condition: What would you choose to remember?
“I grit my teeth and grip the pen and do what I have to do. I lie to myself.”
London and Luke are two amazing and unique characters – can you tell us what you’d like everyone to take away from each of them as separate characters and then together as a couple?
Hmm…what we take away from books is so subjective. Perhaps I’ll tell you what I personally take away from “interactions” with them.
From Luke, I’m reminded of how important it is to stand by people you care about, no matter what. London reminds me that I have control over my own future. I make my own choices. If I don’t like something about my life, I can take steps to change it. And from them as a couple? I think Luke and London are a great example of why open communication in any relationship—not just a romantic one—is so critical.
London has a lot to deal with – trying to keep track of a past she can’t remember, that even today she’ll forget while she sleeps – and a future she sees and remembers, but is also bound to forget. If there was one thing you and Luke could each tell her that she wouldn’t forget, what would it be?
Having London’s condition could certainly make anyone feel abnormal: Luke’s reminder might be simply that he loves her as she is.
I’d tell her that no matter how bad her memories seem, she has the power to change them. That’s a gift that is uniquely London’s.
Are there any books you’ve recently read that are must reads? Anything that is yet to be released out into the wild you can’t wait to get your hands on?
I’ve read a lot of books that I really enjoyed recently but my number one must-read is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I read it a while ago—it’s out in paperback now—and it’s still the one I think of when anyone asks about must-reads.
I’m very excited to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Crossed by Ally Condie and The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler.
Lastly, can you tell us anything about what you’re currently working on? You mentioned on twitter and on your website your next book will be out in 2012 from Little Brown. What can you tell us about it
Unfortunately, I can’t share much at this point except to say that it’s not a sequel to Forgotten, but please follow me on Twitter/FB or through my blog for news soon!
Thanks so much for chatting with us today Cat! We hope we can do this again sometime soon!
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