Tuesday, February 3, 2015

FFBC: Welcome to the club, I Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell

I Remember You
by Cathleen Davitt Bell
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 10th 2015
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For fans of THE FUTURE OF US comes an engrossing story of two teens, whose love for each other is tested by time and fate.

Lucas and Juliet couldn’t be more different from each other. But from the moment Lucas sees Juliet, he swears he remembers their first kiss. Their first dance. Their first fight. He even knows what’s going to happen between them—not because he can predict the future, but because he claims to have already lived it.

Juliet doesn’t know whether to be afraid for herself or for Lucas. As Lucas’s memories occur more frequently, they also grow more ominous. All Juliet wants is to keep Lucas safe with her. But how do you hold on to someone you love in the present when they’ve begun slipping away from you in the future?

Favorites are tricky! Hard to name just one. But I do go back time and again to Jane Austen. What I appreciate about her writing changes as I get older. But I never stop wanting to read her work.

Oooh, The Americans on FX right now! It’s filmed in my neighborhood, so it’s really fun to pick out seedy warehouses that are actually just around the corner, on the way to the local swimming pool or the grocery store. 

Rushmore. All Tarantino. All Wes Anderson. All John Sayles. The Matrix. Gosford Park. Boyhood. Bringing Up Baby. Some Like It Hot. 

That changes month by month. I go through phases. But recently, and during a big part of the writing of I Remember You, my favorite song was “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. I made it a bedtime song for my daughter, which some people think is weird, but she loves it too. 

Mushrooms. Chocolate. Croissants. Pecan Pie. Not all together.

Rivendell. Downton Abbey. Hogwarts. 

John Cusack in Say Anything

From Richard Wilbur’s beautiful poem, “The Writer”: 

It is always a matter, my darling,

Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish

What I wished you before, but harder. 

Regina Spektor. On Pandora, every channel I try to start ends up being a Regina Spektor channel. 

Dodie Smith, who wrote The One Hundred and One Dalmatians and also wrote I Capture the Castle, one of the best coming of age stories I’ve read. If you’ve never heard of it, go get yourself a copy right now. 

There’s nothing better to be addicted to than stories. They’re how we learn, process, and change the world. Keep reading! And writing.

Hello Cathleen! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

I thought up the idea for I Remember You while I was standing in my kitchen, washing dishes on a Sunday night. I’d just spent the weekend with my high school friends, away from my beloved husband and children. Even though I’d only been with my old friends for a weekend, it was a culture shock coming home. It was almost like I’d been visiting my actual high school self, traveling through time across a distance of many years. It got me thinking, What would happen if an adult traveled back in time to high school? How would they act? What would they do? And then I started to wonder what would make you want to go back and there was only ever one answer…love.

I Remember You came straight out of a song—Antje Dukekot’s “Lighthouse.” It’s about love that lasts even after what you love is long gone. The idea made me think about how people wait for love. How they wait without even thinking of it. The feelings lie dormant but they’re not dead. All it takes is a little trigger, and there they are, full blown and real again in your mind. 

A feeling of sweetness came over me. Over us, I believe; I am certain Lucas felt it too. “Lucas,” I said, so sure of the way he loved me that I could be sure about everything else too. I could step off a cliff and know that he would keep me from falling. He held my hand. 

“Lucas,” I said. “I will never let go of you.” 

“You will.”

There are a few key scenes in I Remember You that I wrote almost as fast as you can read them. The hospital scene. The ending. I was really feeling my characters’ feelings and just trying to keep things slow enough to give them a chance to be as real on the page as they were in my mind. I’d been waiting and waiting to get them there, and the words simply poured themselves out of my fingers onto the page. 

I Remember You came straight out of a song—Antje Dukekot’s “Lighthouse.” I included it as the epigraph of the book. The song’s about love that lasts even after what you love is long gone. The idea made me think about how people wait for love. How they wait without even thinking of it. The feelings lie dormant but they’re not dead. All it takes is a little trigger, and there they are, full blown and real again in your mind. 

That’s a tricky one. If you’re like me, and get a sushi craving the minute you so much as see the word sushi, you should make sure to have some on hand. Juliet and her mom share a sushi meal early on in the novel. Otherwise, I don’t think this is a book that makes you hungry. It might make you feel like calling up old boyfriends. So probably better not to have your phone nearby. And a few readers have told me the story makes them cry, so maybe tissues? (I don’t want to jinx it though :)

Time travel: Jack Finney’s Time and Again made me fall in love with time travel, New York City, New York history…this book has it all—also a very compelling love story. I was thinking a bit about Time Traveler’s Wife when I came up with the idea for I Remember You also. Time travel movies? I loved Terminator and of course Back to the Future—for very different reasons. 

Romance: I simply adored the big love story in Twilight. But I also think love stories don’t get much better than Wuthering Heights. In movies, I love it when romance takes a character by surprise—I’m thinking of Clueless, which isn’t just one of my favorite romance movies, but one of my favorite movies of all time. But sometimes romance movies are the best when they’re sad, like Celeste and Jesse Forever. 

I just want to keep writing. I have a long list of stories in my mind that I want to write, and I keep thinking of more.

Thank you so much for everything, Cathleen!

Thanks you, guys. This has been a real pleasure!

Follow the I Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I was born in Princeton, NJ in 1971 and lived there until I was twelve, when we moved with my mom moved to West Hartford, CT.

My dad and mom had been divorced when I was two, and my dad lived in Williamstown, MA. I spent summers and school vacations with him.

I went to college in New York, at Barnard, and stayed in New York after I graduated. I worked as a newspaper reporter for three months, as a salesperson for a multimedia publisher for three years, and as a market researcher, and finally a copywriter.

I’m married and have two awesome kids ages two and five. I lived in Manhattan for sixteen years, but now am in Brooklyn, living downstairs from my sister and her family. I have two dogs named Oscar and Oprah. My favorite food is pizza and, strangely, in my thirties, I’ve developed a great love for playing catch. Slipping is my first book.

Win (1) of (10) finished copies of I Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell (US Only)

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