Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Interview with Amber Smith for Something Like Gravity

Something Like Gravity

by Amber Smith
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: June 18th 2019
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult, Romance
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For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.

Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.

A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.

But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.

But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?

Can you briefly describe SOMETHING LIKE GRAVITY and their main characters?

Something Like Gravity is a story about falling in love for the first time and finding yourself in the process. It’s told across one summer, through the alternating points of view of Chris and Maia. Chris has recently come out as transgender and is grappling with his changing relationships with family and friends, while processing a trauma from his past. When Chris decides to leave home to visit an aunt for the summer, to get out from under the scrutiny of his parents, he meets Maia. Maia is still reeling from the recent death of her older sister and is trying to find her place in the world without her. Chris and Maia’s worlds look very different, but they are drawn to one another, as each are trying to figure out who they are going to become in the face of equally life-changing events. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

This is such a hard question – I don’t think I can choose a favorite between Chris and Maia! So instead of “favorite” I think I’ll say the character I most aspire to be more like is Chris. Don’t get me wrong, Chris definitely has flaws, like sometimes he has unrealistic expectations of other people, can be quick to judge, and tends to push himself too hard. But he has also been through some real tough sh*t, and no matter what happens he never loses himself or gives up hope. That is something that I relate to…in that I’m always striving to stay positive even when things are hard.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

There were a lot of different pieces of inspiration behind Something Like Gravity. Writing is always very therapeutic for me, and I found over the course of the last several years I’ve increasingly needed a place to address and process the recent backlash against the LGBTQ community (in the wake of tremendous progress, with marriage equality in the U.S.) As a queer person myself, it’s been so heart-wrenching to see the transphobia ramping up over the last several years. I also wanted to continue exploring grief and trauma in ways that are different from my previous books. But the thing that inspired me to turn Something Like Gravity into a love story is that my soul really needed to write about something that was equally as powerful as all of the difficult, painful topics I feel drawn to write about, and in this case, that something became a story about falling in love and finding hope, against all odds.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

Just one? Okay, the pressure is on… Here goes: “At the Stars” by Better Than Ezra

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

I have been pondering this question WAY too often for my own good over these past several months as Something Like Gravity has been becoming more of a reality every day, so I can say with total certainty that my ultimate dream team would be Elliot Fletcher as Chris and Katherine Langford as Maia.

Summer is here and we love to go out and enjoy the sun. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date? 

Strawberry milkshakes at an old-fashioned ice cream shop (I didn’t even have to pause to think about that answer!)

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish SOMETHING LIKE GRAVITY?

Absolutely! All of these books share some common threads with Something Like Gravity in one way or another, and are excellent reads:

What’s next for you?

I don’t think I’m allowed to reveal too much about what’s next, but I think it’s okay to say that I’m experimenting with some different formats like epistolary and verse. Challenging, but also really fun too!

Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, and Something Like Gravity. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her partner and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats. You can find her online at AmberSmithAuthor.com.

1 comment:

  1. This book is already on my TBR and sounds exciting to read. I enjoy contemporary YA and MG for summer reading.