Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Interview with Laura Taylor Namey for The Library of Lost Things

The Library of Lost Things

by Laura Taylor Namey
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release date: October 8th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Books about Books
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From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.

While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.

Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.

Can you briefly describe THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS and its characters? 

Thank you for having me! THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS opens with Darcy’s home life and family situation, which is difficult and often frustrating. Darcy lives with a mother who is a hoarder and compulsive shopper. She loves her mother so much, in fact she is the only person in Mom’s life who hasn’t abandoned her. Still, Darcy has felt shame since she was little. She feels it’s easier to become “invisible” than try to reconcile and show the “messy” parts of her life and family. She’s often so pressed that books become more than an escape: they turn into an emotional obsession. This results in a high school senior who has lived out many milestone moments within pages, within the happy endings of other book heroines. 

When her mother’s disorder escalates, and when a new, more involved apartment manager shows up and a lease renewal looms, Darcy’s home is in jeopardy. Her relationship with her mother is strung on a tightrope. Darcy realizes she must leave the comfort of her home library before she loses her mom forever.  

Yet, it’s not just a hoarding mother who needs new coping strategies. With the help of her best friend, Marisol, and a recent graduate who is a new fixture in her bookstore, Darcy sees all of the things she’s lost to hoarding and sacrificed to hiding. She tries to leave the pages and live her life, not Jane Eyre’s. Not Elizabeth Bennet’s. Even if it’s messy. 

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

I absolutely love Darcy’s half Mexican, half Cuban best friend, Marisol. She is a mash-up of me and my personality (I’m Cuban-American) and my Mexican best friend, Marisol is a fellow foodie, and is rarely without her signature leather jacket. She was so fun to write and I love the loyal friendship between Darcy and Marisol.  

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

I have always been a bit like Darcy, using books and their worlds to escape from stress or hard times. For my own book, I asked myself the questions, what would it look like if a teen girl took this coping mechanism to new extremes? And what is it about her life that would prompt her to do this? The Library of Lost Things came right from these thoughts. 

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

Glitter in the Air, by Pink 

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

Emma Stone is actually my model for Darcy, so she would be perfect! Asher has always looked like a younger Chase Crawford in my mind. And my own teen daughter could play Marisol in a couple of years. 

Fall is here, and we love to find a cosy place to read our favourite books. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date? 

It has to be a Viennese coffee from a place that’s actually in the real North Park San Diego neighbourhood where Darcy’s indie bookstore lives: Caffe Calabria. This shop makes an appearance in my book, too. 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS? 

Readers of THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS will really enjoy HEARTS, STRINGS, and OTHER BREAKABLE THINGS by Jacqueline Firkins

What’s next for you? 

I have a Cuban own voices YA coming Fall 2020 from Atheneum Simon and Schuster, and a secret untitled project coming after that, also from S&S. Find out more by visiting my Goodreads page!

Laura is a Cuban-American Californian who can be found haunting her favorite coffee shops, drooling over leather jackets, and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two superstar children.

This former teacher writes young adult novels about quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. Her debut, THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS will be published 10/08/19 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins. Her #ownvoices sophomore project, A CUBAN GIRL'S GUIDE TO SWEATERS AND STARS is coming fall 2020 from Atheneum Simon and Schuster.