Author Chat with Abigail Johnson (Every Other Weekend), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Abigail Johnson author of
Every Other Weekend.
Read on for more about Abigail and her book, plus an giveaway.
Meet Abigail Johnson!
Abigail Johnson was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snowstorms for year-round summers and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip in a purple spiral-bound notebook that she still has, and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn't let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high-school production of Cinderella and becoming a published author. Visit Abigail online at abigailjohnsonbooks.com and follow her on Twitter, @abigailswriting.
Meet Every Other Weekend!
Adam Moynihan's life used to be easy. Straight As came as effortlessly as friends and his home life was so perfect it could be a TV show straight out of the 50s. That all changed when his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can't talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.
Jolene Timber's life is nothing like the movies she loves--not the happy ones anyway--and as an aspiring director, she should know, because she's been reimagining her life as a film since she was a kid. But with her divorsced parents at each others throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental re-editing will give her the love she's starved for.
Forced to spend every other weekend at the same apartment building with their fathers, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks opening her heart makes her a fool begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives as they share grief and dreams and plans for a future that starts to feel filled with possibility. But when one's life begins to mend while the other spirals out of control, these sixteen-year-olds realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever certain.
Amazon * B & N * Indiebound
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Every Other Weekend was inspired by an old episode of The Wonder Years where Kevin falls for a girl he meets on vacation and then has to leave her behind when he comes home. I started wondering about what it might have been like if they’d continued to see each other regularly, but briefly, and forged a relationship that was totally separate from their ‘real’ lives back home. Adam and Jolene’s story evolved radically from that inspiration—they always do—and there were other influences that played a role including Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and my own childhood growing up in Pennsylvania.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Oddly, they both kind of developed together. There was never another title for this book (and usually I go through dozens). The story was always going to be about these two characters meeting and falling in love during the weekends they visited their dads. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a story and title form so fully in my mind at the same time but I certainly hope so.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I used to be a diehard pantser. I wrote my first book, If I Fix You, without any idea where the story or characters would end up and it took me FOREVER! When something significant needed to be changed I had to re-write half the book. Plus, there’d be days where I wasted so much time just trying to figure out what to write that I’d barely write at all. I was kind of forced into becoming a plotter when I needed to submit a book proposal (synopsis and the first three chapters) to my publisher for what became my sophomore novel, The First to Know. I’d written a synopsis before, but never prior to completing the first draft so this was an entirely new experience for me and it changed everything! I was able to write my entire story in ten pages and then when something needed to be changed, it was as simple as rewriting a few pages instead of a few hundred. I could work out my story/character issues before I started drafting and I had a roadmap to follow once I did start drafting. No more wasted time! I can write a full book now, start to finish including edits, in six months versus six years! I now always write a synopsis before I begin drafting. It contains the main storyline but still leaves me with the freedom to develop secondary storylines and characters so I never feel too constrained. Writing a synopsis first is by far the most important thing I’ve learned as a writer.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Literally everything. Marisa Korda, the artist and designer, not only captured my main characters Adam and Jolene perfectly but included the adjoining balconies in the rundown Philadelphia apartment building where they meet and spend every other weekend together are spot on. And the pigeons! Those pigeons are in the book! I could not be more thrilled with how it turned out, and I can’t wait to introduce readers to this heartbreaking and heart-healing story of first love.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020?
It’s gotta be The Hunger Games prequel novel from Suzanne Collins. Like everyone else on the planet, I love the original trilogy and I’m also a huge fan of her middle-grade series, the Underland Chronicles. I can'
YABC: What’s up next for you?
More books! I’ve always got new contemporary books in various stages and I’m at that completely-swoon-in-love stage with the one I’m working on now. I’m also beyond excited to be branching into a new genre with the release of my first YA thriller in October!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I love drafting and I loath revising. I get so excited by the process of discovering characters and what happens to them. When I have to go back and fix plot holes and clunky writing etc., it’s a tedious and arduous experience for me. I’m always happy after each round of revision because I can see how much stronger the book is but I’ll never enjoy the actual process of revising.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I don’t get flustered or overwhelmed by pretty much anything. I’m that person who likes to instantly make a plan to overcome a problem rather than sinking under it. That “superpower” has served me incredibly well as an author whether I’m facing rejection, the joys of flying to an event as a wheelchair user, or the dreaded edit letter.
Every Other Weekend
By: Abigail Johnson
Release Date: January 7th, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Three winners will recieve a copy of Every Other Weekend (Abigail Johnson) ~ (Us Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*