Today we're excited to chat with Amber Smith author of
Something Like Gravity.
Read on for more about Amber, plus an interview and an giveaway!
Meet Amber Smith!
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.
Meet Something Like Gravity!
For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor & 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?
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
There were a lot of different pieces of inspiration behind Something Like Gravity. Writing is always very therapeutic for me and I needed a place to address the recent backlash against the LGBTQ community and a lot of the transphobia going on 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.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Can I pick two? Because Something Like Gravity is told in the alternating points of view of two characters: Chris and Maia. Chris loves science and astronomy and has recently come out as transgender, and Maia is discovering her own way of understanding the world through art, while grieving the loss of her older sister. They are both complicated and smart and funny in their own ways, and these are two of my favorite characters I’ve ever written.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The story came first, and it wasn’t until several drafts in that I stumbled across the title hiding in a line from the book (you’ll have to read it to find out where the title came from).
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There are a lot of scenes in this book I love, but one of the scenes I’m most proud of are the steamy romance scenes between Chris and Maia. I wanted to show how consent and understanding and respect can make moments of intimacy incredibly romantic. Intimacy can and should be a beautiful and positive experience (even if it’s also awkward and scary at times too).
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
One of the things I’ve learned, especially with writing Something Like Gravity, is that I have to be willing to give myself time and space to try different things and allow myself to be surprised. Finding the story and the characters is a lot like meeting a new person—it takes time to get to know them on a deeper level.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Everything! The gold foil embossed lettering is stunning, and the cover and jacket illustrations are amazing (and they were created by one of my favorite illustrators, Mia Nolting). Everything about the cover is so incredibly beautiful and brings Chris and Maia to life so well that it’s hard to pick a favorite part.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I definitely enjoy revising more than drafting. During the drafting process, it is sometimes so excruciating for me to just get words on the page, but once they’re there then I have something to craft and rethink and polish up and have fun with—building that foundation with the first draft has always been really challenging for me.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I have a superhuman ability to get myself lost anywhere I go. I’ve learned that if my instinct is to turn right, 99.999% of the time I should be making a left! (Needless to say, I am never allowed to be the navigator on road trips anymore…or, you know, trips to the grocery store.)
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Yes, I am very passionate about LGBTQ+ equality and visibility, as well as advocating to put an end to gendered violence. Here are just a few of the really great organizations out there that are working to create change: RAINN, The Trevor Project, and It Gets Better
Something Like Gravity
By: Amber Smith
Release Date: June 18th, 2019
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books
Two winners will receive a copy of Something Like Gravity (Amber Smith) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*