Author Chat with Justin Reynolds (Early Departures) Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Justin Reynolds author of
Read on for more about Justin and his book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Justin Reynolds!
justin a. reynolds has always wanted to be a writer. Opposite of Always, his debut novel, was an Indies Introduce selection and a School Library Journal Best Book, has been translated into seventeen languages, and is being developed for film with Paramount Players. He lives in northeast Ohio with his family. You can find him at www.justinareynolds.com.
Meet Early Departures!
Justin A. Reynolds, author of Opposite of Always, delivers another smart, funny, and powerful stand-alone YA contemporary novel, with a speculative twist in which Jamal’s best friend is brought back to life after a freak accident . . . but they only have a short time together before he will die again.
Jamal’s best friend, Q, doesn’t know he’s about to die . . . again.
He also doesn’t know that Jamal tried to save his life, rescuing him from drowning only to watch Q die later in the hospital. Even more complicated, Jamal and Q haven’t been best friends in two years—not since Jamal’s parents died in a car accident, leaving him and his sister to carry on without them. Grief swallowed Jamal whole, and he blamed Q for causing the accident.
But what if Jamal could have a second chance? An impossible chance that would grant him the opportunity to say goodbye to his best friend? A new health-care technology allows Q to be reanimated—brought back to life like the old Q again. But there’s a catch: Q will only reanimate for a short time before he dies . . . forever.
Jamal is determined to make things right with Q, but grief is hard to shake. And he can’t tell Q why he’s suddenly trying to be friends with him again. Because Q has no idea that he died, and Q’s mom is not about to let anyone ruin the miracle by telling him. How can Jamal fix his friendship with Q if he can’t tell him the truth?
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
It was inspired by the death of my very good friend, but it started with the question: can we ever get back the important things that we’ve loss?
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title came early into my first draft. I usually create a title more as a placeholder and I didn’t think Early Departures would actually stick, but everyone liked it, so the title eventually became official.
YABC: Do you have a favorite writing snack?
Pistachios. But in the shells.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
There’s a lot to love about the cover. The artist, Stephanie Singleton, really nailed that haunting feeling that’s prevalent in Early Departures from beginning to end. I love the waves, too—the notion of perpetual motion, the same way that time moves on and on, whether we want it to or not.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. She’s a master storyteller.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
Shock Waves is due out early next year (2021); it’s a Spider-Man: Miles Morales graphic novel, which was amazing to work on. Working within the Marvel Universe is definitely a dream come true and for it to happen via Miles is far more than I could’ve ever hoped for. Also, I’m co-writing a middle grade series with former NBA All-Star Caron Butler; the first title is called Shot Clock and it follows a kid living in a community with limited resources, as he learns how to navigate life on and off the court.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I enjoy and hate both equally, haha. I like drafting because the sky is the limit and you’re free to go anywhere and everywhere in the search for the best story. But that can also be a curse, because there’s so much latitude. On the other hand, revising is nice because you already have the bones of the story, all the major beats are there, and now you’re just refining it. But I suppose there’s less freedom to roam in a revision, so there’s that, too.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Procrastination. I work best when my back’s against the wall—or maybe I think that because that’s the way I always work, ha.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
We Need Diverse Books (WNDB)—they work hard to not only show the urgent need for diversity within literature, but they share their platform with authors and creators, and that’s so important.
By: Justin Reynolds
Release Date: September 22nd, 2020
Three winners will receive a copy of Early Departures (Justin Reynolds) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*