Hi guys! #CelebratingDebutantes2016 is coming to an end. We still have a lot of giveaways ongoing so don't miss out! Today I'm interviewing Abigail Johnson about her writing and debut. Stick around for the international giveaway!
Contemporary stories tend to be harder to write, based on what I have heard because you need to write about a series of events that can happen in real life but that is at the same time extraordinary. Did you encounter difficulties in writing If I Fix You? Yes and no. In my experience, contemporary is easier because it requires less research and worldbuilding, but it's harder because contemporary is based on real life, so I often feel more vulnerable writing it. The contemporary issues in If I Fix You aren't based on my personal experiences, but they are closer my reality then say, The Hunger Games.
What was the hardest part/scene to write? There were a lot of challenging scenes to write, but they were also extremely rewarding. One of my favorites was the big confrontation section between my protagonist, Jill, and her mom after her mom shows up after leaving months prior. There were a lot of heated words and high emotions involved, which were tricky to tap into since Jill's experience is so far removed from my own, but I'm really happy with how it turned out and I hope readers are too!
Did you watch specific movies or listen to songs that put you in writing mode for the book? Oh yeah :) I have a full If I Fix You playlist on my website including the big inspiration song, Fix You by Coldplay. As for movies/TV I watched a lot of Veronica Mars because the close father/daughter relationship in my book is so important and I seriously love Veronica and Keith Mars. I also went back to a couple older movies that I loved when I was younger, Man In The Moon and Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, both of which have romantic night swimming scenes that helped inspire the one in my book.
Could you share with us your journey to publication. How long did you work on your debut until you got an agent? It was very long in some respects and very quick in others. I spent close to six years, off and on, working on If I Fix You, then I queried for over a year, revising and making the book stronger as I received feedback. It was almost this exact time last year when I signed with my amazing agent, Kim Lionetti from BookEnds Literary Agency. We went on submission right away and sold by book in the first round of submission, and now my book is coming out in less than a month!
Thank you for sharing, Abby!
About the Author:
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 publishing her first novel. Visit Abigail online at and follow her on Twitter, .
Find Abigail: Twitter | Goodreads | Website |
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 25th 2016 by Harlequin Teen
Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.
When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.
Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.
With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .
What's up for grabs: Final Copy of If I Fix You
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full schedule and links to the posts!