*This interview in no way took place outside of my MacBook. Pretty sure the real Gayle Forman is as lovely as her books, and would never consent to my idiocy.
Me: Hey, Gayle. You have a new book coming tomorrow!
Not-Gayle: That’s right. Just One Day. It’s the first in a duet of novels.
Me: Did you know it’s my birthday this week? Was that a factor in your publishing date?
NG: No. And no. But happy birthday and stuff.
Me: Thank you. Do you remember when I cried for a week after I read your last duet of books (If I Stay and Where She Went)?
NG: I am not a real person. And the actual me doesn’t know you exist.
Me: But do you recall the FLAVOR OF MY TEARS?
NG: You’re scaring me.
Me: Ok. But you do know that If I Stay and Where She Went are heart-breakingly beautiful books that were some of my favorites of 2011.
NG: I’m gonna go with, “Sure.”
Me: WELL THEY ARE AND THEY WERE.
Me: I mean Mia’s struggle was so palpable and understandable. And her song-writer boyfriend, Adam, was so heart-broken without being a cliche.
NG: This interview was a bad idea.
Me: And that line when Mia is lying in the hospital between life and death and Adam simply begs, “Please don’t make me write a song, Mia.” I think my heart literally broke.
NG: Not literally. Not at all actually.
Me: You aren’t real. So quit being mean to me.
NG: Lovely insights, Beth.
Me: So tell me what’s up with Just One Day.
NG: Well, it’s about Shakespeare and Europe and being young and finding love and finding yourself.
Me: Ok, I’m an Anglophile whose personal kryptonite includes the subtle concoction of romance, angst and Shakespeare. So I’m basically already in love with it. Other people might want to read it though. So why should they?
NG: The main character, Allyson, embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.*
Me: Is there a hot guy?
NG: Yes, a laid-back Dutch actor named Willem who speaks French and Danish and knows his way around Paris. They meet at an underground performance of Twelfth Night.
Me: I’m basically dead.
Me: So they have an amazing whirlwind European romance? Roman Holiday meets Shakespeare in Love but with cell phone convenience and lots of kissing?
NG: No, actually. She spends one day in Paris with him, and wakes to find him gone. Just one day. Like the title.
Me: No. I don’t like that at all.
NG: Well, the novel is about her next year of self-discovery, and yes, about their connection and what it means to her.
Me: But how can Willem kiss her if he’s not there, Gayle? HOW.
Me: Let’s say I’m not just into it for the kissing. What will I learn?
NG: Well, in the prologue, Allyson is musing on Hamlet and wonders, “What if the real question is not whether to be, but HOW TO BE?”
Me: I do believe that Mr. Pattinson thoroughly researched that one for us, Gayle.
NG: Well, my main character goes on to figure that out for herself. Without quirky, unfortunate, should-have-remained-obscure, English indie films.
Me: So I can expect early-on swoons, gigantic amounts of angst, self-discovery, life-affirming insight, Shakespearean influence and (some) kissing?
Me: Give me ONE more reason that I should read it.
NG: Well, the companion novel, Just One Year, comes out in the fall. And it’s all Willem. His point of view.
Me: You mean like Where She Went was Adam’s point of view, and was completely and totally amazing (and even better than If I Stay – sorry, Gayle)????
NG: Well, if you say so.
Me: It totally was. Will Willem make up for whatever Euro-douchebaggy thing he does in the first third of the book?
NG: Well, I wrote an entire novel devoted to his story. And I do write contemporary young adult romance. So he’s not a total jerkface of a character.
Me: Will there be kissing?
NG: *walks out*
Just One Day comes out tomorrow, only three days before my birthday! Just in time to ensure I’ll be crying on the bathroom floor for other reasons than turning 33.
*from the official summary