Happy Sunday! Today I’m here to bring you an interview with Emily France, author of the upcoming release, SIGNS OF YOU, and a giveaway at the end! Make sure to read on!
Signs of You by Emily France
Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.
When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.
When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.
Tell us about your publishing journey.
I announced that I wanted to be a writer when I was five years old, and I’ve been working on it ever since. I finished my first full-length novel when I was twenty and shoved it in a drawer. I wrote my next one at twenty-two and sent it to one agent. When it was rejected, I shoved that one in a drawer, too. But when Signs of You came to me, I knew I had to give it a real chance. I wrote it and submitted it to agents through the traditional query process. I also entered it in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers annual competition and won first place. I ended up signing with the agent who was the judge. It was a dream come true. After signing with Jennifer Unter, I called everyone in my family to tell them the news but I could barely get the words out through all my sloppy/happy tears.
Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?
My favorite scene is the climax of the whole story, and I can’t give many details without spoiling it! I can say that my character is driving down the road, windows open, music blaring. It’s about living. And letting go. And knowing. She finally understands a mystery while she’s in that car, and I think of her there all the time.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Well, before I started writing full time, I was a lawyer in Chicago. Today, when my law school friends call me with news about their latest jury verdicts, I miss it! So maybe if I couldn’t write novels any longer, I’d dust off my old briefcase and go back to court. But I have a feeling I’d start filling the briefcase with story ideas and bits of dialogue in no time…
Were there alternate titles for your book? Why did you choose Signs of You?
Yes, at first it was called Sort of Beautiful. It’s part of a line that is one of the last and most beautiful things one of my characters says. But that was always just a working title. I wanted something that really struck at the heart of the book, and my story begins with my main character, Riley, seeing signs of someone she’s lost. It’s the taproot of her entire adventure, and she learns to look for signs on so many different levels by the end.
How did you choose the names of your characters?
They just came to me! These characters moved into my life like unruly roommates who refused to move out until the story was finished. They came in with agendas, names, and strong personalities from the start. I adore all of them and miss hanging out with them every day.
What books/authors have most influenced your life most?
One of my first story loves was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Her story transported me to another world and it was pure magic. I knew I wanted to write stories one day. After that, the characters of Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes made me fall head over heels for mysteries.
If you could do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I think I could tinker with it for the rest of my life and never get bored!
Do you have any projects you’re working on now that you can share?
I do have a new project! Be on the lookout for a really exciting announcement about it very soon. Unfortunately, I can’t share the details yet!
Emily France graduated from Brown University before going on to law school, where she was the editor-in-chief of the law review. She finds creative inspiration in all things spiritual, from sitting with Benedictine monks for 4 a.m. vigils in a Rocky Mountain monastery to trekking to Buddhist and Hindu temples in India. Now she writes full-time and lives with her husband and their fearless Tibetan Spaniel in sunny Colorado—the closest place to Nirvana she’s found. Signs of You is her debut novel. Visit Emily online at http://www.emilyfrancebooks.com and follow her on Twitter @EmilyFranceBook.
Preorder of Signs of You by Emily France! (INT okay as long as BD sends)