I’m so thrilled to be an official stop on the blog tour for When I Was You by Amber Garza, releasing today, August 24!! I’m so excited about this book, y’all. So excited, I couldn’t wait to share my review with you. You can check that out here.
Today, I’m excited to share both an excerpt from the book and a Q&A with the author, Amber Garza.
Q&A with Amber Garza
Q: Please give the elevator pitch for When I Was You.
A: Two women in the same town with the same name. One goes missing and the other may know why.
Q: What’s the “story behind the story” with When I Was You?
A: There’s another Amber Garza who lives in my town. I’ve known about her for over ten years. We used to go to the same gym for a time, and I only know this because I would have to give my birthdate when I checked in, so they could differentiate between the two of us. We also went to the same doctor at one point. People who have met her say we look similar and both have friendly, bubbly personalities. We’ve never met, but I’ve often wondered about her.
Also, I live in suburbia, and there’s so much comparison going on here. It’s that whole “keep up with the Joneses” thing, you know? And as much as I try to stay away from it, it’s so easy to get caught in that trap. After finding out about the other Amber Garza, I thought about combining these two ideas. What if two women with the same name met and wanted each other’s lives? And from that question, this novel was born.
Q: Which came first: the characters or plot line?
A: The plot line.
Q: Why do you love Kelly and why should readers root for her?
A: Kelly is a mom who loves her son fiercely and would do anything for him. She may do some crazy things in this story, but deep down I believe she has good intentions. It comes from a place of deep love and loyalty.
Q: What was your last 5 star read?
A: The World that We Knew by Alice Hoffman
Q: What is one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?
A: To be patient. I feel like I always want things to move faster than they are in this industry. It’s definitely been teaching me patience. But, honestly, I feel so blessed and grateful. And I do get why things take so long to happen. There’s a lot of work that goes into releasing a book successfully. So, even though I spend a lot of time refreshing email, I know it’s all worth it.
Q: Do you have any specific writing rituals?
A: No, not really. I often write with music playing in the background, but I can just as easily write without it. I’m actually a person who needs a lot of variety. I get bored frequently. So, I write in different rooms of the house, including outside. I go to coffee shops when I can. I mostly work on my macbook, but sometimes I’ll switch to my desktop. I have an office, but I rarely write there.
Q: Which character in this novel is most like you and why?
A: Kelly (1) for sure. Not in her craziness, I hope. Ha! But we are similar in a lot of practical ways. When I wrote this novel, my husband was working in the Bay Area and my son was nineteen. I, myself, was wrestling with some loneliness, and felt challenged by the changes in the relationship with my son. I was essentially discovering who I was outside of being a wife and mom, so much of that is explored in Kelly (1)’s character.
Q: What can you tell us about your next project?
A: The working title is WHERE I LEFT HER. It’s the story of Whitney and her fifteen-year-old daughter Amelia. One evening, Whitney drops Amelia off at a friend’s house for a sleepover. From the car, she watches Amelia walk up to the front door, sees the friend let her in. The next day Whitney returns to the house to pick her daughter up but is greeted by an elderly woman who has no idea what she’s talking about.
Now that I’ve got you super excited for the book, here’s an excerpt you can read right now!
Still not enough? This book releases today, so you can grab a copy at your favorite independent bookstore! Get your copy!