Tuesday, February 3, 2015

[Year-Round YA and NA Guide: A List of My Most Anticipated 2015 Releases] Q&A with Katie Cotugno, Author of 99 Days

Title: 99 DAYS 
Author: Katie Cotugno (Website | Twitter
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 


Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

Why is this book included on my list? It was November of last year that I've read her debut novel, How to Love, and I instantly love her writing. So when I checked on Goodreads if she has an upcoming novel, TADA! I saw 99 Days, read the synopsis (which I really love and made me super excited to read the book) and added it on my TBR list. I'm uber curious as to how the story will flow in this one. Will this be as realistic as How to Love? I hope so! 

Amanda (A): Hi Ms. Katie! Thank you so much for granting my request and giving me this opportunity of interviewing you in such a short notice. I’m so thrilled to have you on my blog! Can I first say that I’m in love with the covers of your books – How to Love and with this one in 99 days. Who’s in charge of those lovely covers?  Thumbs up to them. 

Katie Cotugno (KC): Thank you so much! The covers are put together by fabulous teams at Alloy Entertainment, Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, and Quercus.

A: Before I proceed in asking questions about 99 days, I shall ask you first something a little about yourself. Who’s your favorite author and what are your favorite books? How did this author and these books influence you as a person and as a writer? 

KC: I have lots of favorite books and authors--I love Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Chabon, as well as YA authors like Brandy Colbert, Nina LaCour, and Sarah Dessen. Reading their work always inspire me to push myself harder as a writer. 

A: Have you really dreamt of becoming a writer? Who or what inspired you to become one? 

KC: I've always wanted to be a writer! My parents are both writers, and I read a lot growing up. I was lucky enough to have really wonderful teachers, as well.

A: When you aren’t writing, where would we most likely find you? What are your hobbies aside from writing? 

KC: I love to cook and bake, so you can usually find me making a mess in my kitchen.

A: Since 99 Days isn’t out yet in book stores, I won’t be asking much about the story and the characters. Even if I’m dying to ask how the characters mentioned in its synopsis related to one another and how they will affect the story and each other. (Don’t mind me.) Anyways, I’m curious though. How did you came up with the concepts or plot lines for your books? Do these concepts naturally come to you or do you end up observing the people around you to achieve the realistic feel of your books? 

KC: I carry a notebook in my purse, so I'm constantly scribbling down things that are interesting to me--a line of dialogue I overhear at a restaurant, a news story I see on TV. Often, a story comes out of the smallest detail. For instance, this weekend I found out there's a gang of cats that roams my best friend's neighborhood in Brooklyn--you can bet that will make it into a book one day!

A: Were the characters or some of the scenes included in 99 Days based on someone you know, or even coming from you? 

KC: All of my characters have a little bit of me in them--things they like, their bad habits--but I've never written a character based on one person in my life. The fun part is making things up!

A: Do you have a playlist that you’ve been listening to while you were writing 99 Days? If so, can you share it to us. But if you don’t have a playlist, could you think of a song/s that would best fit the mood and feel of 99 days? 

KC: I do! I listened to a lot of Ellie Goulding while I wrote 99 Days, especially "Explosions". And a lot of Bastille and Young the Giant, as well. 

A: I’m sure your readers will hunt down these songs as soon as they read this post is up. (Ha. Because that’s probably I would do.) Speaking of your readers, do you have any message to your readers here in the Philippines? 

KC: I'll be in the Philippines this summer, and i couldn't be more excited. I can't wait to meet you all!

A: Complete this sentence. In 99 days … 

KC: In 99 DAYS will be out in bookstores! And hopefully the whether will be a little warmer in Boston, where I live. 

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