Thursday, July 18, 2019

Interview w/ Danielle Stinson + BEFORE I DISAPPEAR Giveaway!

Before I Disappear

by Danielle Stinson
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: July 23, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
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Rose Montgomery parks her family’s trailer in Fort Glory, Oregon with one goal: to carve out a new life for herself and her little brother, Charlie. They need a fresh start for their family, and she thinks she's finally found it in a town where nobody knows them. 

But Rose’s plans come crashing down when, in an instant, Fort Glory disappears and every person in town vanishes into thin air—including Charlie.

Rose and four other teens become trapped in the Fold, a patch of woods caught halfway between the real world and the lost town. In the Fold, a mysterious force suspends the laws of physics, and everyone’s inner darkness has the power to kill. 

To survive the Fold, Rose must unravel the clues Charlie sends her from the missing town. And Rose has to find Charlie soon—or he'll be gone forever. 


Hi Danielle!!!  We are so excited to have you in our FFBC Tours!!  Thanks you for taking the time to chat with us!

Thank you so much for having Before I Disappear on The Fantastic Flying Book Club

Can you briefly describe BEFORE I DISAPPEAR and the main characters?

Absolutely! Before I Disappear is an emotional and action-packed YA set in the real world with a sci-fi twist. Pitched as ARRIVAL meets A WRINKLE IN TIME, it’s about a girl who risks everything to find her little brother after their small town vanishes into thin air. 

Rose is a 17yo high school student who has been shouldering the weight for her family. She is smart, practical, resilient, extremely introverted and loyal to the core. She expresses herself through actions rather than words and dreams of building a new life for her mom and little brother, Charlie, in Fort Glory. Charlie is the opposite of Rose in many ways. He’s dreamy, and soft, and appears fragile to the outside eye. He is also quiet and uncommonly kind with an innate gift for seeing to the heart of a person—especially those things they would rather keep hidden. Rose has always known that Charlie isn’t like other kids, and she loves him fiercely even though his strangeness scares and frustrates her sometimes.  

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

I created the characters of Rose and Charlie before the larger story came to me. I sort of heard their voices and knew I wanted to capture that sibling bond, which  has played such an important role in my own life. I kept writing down memories and parts of conversations between them. Over time, it became clear to me that there was an impenetrable divide between them. Then I had this very bizarre dream that involved things disappearing, and the rest of the story snapped into place. 

What can the readers expect to find in the Fold?

Honestly, the Fold is a terrifying place. It looks like our world and has the same edge of gritty realism, but that only serves to lull you into a false sense of complacency. In the Fold, the laws of physics are fundamentally altered. It’s volatile and unpredictable and getting more dangerous by the minute. The sky, the weather, even the earth itself may try to kill you. But the greatest threats in the Fold won’t come at you from the outside. No, the most dangerous storms of all are the ones we carry inside. 

What were your favorite books in elementary/middle school?

I remember reading A Taste Of Blackberries by Doris Buchanan Smith and feeling my heart ache. I loved Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I devoured every Boxcar Children, Babysitters Club, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novel I could find. When I got older, I fell in love with classics like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith and East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I had many, many favorites, but looking back now, I realize the ones that really stuck with me were those with notes of both sadness and hope. I’m also a sucker for an epic love story. 

If you could go back and tell your YA self one thing, what would it be?

If I could go back, I would probably tell myself the same thing my parents told me: that the things that feel huge today will one day be blips on the radar. That what other people think of you doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you think of yourself. 

What are your 3 favorite books that you read in the past year? 

If I’m counting all the books I read over the past year and not just those released recently, I’d say Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar, The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh, and The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta.  

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

I’m going to cheat and say that the Fold gives me “DLZ” by TV on the Radio and “Blackout Days” by Phantogram vibes. The Rose and Charlie scenes bring to mind “Home” by Cinematic Orchestra, “Holocene” by Bon Iver and “Heavy Feet” by Local Natives. Ian and Rose’s song is Lapsley’s “Falling Short.” Sorry, that’s more like a playlist than a single song, but music is one of my great loves, and I can’t seem to help myself!

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of BEFORE I DISAPPEAR or the series in general.)

#SurvivetheFold #FindFtGlory #Facethedark

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read BEFORE I DISAPPEAR (specific music, snacks…)? 

For music, I would definitely recommend some haunting and emotional score music. No words but lots of feelings. Any type of hot beverage and a blanket. Bonus points if there’s a roaring fire, because warmth is sort of a hot commodity in the Fold. (Terrible pun unintended.) Some sort of pine/Douglas-fir scented candle. Maybe a nightlight. Definitely a window with a full view of the stars. 

What’s next for you?

In the YA genre I’m currently working on two projects in the vein of Before I Disappear. One is a sort of YA Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind about a girl who sees something in the sky when she is seven years old that sets her on a downward spiral. She’s only starting to regain control of her life at 17 when the Lights in the sky come back, only this time, she isn’t the only one who sees them. 

Thanks so much for this!!  We’re really excited to have you in our tours!

Thank you for having me! These questions were so much fun to answer, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this tour with FFBC!

Stories were a central part of Danielle Stinson's childhood. Growing up in a military family meant frequent moves across the US and abroad. She spent many summers in her room surrounded by unpacked boxes and stacks of library books. She currently lives with her husband and four boys in Virginia, where she writes fiction for young adults. Before I Disappear is her debut novel.

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  1. This sounds really good! I'm definitely intrigued by the book she's working on, about the girl who sees lights in the skies and she goes down a spiral. Sounds really cool!
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

  2. This is definitely on my TBR and also one of my most want to read books.

  3. I added it to my TBR and it does sound very intriguing!

  4. Ah! Thank you for The Birds, the Bees, and You and Me shout-out! xoxo Trust me, BEFORE I DISAPPEAR is one of my favorite books of all time!

  5. Sounds like a very intriguing book.