I am thrilled to present our second book brag with McCall Hoyle, the author of The Thing with Feathers! Check out this mega-gorgeous cover:
Her upcoming novel, Meet the Sky, is about Sophie, a girl struggling to keep her fractured family together. Sophie’s all about sticking to the plan—keep the family business running, save money for college one day, and make sure her mom and sister don’t endure another tragedy—but when a hurricane forms off the coast of the Outer Banks, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control. She ends up stranded in the middle of the storm with Finn, the boy her broke her heart freshman year.
What happens next? Let’s ask McCall!
JM: Welcome, back McCall! We’re so excited for this next book. Tell us a bit about how the book came to be.
MH: All of my writing has a tendency to circle back to the overriding emotions in my life. The Thing with Feathers was all about needing to be accepted but learning that we have to accept ourselves before we can expect anyone else to accept us. Meet the Sky is an exploration of how we all process grief differently. It’s a story about learning that sometimes our greatest losses lead to our greatest potential and our greatest growth as humans.
JM: Sophie and Finn couldn’t be more different—Sophie’s a type-A planner and Finn’s a wild child who goes surfing in the eye of a storm—and yet they are thrown together to survive. What was it like to create two characters who view the world so differently?
MH: It was a lot of fun actually. I knew whenever Sophie and Finn were on the page together sparks were going to fly. Writing from such different perspectives also required a lot of thinking on my part—about the advantages and disadvantages to each of their personalities. I lean way on one side of the spectrum between control freak and free spirit. I like to think that writing from both Finn’s and Sophie’s perspectives softened me a bit and brought me a little closer to balance in the center.
JM: The Thing with Feathers features a theme of Emily Dickinson’s poetry—will we see something similar in Meet the Sky?
MH: Maybe… Okay, yes, you will. As I mentioned earlier, the idea for this book came from an exploration of grief. My greatest loss was the unexpected death of my father. He was a larger-than-life character whose philosophy in life was go big or go home. During the years following his death and as I was writing Meet the Sky, an Alfred Lord Tennyson quotation kept repeating in my head. The English poet said, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” And I agree. But Sophie isn’t so sure she does. She has to decide for herself whether it’s better to take a risk on life and love after the tragedies in her life or if it’s better to protect her heart and play it safe. That’s really a decision we all have to make for ourselves. I hope readers will appreciate Sophie’s decision.
JM: Tell us about this gorgeous cover!!
MH: I am so in love with this cover I can hardly stand it. The greens and blues are gorgeous and match the colors of the Atlantic Ocean and the sky. The palm tree flapping in the hurricane wind set the tone that trouble is imminent, but the clean crisp white and the title Meet the Sky lend an air of hope. Basically, I just love everything about it.
JM: Any spoilers you want to share?
MH: Well, Meet the Sky also takes place on the ruggedly beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, so there is that similarity. And maybe, just maybe, two of my favorite characters from The Thing with Feathers might make an appearance in Meet the Sky, but I don’t know if I should say who. Here’s a hint: one of them has four legs.
Thanks so much, McCall! Readers, stay tuned for more posts on Meet the Sky and from McCall, and be sure to preorder the book at the link below!
Follow McCall online:
About the Book
It all started with the accident. The one that caused Sophie’s dad to walk out of her life. The one that left Sophie’s older sister, Meredith, barely able to walk at all.
With nothing but pain in her past, all Sophie wants is to plan for the future—keep the family business running, get accepted to veterinary school, and protect her mom and sister from another disaster. But when a hurricane forms off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and heads right toward their island, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control.
After she gets separated from her family during the evacuation, Sophie finds herself trapped on the island with the last person she’d have chosen—the reckless and wild Finn Sanders, who broke her heart freshman year. As they struggle to find safety, Sophie learns that Finn has suffered his own heartbreak; but instead of playing it safe, Finn’s become the kind of guy who goes surfing in the eye of the hurricane. He may be the perfect person to remind Sophie how to embrace life again, but only if their newfound friendship can survive the storm.
Praise for McCall Hoyle’s debut novel, The Thing with Feathers:
“Beautiful, touching, and bursting with hope.”
Pintip Dunn, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author
“Heartfelt and affecting. Hoyle tells a familiar story, but does so in a voice that is rarely heard, and that makes all the difference.”
Leah Thomas, William C. Morris Award finalist and author of Because You’ll Never Meet Me and Nowhere Near You
“The inspiring story of one girl’s struggle not to be defined by her illness, The Thing with Feathers soars as it explores what it means to live—and love—without fear.”
Kathryn Holmes, author of How It Feels to Fly
“A refreshing, quality debut—meaningfully woven and beautifully engaging, from the first page to the last.”
YA Books Central (5 stars)
About the Author
McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a high school English teacher. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her books. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and their odd assortment of pets—a food-obsessed beagle, a grumpy rescue cat, and a three-and-a-half-legged kitten. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day. Learn more at mcallhoyle.com.