To celebrate the release of Everywhere You Want To Be this week, have a special interview with author Christina June. Read below for our Q&A with her.
What inspired you to write Everywhere You Want To Be?
My editor had described Tilly as “fascinating” in the edit letter for IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, which got my wheels turning. I realized Tilly had her own story to tell. Plus, it gave me a chance to explore dance, which was really eye-opening, and let me set it in New York, which is one of my favorite cities. This book was definitely exciting to work on from a research aspect.
How does Everywhere You Want To Be tie in to It Started With Goodbye?
The main character, Tilly, appears in IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE as the “evil” stepsister to protagonist Tatum. EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE, takes place a year later, when Tilly has just graduated from high school and is leaving home for the summer to be part of a contemporary dance project in New York. So, while there are a lot of new characters, many familiar ones make appearances as well.
What do you hope readers take away from Everywhere You Want To Be?
The heart of this book is a girl making a decision about her life. She had plans to do one thing, but then life threw her a curve ball and she had to reassess. This happens to all of us at some point in our lives. My hope is that readers will see that it’s okay to strike out on your own. It’s okay to change your mind. And it’s okay to do what YOU want, not just what others think you should do. Tilly wrestles with her path and thinks a lot about happiness, understanding that ultimately it has to be her choice.
Share more about Tilly’s character.
Tilly was hard to write because she is very different from me in many aspects. I call her my devious rule-follower. Most of the time, she toes the line and does what’s expected, but when she needs to, she’ll push back and fight for what she thinks is right. She’s very careful and cautious. She makes pro and con lists. She likes to be sure of her decisions. I like Tilly because she’s willing to take in new information and change her perspective. The other part of her journey is about friendships and making time for them. She discovers life is richer with friends and allies, which is something I also believe.
What are you most looking forward to now that the book is released?
I’m a big fan of companion novels. I like revisiting the same world from a previous book, but discovering new things from the lens of a different character or time period. It was a super fun challenge to write one, and I loved it. I’m looking forward to talking to readers who are coming back to Tatum and Tilly’s world, and introducing new readers to them. Of course, I can’t wait to see what both books look like on the shelf together!
What can readers expect to see from you in the next few months?
I’ve got a bunch of events coming up, including a launch party at Books of Wonder in New York. I’ll be in conversation with my wonderful critique partner, Katherine Locke, at the uptown location on May 6 at 3 pm. We would love to see readers there! I’m also having an event here in Virginia, and making stops in Chicago, Denver and Indianapolis this summer. Readers can check my website for details.
Blink was gracious enough to let me write another companion novel as well. NO PLACE LIKE HERE, inspired by Hansel & Gretl, is slated for 2019 and tells Ashlyn’s story. I’m working on that right now and looking forward to being able to share more soon.