3 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, October 21, 2016!
Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon. It’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, expect that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.
Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.
By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. But as disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra can’t help but wonder if love really is enough to overcome every obstacle…
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) WHAT LIGHT is a great title! Who came up with it? Was it the original title or did it change along the way?
The title I used for the longest time was A LOT AT CHRISTMAS, but I knew that would be a limiting title. My publisher told me a specific image from the book kept popping into his mind, and that there might be a title there, maybe with the word LIGHT in it. That word has literal and figurative meanings in the book, so it felt right. I did a lot of word games and searched for quotes and sayings that used the word LIGHT, and there’s the famous line from Romeo & Juliet: “What light through yonder window breaks…” Anyone who gets the reference will understand that it’s a love story. But if you don’t recall the line, it still sets the right tone, and its ambiguity is intriguing.
2) How do you come up with your character names?
I came up with Sierra’s name soon after I came up with the idea for the book. I knew the story would begin on her family farm in Oregon, and I wanted her name to remind you of nature. Since she grew up near the Sierra Mountains, that name stuck. It took me a long time to come up with Caleb’s name, but I knew I wanted it to have less syllables than Sierra, and also have a hard consonant since hers didn’t. At the time, I was following a lot of the Facebook posts of a guy named Caleb, loving what he had to say, and once I considered using his name, it worked.
3) How long does it take you to write a book?
Each one has been very different. With THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, it took three years from when I came up with the idea to when I submitted it, but I had worked on several other manuscripts during that time. I co-wrote THE FUTURE OF US, which was the only thing either of us was working on, and it took us eight months. With WHAT LIGHT, I came up with the concept over ten years ago and have been writing and taking notes and thinking about it ever since, finally turning in a draft at the end of last year.
4) Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process?
It’s so exciting to finally see a cover design, or even the initial thoughts for a cover design. By then, my work as the writer is mostly done. Now I get to picture it as a real book, with readers being drawn to pick up my story based on one strong visual.
5) If you could choose one dessert or snack food that you could eat as much as you want of (and never gain an ounce!) what would it be?
Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. I mean, the name “chubby hubby” says it all. But listen to this: vanilla malt ice cream with peanutty fudge-covered pretzels with fudge & peanut buttery swirls! I don’t even fight against eating an entire pint in one sitting anymore.
About the author:
Jay Asher’s debut YA novel, THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and is currently in production as a Netflix series. WHAT LIGHT, his most recent YA novel, releases in October 2016. His work has been translated into 35 languages. Visit Jay online at jayasher.blogspot.com.
3 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, October 21, 2016.
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