Hey, guys! Welcome to my stop on this year’s Debut Authors Bash! If you would like to follow the rest of the tour and meet other authors, click the banner!
A fellow Puerto Rican is on the blog today! When I was reading Even If the Sky Falls and I noticed all the references to Puerto Rico, I knew the author had to have family from the island and then I found out she was born AND raised here (I say here because I’m still living in PR). So let’s give a very big welcome to Mia García!
What was the transition like, moving from Puerto Rico to New York, after being born and raised in the Island?
It was a bit odd. I first moved to D.C. for college before NYC. D.C. felt very new because at that point most of my experience with the U.S. was via TV shows, movies, and the occasional visit.. And most people’s experience with Puerto Ricans was Jennifer Lopez, who I don’t look like AT ALL (I know, I’m disappointed too), so I got a lot of “you’re Puerto Rican?” comments from my fellow students. That was super awesome. It was also the first time I started going by my middle name (Mia) which was lucky because none of my professors even attempted to pronounce my first name correctly. It was really the friends and connections I made that eventually made me feel like I was starting to belong. After that I actually went back home to PR before eventually moving to NYC (where my sisters lived) and had that similar “EVERYTHING IS NEW AND I’M SCARED” reaction but thankfully I had family nearby and once again, found those friends that make it all worth it.
What was your inspiration for writing Even If the Sky Falls?
This book was collaboration between myself and my editor, who I was very lucky to meet. She had a story she wanted to set in New Orleans and I had just come back from a trip there so it felt like everything was meant to be. It was the first time I’d written something in collaboration with an editor, usually it’s just me yelling at my computer at around 2am trying to figure things out alone (I mean, that still happened), but here I had Maria (my editor) with me on the journey and we’d exchange these long emails with plot changes and thoughts and a lot of my ramblings (this is still going on and the book is already published). A lot of EItSF came from our shared NOLA experience and the people I spoke with while I was there.
Was your background the reason why Julie has familial PR background as well?
Hell yes. When my editor and I sat down to discuss the story it became clear to me that Julie would have family in Puerto Rico, and it was a challenge not to just pull all my family into the story! My mom would’ve killed me if she’d recognized herself in the book 🙂 I’m working on another YA contemporary now and it’s very hard not to make everyone Puerto Rican…
Which scene from your book was your favorite to write about?
The mid-summer scenes. I loved using different senses to describe the feel of those moments and remember how it really did feel like you were amongst the stars surrounded by all the Mid-Summer shine. Also any scene with Julius was a delight. His character came fully formed and he felt like the type of person you could sit with for hours just talking about his life. I friggin LOVE Nola (fun fact: the French Quarter looks a lot like Old San Juan so I had this immediate connection to the buildings around me) and I’m planning a trip back soon.
What makes you want to DNF a book you’re reading?
When I can’t connect to the character and I don’t care what happens to them. Like everyone I have a giant pile of TBR books which I will never get through so I give books a chance (about 100 pages) and if I don’t connect I send them on their way. Sometimes I feel bad, but then I remember that someone else will love this book and it’s just not meant for me.
Which character do you relate to most and why?
I relate to both Miles and Julie. They both have this need to take care of family and often put too much on themselves when they can’t help like they’d like to. Family is very important to me and that’s something that felt natural for both Miles and Julie. At the time I was editing and adding chapters to the book my mom got really sick and I channeled all my feelings of anger, fear, feeling lost, useless, and overwhelmed into Julie. Her need to have a moment to breathe was my need to have a moment to breathe.
I have read one book that was set in Puerto Rico and sadly, it wasn’t done correctly so with that said I ask, would you ever consider writing a book set in Puerto Rico? If you would, could it be a road-trip story?! If you need someone to take pictures to include in the book, I volunteer!!
HELL YES. I actually had this idea to set a fairy-tale retelling in PR in the past to play off some gender politics. The idea is still floating around in my head and I won’t be letting it go soon, but YES, I want to set a book in PR. 100% yes. I would love to see your photography! Is it up anywhere?
What would you like your readers to remember/take away from Even If the Sky Falls?
Overall I hope they have a fun read and leave with the desire to visit NOLA! And to never feel bad about taking time for yourself, particularly when you need it.
ABOUT THE BOOKEven If the Sky Falls
by Mia García
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: May 10th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
All she needs is one night to be anyone she wants.
Julie is desperate for a change. So she heads to New Orleans with her youth group to rebuild houses and pretend her life isn’t a total mess. But between her super-clingy team leader and her way-too-chipper companions, Julie feels more trapped than ever.
In a moment of daring, she ditches her work clothes for DIY fairy wings and heads straight into the heart of Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, where she locks eyes with Miles, an utterly irresistible guy with a complicated story of his own. And for once, Julie isn’t looking back. She jumps at the chance to see the real New Orleans, and in one surreal night, they dance under the stars, share their most shameful secrets, and fall in love.
But their adventure takes an unexpected turn when an oncoming hurricane changes course. As the storm gains power and Julie is pulled back into chaos she finds pretending everything is fine is no longer an option.
Mia García’s Even If the Sky Falls is a whirlwind twenty-four-hour romance about discovering what it means to feel alive in the face of life’s greatest danger: love.
One winner will receive a finished signed copy of Even If the Sky Falls with some New Orleans goodies as well! (US only)
Have you ever visited New Orleans or would like to visit? What other books have you read that include this New Orleans setting?
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