Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he's in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.
Rachel's terrified—and she can't help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.
With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah's best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.
What inspired Out of Reach?
I had just finished writing a really crappy SF novel and was so over it. I knew it wasn't working, but I had at least finished it and the prospect of reworking it seemed so overwhelming.
So I started with a clean page and Rachel's voice came loud and clear. I had been going through something similar to Rachel's journey for a couple of years, so I tried to channel some of that, but through the filter of a 16 year old girl.
Did you base any of your characters on yourself or others in your life?
I have a family member who struggled(es) with addiction, so even though it is a work of fiction, there is a great deal of emotional truth to the characters and story.
Are there any songs that could fit certain moments, the atmosphere or feel of Out of Reach? If so, which one would be the theme song?
I wrote most of it to The National, so I'd say their songs fit the atmosphere for sure.
What are your favourite novels?
This question is always so hard because it changes all the time. Currently they are The Hours, The Book Thief, The Things They Carried, The Road, The Alchemist…
Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you like most about being a writer?
Yes, I have. I think for a long time though I was in love with the idea of being a writer. I romanticized it in my mind. I didn't have the discipline.
Now I love the process. I love seeing where a story goes and how characters change and grow.
It's scary and exhilarating to create.
What were your favourite and least favourite parts of the publishing process for your début novel?
My favourite part was getting the call that it was going to be sold. That was a surreal moment. I hung up the phone and screamed. Then I got real quiet and cried.
I've also loved working with a wonderful editor, Annette Pollert at Simon Pulse. She has helped take Out of Reach to the next level.
The least favourite part is worrying about the sales aspect. Quite a bit of time has to go to marketing, and the reason why that can be challenging is because it takes time away from writing the next book.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
I love what Anne Lamott says: Sit butt in chair.
Are you currently working on anything? Can you share?
Today I worked on a story about a boy who is struggling with grief.
Is there a specific message you hope readers will take way from Out of Reach?
Many people have been touched by addiction in some way, and I want them to know that there is great courage and great love and great hope to be found.
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