An interview with the author... Finding Me by Kelly Gunderman (Interview & #Giveaway) @the_ffbc

Welcome! Check out an interview with the author and enter the giveaway below...

Finding Me
By Kelly Gunderman
YA Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, ? Pages
July 30th 2019 by Swoon Romance


Can you ever truly love someone who robbed you of everything?

Sixteen-year-old Claire Williams spends most of her days feeling angry and alone. After a car accident took her mother and Claire’s ability to walk, life in a wheelchair is the new normal.
When she’s sent to live with her grandmother, away from school and friends, Claire has a chance for a fresh start. Just when Claire thinks she can handle things, she runs into Todd - the son of the man who caused the car accident.

At first, Claire wants nothing to do with him, but the more time they spend together, the more she hates to admit her feelings. She’s slowly falling in love with Todd.

Now, Claire’s father wants to move and take Claire with him. But she can’t go. Not now when everything is falling into place, and she’s just now finding herself. Claire’s defiant. She won’t leave Greenwood, her new friends, her grandmother, or Todd.

Can Claire find the strength to let her dad go on with his life while leaving her behind to live hers, or will she allow the guilt and shame of surviving the accident pull her back under?

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Would you tell us a little more about the main characters from FINDING ME?

Sure! Claire is the main character in Finding Me, and the story is told from her point of view. She is a sixteen-year-old girl who has had so much taken from her – a car accident claimed the life of her mother and her ability to walk, and her father started seeing a younger woman, which made her feel abandoned. She is close to her grandmother, and the two of them spend a lot of time together. She is bitter, feeling alone, and is afraid of trusting or getting close to anyone.

Todd, on the other hand, wants to move on with his life after his father caused the car accident that both Claire and her mother were involved in. While he holds no resentment toward Claire for his father being in prison, he is angry, and for the most part, he keeps it to himself. He has that sort of bad-boy vibe going, but is incredibly easygoing and sweet to those he cares about – including Claire.

What one piece of advice would Claire give to others?

If Claire were to give some advice to others, I believe the one thing she would want to share would be not to harbor anger toward others for mistakes, especially if they aren’t responsible for them. Forgiveness is one of the most important things that you can give someone, even if you still feel hurt by what they have done to upset you. Life is too short to stay angry about things you can’t control, so focus on the things that you can have some say over, and let everything else become background noise.

What is your favorite thing about the book’s cover?

My favorite thing about the book’s cover is how amazingly well the designer captured the likenesses of both Claire and Todd. While I was writing the book, this is exactly how I pictured the two of them – right down to Todd’s watch! It’s absolutely baffling how well it was put together; it was almost like the designer who worked on it was able to read my mind!

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

The one aspect of the story that I love the most, above all else, is the close relationship that Claire has with her grandmother. I never had close relationships with either of my grandmothers, and I always wished I could have had the chance to bake cookies together, paint nails, and more or less just have girl talk. Their relationship is incredibly meaningful, and I wanted to ensure that the story had a lot of family elements in it, because family is truly one of the most important parts of life.

What challenged you about writing FINDING ME?

A lot of things challenged me about writing Finding Me. The story itself flowed kind of easily, to be honest. What I did have some trouble with, though, was trying to perfect the dialogue between characters – especially April. I had a difficult time writing interactions with her character (although why is beyond me). Since this was my first novel, I didn’t really know how to create dialogue the way I imagined it in my head. Because of this, I spent a ton of time trying to make it believable and interesting. I went back and changed things so many times because it sounded corny or fake.

Do you have any specific snacks you eat or music you listen to when you write?

While I was writing Finding Me, I listened to a lot of Taylor Swift (her first album). I don’t remember if I ate a lot of any particular snacks while writing the book, although I think most of it was fueled by chocolate, as is most everything I write! I listen to a lot of different music across a vast amount of genres, and I tend to choose what I want to listen to based on the story I’m writing and how I’m feeling in the moment. I listened to a lot of Silverstein while I was writing the book after Finding Me, for example.

What are you working on next?

I just finished another YA contemporary about a Wiccan girl, and I’m currently querying agents on that one. That novel means so much to me because I feel like I can relate to the main character in the book. In the meantime, I’m working on a novel about a girl who has a crush on another girl in her school, and who accidentally lets it slip. I’m not going to say anymore about it, since I’m only five chapters into it, but as always, I feel close to the characters and I adore writing their stories.

About the Author

Kelly Gunderman was born a child of the late eighties in small-town Pennsylvania. A bibliophile in her own right, she is hoping to one day surpass the number of pages she has turned with those she has written of her own accord.

Having recently completed her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Development, Kelly suddenly found herself with a bit more free time than usual, and began her immediately successful foray into blogging and Freelance Writing, which subsequently led to her renewed desire to finally put her ideas and imaginings “on paper.”

Focusing primarily on the Young Adult genre, Kelly’s first novel, Finding Me, was published by Swoon Romance, and she is currently working on putting even more stories on paper.

She currently resides in her original home town with her husband, their two daughters, and a few cats that constantly challenge the sanity of all with their ill-advised attempts at what can only be assumed to be world domination.

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