Blog Tour & Author Q&A: Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger
Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger is releasing this Tuesday and today we are thrilled to be a part of the blog tour and bring you an interview from Candace Ganger!
Thanks to Wednesday Books for having us on tour!
Six Goodbyes We Never Saidby Candace Ganger
Published by: Wednesday Books
on September 24, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go
Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.
Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It's causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.
Candace Ganger's Six Goodbyes We Never Said is no love story. If you ask Naima, it’s not even a like story. But it is a story about love and fear and how sometimes you need a little help to be brave enough to say goodbye.
Author Q&A with Candace Ganger
What was your process to create unique and distinct voices in Naima and Dew? What was it like living with them in your head?
This is a loaded question. Six Goodbyes has been through *a lot* of changes, though the initial idea about a fallen Marine, six balloons, and a girl’s wishes, had been with me for years after hearing of a story on the news when a young boy sent balloons with notes attached to his soldier father. Strangers found them and responded to the boy so he felt the magic of his father getting his wishes. It still gets me when I think about it. The power of community and how it often takes a village to help the grieving heal. My brother is a veteran so some of this translated into my evergreen fear something would happen to him. At first, I only had the idea of Naima in my mind, because she is the middle school version of me (but way more fierce). It took a lot of drafts and — honestly — looking at myself from the outside in, to develop the rest. Dew and Naima are different parts of me. Put them together, and that is who I am. So in a way, they’ve always been in my head, even if I wasn’t ready to recognize it.
Tell us about the supporting and secondary characters in the story. How does their role in the story tell the stories of Naima and Dew?
JJ and Kam are Naima’s supportive grandparents. JJ is a version of my saving grace, my Gram (who passed in 2015), and Kam is her counterpart; the yin to her yang. Nell, Naima’s stepmother, is, on the surface, a typical stepmother trope where Naima hates her for no reason other than she isn’t Naima’s mom. She seems that way at first but once you peel back the layers, Naima is happy to have her, and Nell can finally see past Namma’s “flaws.” Then, there are Stella, Thomas and Faith— Dew’s adoptive parents and new adopted sister. They are based on a real couple I know who are on their 22nd? 23rd? (probably more) foster child. They’re some of the most selfless people I know and Stella and Thomas are the epitome of what parenthood means, even if it’s not the way you expect it to be. Also expect to see a cameo from a Birdie & Bash character for levity’s sake 🙂
What books would be on Naima and Dew’s bookshelves?
Naima would have everything her grandmother, JJ, wrote (she’s a bestselling feminist author), and probably some kind of punk memoir. Dew is more music so he’d probably be into a bibliography of Ben Haider and the Innocent Criminals by his bedside.