Blog Tour, Interview & Giveaway: The How & The Why by Cynthia Hand
The How & The Why by Cynthia Hand releases today and we are thrilled to bring you an interview from the author as part of the blog tour! Be sure to check out what Cynthia has to say, you can read an excerpt here, and be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway!
The How and the Whyby Cynthia Hand
Published by: HarperTeen
on November 5, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Bookshop, IndieBound, iTunes, Book Depository, Amazon
A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.
Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…
Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.
But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.
Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.
Author Interview – Cynthia Hand
What journeys in your life have influenced Cass’s journey in The How & The Why?
There are a few of my life’s threads that have found their way into this book, most notably the adoption one. I was adopted. My adoption was a closed adoption, which means that I don’t know my birthparents’ names. I do know that my birthmother was sixteen years old when she had me, and for a while she lived at a home for teen mothers in Boise, Idaho.
The How & The Why is written from the point of view of two teens: one who calls herself S, a sixteen-year-old girl living at a home for teen mothers, who writing a series of letters to the unborn baby she’s about to place for adoption, and the other, Cass — the high school senior that baby grows up to be.
I grew up in Idaho. The book takes place in Idaho.
I was a theater nerd in high school. Cass is a theater nerd.
Cass is curious about who her birth mother is. So am I.
So yeah, there’s a lot of me in The How & The Why. But weirdly, I don’t think of the book as being about me. Cass is very definitely her own person, and she has her own journey to go on, one that is very separate than my own. In fact, I found S easier to write about than I did Cass. Maybe because S and I have a lot in common:
S is a young person in the year 2000. So was I.
S is pregnant and worried about the future of her baby. As the mother of two kids, I’ve been there.
What was it like to write in the epistolary style? (writing as letters)
I loved writing the letters! As I said before, S’s point of view came pretty easily to me—they just seemed to roll out of me. I started every letter with the same question: What would S want this baby to know? It was nice to see S’s progression as she writes the letters. She starts out really reluctant to say anything at all, and then grudgingly gives a few details, until by the end she is really pouring her heart out. Through writing the letters, S starts to figure out what she believes in. Which is how I felt about writing the book!
Which of your previous characters would be a support to Cass and why?
Oh gosh, this is a tough question! Cass’s world and the world with my past characters in them feel really different to me. My kneejerk reaction is to say Clara Gardner from the Unearthly series. Clara, like Cass, has a really solid relationship with her mother, but is also asking questions about herself and her past that her mother can’t always answer. Clara is also an empath, so she could feel what Cass is feeling and talk her through it.
You’ve written many different genres of YA, historical, contemporary, paranormal…Is there a genre you would love to tackle next?
I have had a post-apocalyptic novel on the back burner for years now, and someday I hope to get a crack at writing that. I would also like to venture into writing a more straight historical novel someday (as the Jane books mix in comedy and fantasy). And I also have a high fantasy concept floating around in there. Who knows? 🙂
Win 1 of 2 copies of The How & The Why by Cynthia Hand (US only) Ends 11/13/2019a Rafflecopter giveaway