As soon as I saw this book in my Facebook feed, I had to feature it. It’s set to debut on October 8, a week from today:

From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.

While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.

Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.

Earlier this year, you posted about your spring trip to Japan. What, if anything, did you discover on your trip that surprised you?

Japan was a dream. I traveled with my family to Tokyo and Kyoto, and besides my surprise over the actual amount of ramen that can be consumed by one 5’3” woman, I was incredibly touched by the graciousness of the people I encountered. Nearly everywhere we went, we were greeted with the warmest hospitality, kindness, and patience. I can’t wait to go back.

My husband and I are planning a trip to Japan this coming spring, and now I can’t wait! In the THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS, literary genius Darcy Wells is forced out of her bookish comfort zone. In what ways did you feel this was a necessary part of her character growth? 

When we first meet Darcy, she’s created an extensive library to escape her mother’s hoarding and compulsive shopping. Darcy shelters herself––literally and virtually––within her book walls, which leaves her devoid of some aspects of human experience. Darcy finds safety in consulting and drawing upon the past successes of book characters. And this works for her, until a pressing family situation can’t be solved by lingering between pages. She has to get out, act, and look for new strategies. When this also brings the possibility of love, she has to figure out how a relationship could fit into a life she’s kept so closely guarded and hidden. This grows her––heart, soul, and mind.

Darcy comes of age in my story. I believe an essential component of growing up is exploring your own voice in the world, and your own place and purpose. Previously, books and book characters have fulfilled and grown Darcy. In THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS, she learns what it means to live out her own story.

An important way to live indeed. What do you love most about words, and what do you feel are the necessary parts of a good story?

I love that words contain the power to invoke emotion. As a writer, there is nothing I love more than finding the right word, or the perfect combination of words that makes a reader feel and remember.

For me, a good story presents a cast of characters that I care about. They don’t all have to be likable, but they have to be compelling. Then, I look for a conflict with personal stakes, a sense of emotional resonance, and creative world-building in the physical setting, as well as in the interior worlds inside every character. Lastly, I look for a voice that draws me in and makes me want to stay a while.

I agree completely. What are some of your current projects? 

I recently finished a YA contemporary tribute to my Cuban heritage. In this story, a teen Miami Cuban baker finds herself in England the summer after high school graduation. As she heals from heartbreak and shares her cuisine, she faces new people, places, and opportunities that challenge her beliefs about what her carefully plotted future should look like.

And now, I am drafting again! I am working on a YA contemporary featuring ten years of ride-or-die friendship, and one act of betrayal that could tear three girls apart forever.

Buy: Book Passage ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Indiebound

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