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 INTERVIEW 

Gayle Forman

El Templo #48 (octubre 2015) por Cris Menéndez


You took three years after high school to travel around the world. How much of that experience has flowed into your YA novels? 

It’s not so much that the travel seeped into my novels—though in the case of Just One Day/Year, it did, rather directly—but the travel informed the person that I am. Travel changed me. It made me a more empathetic person. more aware of the vast commonalities among different peoples, and also how different cultural lenses change perspective. Which impacts me as a human being, as well as a novelist. My favorite thing about travel is how it pushes you out of your comfort and as a result, you expand your comfort zone. I think the characters in my novels all follow similar journeys, whether they go on literal journeys or not.

You started your career writing for Seventeen magazine and later in your life you based your first YA novel on one of the story you wrote for that magazine. How has your experience in Seventeen influenced you as YA writer?

It was no accident that I worked at Seventeen. I sought out to write for a magazine for teenagers. At the time, those magazines were running what I thought were most interesting and well-written (or vibrantly written) articles and I wanted to a part of that. loved working at Seventeen, writing about young people and for young people. When I sat down to write my first YA novel, Sisters in Sanity, which was based on an article I’d written at Seventeen nearly ten years before, it was both a surprise—I didn’t know that I wanted to write novels, for teens—and a homecoming because of course I had been writing about and for young people all along.

Mia and Adam's story has just jumped from the paper to the big screen. How was your involvement in the project? How do you feel about the result?

I was an executive producer on the If I Stay film, which means that I got to be involved in all phases of the project, from the script development to being on set during filming to seeing early cuts of the film. I loved watching how the (brilliant) filmmakers took the story from page to screen. They put so much deep thought and consideration into it. And it’s kind of amazing how something that works on the page doesn’t work on the screen. It has to be changed in order for it to stay the same. I was thrilled with the result. I felt like the characters in the film felt very much like the characters that had lived inside me all those years and what I really loved about the movie was the music. There is only so much you can do on the page with music. The movie brought it to life.

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