by Danika Stone
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 28th, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
An epic YA adventure story about two friends lost in the Canadian wilderness from Danika Stone, the author of All the Feels.
Vale loves to hike, but kind of hates her classmates. Ash is okay with his classmates, but kind of hates the outdoors. So, needless to say they are both fairly certain that the overnight nature hike with their PE class is going to be a hellish experience. But when they get separated from the group during a storm, they have worse things to worry about than bullies and blisters.
Lost in the Canadian wilderness with limited supplies, caught in dangerous weather conditions, and surrounded by deadly wildlife, it’s going to take every bit of strength, skill, and luck they can muster to survive.
~AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Danika Stone~
1) What gave you the inspiration for the storyline?
All my books have many inspirations, but two particular things stick out for Switchback. The first was a prompt by Jean Feiwel. She knew that I wrote mysteries based in my small mountain hometown of Waterton Park Alberta, and suggested a YA that takes place there. The second inspiration was my cousin who was lost in that park, even though he’d grown up there and knew the trails inside out. That idea—of being lost in the mountains—terrified me, and I knew it’d be a great premise for the book!
2) Are there any hidden themes in the book that you hope readers will discover?
The main theme is survival, and Switchback definitely is full of that. A secondary theme—that a few readers have picked up on—is the idea of being lost in a crowd. Vale, the aroace main character, is bullied by her classmates and that experience isolates her as much as being lost does. By the end of the book, she must deal with both aspects of her experience.
3) Are any of the characters based on real people you know?
All my characters have bits and pieces of friends (and sometimes even my enemies!), but most of their personalities are developed independently. I don’t “know” the character until I start prewriting. During the weeks before I write, I gather up little details, trinkets and so on, and keep them in a box. As the box fills up, I come up with anecdotes about the character’s life. One item for Vale was a little hand-held flashlight. For Ash, it was a 20 sided die. When I finally put pen to paper, the character I’ve developed is as real as the people I see on the street and he or she is the one who starts talking.
4) Who has influenced you most as a writer?
Everyone influences me. The writers I love to read certainly inspire me, but so do the people I know in real life, current events, too! But if I have to choose just one person, I’ll select my father, as he was the one who inspired me to read and that led, very specifically, to this career. Sadly, my dad died in 2009—many years before my first book was ever written—but I think he’d be proud!
5) If you could have any three literary characters over to your place for game night, who would you invite, what would you play, what would you serve, and why?
I’d invite Ash (from Switchback) since he’s a diehard gamer, Luna Lovegood (from the Harry Potter series) since she sees the world in a completely unique way which would help with strategy, and Starr Carter (from The Hate U Give) because she is super smart and knows how to read situations and people in ways most people don’t. I’d serve pizza and wings, the perfect game night combo!
6) Do you feel that you can ever have too many books?
NEVER! As Stephen King once said: “books are uniquely portable magic.” I agree.
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens: INTERNET FAMOUS (Macmillan, 2017) and ALL THE FEELS (Macmillan, 2016); and adults THE DARK DIVIDE (Stonehouse, 2018) and EDGE OF WILD (Stonehouse, 2016).
When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.
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