Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Author Interview: Huntley Fitzpatrick + My Life Next Door

I'm really pleased today to be a part of the promotional tour for Huntley Fitzpatrick's contemporary young adult novel My Life Next Door. Thanks to Teen Book Scene, I was able to ask Huntley a few questions about Samantha, Jase, and the entire amazing cast of characters, so I hope you enjoy! This book caught be my surprise in the best possible way (you can read my full review here), and is certainly going to be one I buy a copy of for the keeper shelf so I can read it again and again.

What might Samantha say was the one thing she most admired about the Garrett family from simply observing them? Would she say that one thing changed once she got to know the family as individuals?  

How everything looked easy and was perfect in a more real way than her family defined it. She would say it did change, that every family has its faults and its struggles and its crazy moments that you can’t see from a distance. But those are generally the best and most real of all. 

If you were seventeen again and could have any celebrity or book character climb through your window and fall madly in love with you, who would it be? 

When I was seventeen, having someone climb in through my window and fall for me was a big fantasy of mine. It would have been Pierce Brosnan. I had a picture of him on my wall back then and just thought he was perfect. If I were seventeen now, it would probably be Augustus Waters from John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. However brief, it would be worth it. I would still open the window for Pierce, though.

Is there one personality trait of Samantha’s (or Jase’s) you wish you possessed, or one you’re most proud of?  

Samantha tries hard to show up for the people she cares about and struggles to do the right thing—I hope I do that. 

What’s the strangest or most inconvenient place you’ve been when an idea for a story has popped into your head? 

I am always ONLY in inconvenient places when I have ideas. On a bike ride, in a shower, at a teacher conference, on a playground with no scrap of paper available for miles. I leave myself a lot of messages on the phone and use my lipstick and store receipts for purposes for which they were not intended.

What’s the very last word you wrote for My Life Next Door and what one word best describes what you were feeling when you wrote it?  

What a great question. The very last word I wrote was the scene at the Garretts where Tim sends Samantha over to talk to her mother and find out what she said to Mrs. Garrett. I’d written the conclusion earlier, but then realized I’d left Tim in the house while all these dramatic things were going on without saying what he was doing. So I figured out he must be outside, smoking. He needed his own last words, so the last words I typed were “Go find out. I’ll man the fort here.” I felt elated and relieved to be finished with the book, but also this sense of incompletion…like…I wonder what happens to Tim now.

Thanks so much for stopping by Huntley! More information on Huntley and My Life Next Door can be found here:

Amazon buy link

MY LIFE NEXT DOOR (from Goodreads)

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?


  1. When I was 17 I had a poster of Keanu Reeves on my wall... Now, that I think of it, I still think he's hot and could climb my windwo anytime! :)

  2. Ahh this is fantastic interview Jenny! I especially love the line “Go find out. I’ll man the fort here.” I honestly can't wait to read this book! It sounds like so much fun! Btw my walls were covered with posters of the Backstreet Boys! hah! :)

  3. LOL yes for convenient ideas in convenient places!! I get most of my writing ideas when I'm not at home too -- so that's when cell phones are absolute lifesavers when it comes to stray ideas. Who needs paper, right? x) And I love love LOVED the window question! Right now I'd probably say Blue Valentine or Will Herondale (or all my other book boys)... but maybe after reading MLND, I'll want to choose Jase! ;)

    Really awesome interview, Jenny! My copy of MLND should be on its way and I'm so excited! :D <3

  4. OMG--I was so in love with Pierce Brosnan, too! Him in Remington Steele...I even named my first dog Remington in his honor. (Plus, that's a really cool name).

  5. Eeeeeeeeeeee! I'm seriously DESPERATE to read this book! Don't kill me, but I don't know who Pierce is :( *googles* WAIT. I DO KNOW HIM. I can see he must've been REALLY GOOD LOOKING a few years back :) Awwwww AUGUSTUS! I haven't finished The Fault In Our Stars, but I can see why EVERY 17 year-old would want Augustus to climb through their window and fall in love with them :) LOL "On a bike ride" hahahaa I can just imagine Huntley riding her bike and suddenly skids to a stop as she tries to process her new idea :) hahahaaa
    Anyway, AWESOME INTERVIEW JENNY!<3 I absolutely LOVED it:)

  6. OH MY GOSH!!!! When I was 17 I would have had Leonardo DiCaprio come whisk me away!! Romeo and Juliet was popular and I wanted to be Claire Danes....LOL.

  7. I think it was NSYNC that I wanted to come through my window when I was younger. That or Brad Pitt. :D Now, Four from Divergent or Percy Jackson or Logan Lerman would be nice. :D

  8. Great interview, jenny! I am reading this one now and really enjoying it. When I was a teenager, I think I wanted Dean Cain or Joshua Jackson (from Dawson's Creek) to climb through my window. haha. :)

  9. Danny - Ah yes, Keanu! He would be allowed in my window as well as long as he was dressed like Jack from Speed in all his SWAT gear:)

    Jasprit - Love it! I may or may not have had NSYNC posters ;-)

    Mimi - Oh yes, I think you'll want Jase climbing through your window as well:)

    Pierce - I love me some Pierce:) As long as he doesn't sing like he did in Mama Mia. O_o

    Shirley - Oh God. I feel so old now! I feel like when I told my mom Paul Newman was super attractive when he was younger an she just stopped and stared at me:)

    Tina - Ooooo good choice! He topped my list for a while too. And Heath Ledger.

    Tayte - YES! I was such an NSYNC fan girl in high school:)

    Christina - Pacey! Loved him:)

  10. Heath Ledger! How could I have forgotten him? I would open my window for him anytime! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only Pierce fan, too....Yeah, the singing...still a bit touching that he let himself be not perfect. And Brad Pitt. Always. Sans the facial hair thing, though. And Augustus. My oldest daughter hasn't finished it yet as she can't bear knowing what is going to happen.

  11. Is it weird that I never fantasized about anybody climbing through my window? Sigh, I guess I'm not very imaginative. I always did wonder how people managed to end up on the roof of their house or sneak through the window. Do you have to remove the screen or something?

  12. If you asked me at 17 it would have been Elvis Presley even though he was dead or Lou Diamond Phillips or Isiah Thomas...now Brad Pitt or Matt Damon or Leo DiCaprio...I can only imagine having an idea stirke and needing to write it down. I am wanting to read this after all the glowing reviews I am seeing! Thanks for another fantastic interview, who would come through your window, Jenny?

  13. Anon - Right? LOVE Heath Ledger:) And I agree on Brad Pitt - I like him fur-free on that pretty face!

    Z - I honestly don't know how the logistics of it would work. I think you'd have to have your window open right? Otherwise you would have to go through the screen and things. Fantasies and logistics never meld well:)

    Heidi - Oooo Matt Damon! Yes please:) I would let pretty much any of the people mentioned in the comments through my window. Apparently I'm a bit of a window slut. Who knew?

  14. I so want to read this book! AHHHH! You know who I used to be in love with at 17, Seth Green! I had the hugest crush on the dude! LOL. Awesome interview.

  15. Great interview and I understand about how things look from the outside and up close might be totally different. I also like Pierce when he was Remington Steele!!!

  16. I think if I had someone climb in my window, they'd trip on me and then say, oOps sorry... wrong window. Hm... maybe I'm just to cynical for myself. Still, I like a good story... :)

  17. Awesome interview, Jenny! Ideas usually pop up in my head when I'm in an inconvenient place too.

  18. Lovely interview! I love the thought of using lipstick and old receipts to jot down ideas. Not as much as I love the thought of Pierce Brosnan climbing in through the window though. ;)

  19. Whoa, just realized that I haven't commented yet. I was out to dinner last night and missed my designated 9 pm commenting time :-) (when your posts load).

    When I was 17, I would have died if Jake Gylenhall climbed into my window. I'd still open the shutters for him any day.

  20. Oooh Pierce Brosnan when he was Remington Steele was so swoon-worthy!! I'm dying to read this book, Jenny! It sounds like a vanilla queen's dream. Great interview! :)

  21. When I was 17, it was either Johnny Depp or Leo. As far as book characters go, there are just SO many to name. How about if one came every hour? Hehe.

  22. This book sounds SO good! I'm with Rummanah, when I was 17 I would have wanted Johnny Depp or Leo to come through my window. Or Christian Slater.
    I think Augustus is a fab choice, he was such a great character!

  23. When I was 17..oh thee were so many :) But in truth I would have screamed and thrown books at that person

  24. I really think I'm going to stop doing interviews. You are obviously infinitely more interesting than me to come up with these questions and try as I might to come up with interesting questions, they will never seem even half as interesting as yours. That last one, best one ever! This was an utterly fantastic interview! I think I hate you a little bit :)


  25. Hahahaha I totally have the same problem with my writing ideas - I always get the most brilliant and complicated ideas when there's nothing to write it down on!! LAME! ;)

    GREAT interview! Love the questions, answers - everything!

    Can't wait to read the book!

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  26. I can NOT wait to read this, it looks so good! Great teaser, as always!