Thursday, June 9, 2016

Book Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: "Autofocus" by Lauren Gibaldi


by Lauren Gibaldi
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 14th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Adoption, Coming of Age, Family



It’s always been a loaded word for Maude. And when she is given a senior photography assignment—to create a portfolio that shows the meaning of family—she doesn’t quite know where to begin. But she knows one thing: without the story of her birth mother, who died when Maude was born, her project will be incomplete.

So Maude decides to visit her best friend, Treena, at college in Tallahassee, Florida, where Maude’s birth mother once lived. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena has changed. With a new boyfriend and a packed social calendar, Treena doesn’t seem to have time for Maude—or helping Maude in her search.

Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude in her search, she starts to find that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.

Lauren Gibaldi has crafted a beautiful and timely coming-of-age story that poses the question: Is who we are determined at birth, or can we change as we grow?

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, pets, fun facts? Tea or coffee?

I’m a YA author and full-time librarían. I read and write most of the time, when not playing with my daughter. I used to dabble in photography, which is why I integrated into AUTOFOCUS. I don’t currently have a pet, but I REALLY WANT A PUPPY LIKE NOW GIVE ME A PUPPY. I like coffee (tea makes me sick for some reason). And fun fact: I used to perform in a circus.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I really liked writing the Lichgate scene. It’s a sweet scene, and I really love writing sweet scenes. But it’s also a cathartic scene for Maude.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I went to Florida State University in Tallahassee, so a lot of the places (such as Lichgate) are real. (Though some re-named.) Aside from that, it’s all fictional.

What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to write about a girl searching for something, and the idea of family came to mind. And from there, Maude kind of created herself. I wanted to write a story where the reader knew from the beginning that the adopted character would not meet her birth mother. I wanted the journey to be more important than the result.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced you in any way either as a child or an adult?

Lois Lowry was my favorite author as a child. I read everything she wrote.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing! Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes you hate it, but don’t stop. Finish what you’re working on. You may be unhappy, but it’s done. And once it’s done you can make it better.

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Follow the Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Public librarian and author of THE NIGHT WE SAID YES, MATT'S STORY (a Night We Said Yes novella), and AUTOFOCUS (out 6/14/16), all with HarperTeen / HarperCollins. Fan of dinosaurs and cheesy jokes. And you.

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