Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless.
Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed “It” girl in her class, but her grades stink.
Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.
They are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules.
InterviewDescribe WE ARE ALL MADE OF MOLECULES in five words or less! The hardest elevator pitch you’ll ever have to do.
“Definitely not The Brady Bunch.” (ha. And you’re right, that was hard!)
Now that you’ve got through that, I was wondering if you can share your favorite non-spoilery quote from the book?
Can I have two, since I have two narrators? For Stewart, I would pick: “Mine does not dangle. Mine is more like a protruding belly button.”
For Ashley: “How can you be mellow and dramatic at the same time?”
The second I saw the title of this book I was immediately intrigued. How did you come up with it?
Good, I’m glad you were intrigued. I suppose I need to give credit to my husband. He’s an engineer, and over the years he’s sometimes said, “We’re all made of molecules.” I think it was when I was at least half way through the first draft of the novel when I suddenly realized what the title was – and the theme of the story, all rolled into one. I started out with a super boring title (in fact it may have been “New Book”) – I’m often writing my way toward a theme – I seldom know what my books are really about until I’m deep into them – then I have to go back and rewrite what I’ve got, to work toward the theme. So, for example, I’m pretty sure I had to add in things like Stewart’s mom’s afghan blanket, etc. (funny that I don’t remember. But I don’t).
Better yet, what inspired you to write this story? Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes.
So true. I’d written a previous novel called “Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom” (long before the bastard got married again, heh heh) – interestingly, Ashley was a secondary character in that novel (I do that a lot). It was about a girl (Violet) whose parents had divorced, and were both moving on in their own ways, and Violet is hurt, betrayed and confused. My parents were divorced, and while that book was entirely fictional, I could definitely tap into Violet’s emotions in an honest way.
With “Molecules,” I wanted to take things a step further, and explore a blended family – the “second family” that happens for a lot of people today. I think this also came from my own background; my mom remarried after I was out of the house, and her new husband – my stepdad – had four kids. FOUR. I was an only child, like Ashley (and Stewart). I just remember thinking (selfishly) thank god they hadn’t met when I was still living at home. The thought of suddenly moving in with FIVE people I barely knew – well, it still sends shivers down my only child spine! And this will tie in well with your next question.
The main characters in this novel are vastly different from each other, so how did they take shape in your mind?
I didn’t realize it when I was writing the book, but I’ve come to realize that in many ways Stewart and Ashley represent different aspects of me when I was a teen. I was never even close to being as smart as Stewart, but when I was younger – like, maybe until around 12 – I was still a decent person, and liked it when my mom dated, rooted for her, dreamed of having a new dad. Then – for longer than I care to admit – I turned into Ashley. Maybe not quite as, um, not smart – and certainly not as adept at climbing the social ladder, or fashion – but I did become very self centered. Everything that happened was reflected through the “but what about how this affects me” lens. So, I’m embarrassed to say that I can totally relate to a lot of what Ashley’s feeling. Oh, and her “I can change him into a better person” attitude toward Jared – that was also me.
On a creepier note, it wasn’t until the book was very near publication that I retrieved a deeply buried memory that I’d had something very similar happen to me, minus the cell phone, that happens to Ashley near the end of the book. No lasting damage, I’m happy to say, but fascinating that I’d pushed it so deep!
Completely unrelated, but what was it like working on Degrassi? That is so crazy!
I never mind answering this question! It was great fun. First season (of the original, and best in my opinion, Degrassi, Degrassi Junior High) I did craft services, feeding cast and crew coffee and muffins and sandwiches. I was writing all the time, and wrote a spec script between seasons. The head writer, Yan Moore, gave me a shot at an episode, and that turned into 16 episodes over the next few years. You might also like to know that I played the janitor in two episodes. Personally I thought I was the best thing about the show. ☺ My character name was Louella Hawkins. You can find me in “Dog Days” and “Season’s Greetings.” Actually, I can send you a photo too.
And for the most important question of all…Captain America, Thor, or Iron Man?”
Erm. Um. Thor? Because it’s a Swedish name and my husband’s Swedish?
This is a US only giveaway where 1 winner will receive a copy of the book! Good luck!