Hey, loves! Welcome or welcome back to my blog :) Today I have a really exciting post because I haven’t done one of these in quite a long time- it’s an interview with Abbie Emmons, author of 100 Days of Sunlight.
I was so lucky to be able to be part of this blog tour and to get to interview Abbie. She is a YouTuber, blogger, and now, an author! I have been following her journey for a couple years now, so it was definitely exciting to receive an early copy of her book (Also, how gorgeous is that cover?).
Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:
When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.
Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.
Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.
Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.
Now, the interview:
First, where did the idea for this book come from and when did you start drafting/writing it? Is it based off of real experiences/people/etc?
One day I was thinking about my own lifestyle and how much I use my sense of sight for everything I do: blogging, writing, making videos, reading, everything — and then I thought how different all that would be if, for some reason, I suddenly went blind. I pondered this thought for a few hours, and then suddenly the idea struck me: blogger girl loses her eyesight, meets a boy with no legs (unbeknownst to her) and he helps her overcome her struggles. That was all I had at the start, but it was enough to totally steal my heart and make me want to write the book IMMEDIATELY.
How long was the writing process with this novel and was it difficult to write?
100 Days of Sunlight still holds the record for the fastest writing process I’ve ever had. I wrote the book for NaNoWriMo 2017 and finished the whole thing in 27 days. I felt super inspired while writing it and only took one day off throughout the whole writing process. It was truly a pleasure to write, from start to finish!
How has being on Youtube impacted your writing life, either in a positive or negative way?
It has definitely impacted my writing life in many positive ways! I love being able to connect with the writing community and share the struggles and triumphs of being a writer and author. I also love creating something every single week and putting it out there, getting feedback and building relationships with fellow writers. The only downside is that it does consume a lot of my time, which means I have to fight a little harder for my writing time. But it’s so worth it.
What would you say is your main character, Tessa’s, biggest strength in terms of personality?
I would say that her greatest strength is her empathy. Like me, Tessa is a very loyal and caring person and feels very deeply about everything. After the accident that renders her blind, she feels super frustrated and bitter towards her circumstances but eventually awakens to the realization that she still has a full life and many ways to experience the beauty in the world. I think this world needs more empathetic people, and I hope Tessa’s journey inspires my readers to awaken to their own truths.
When did you first realize you want to become an author?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve always loved stories and found them so magical, and as soon as I learned how to write, I was crafting stories of my own. However, it wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I decided writing would be my career. I explored and learned a lot about myself in my teenage years, but the passion I kept coming back to was always the same: writing.
I know this is a difficult question to answer, but what is your favorite book of all time?
This is SUCH a hard question, but if I had to choose I would say To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This is such an incredible novel for so many reasons, and it is hands-down the most impressive work of fiction I’ve ever read.
Can you describe the editing process for this book? Has the story changed dramatically from draft number one to now? If yes, in what ways?
The story hasn’t changed much since the first draft. In fact, I recently made a video explaining my editing process and comparing my first draft to my final draft if you’re interested in seeing a behind-the-scenes look! But because I outline so intensively before I sit down to write the first draft, I work out most of the story issues in advance and don’t have to edit much beyond wording and pacing in draft 2.
What has been the biggest challenge of the self-publishing process so far?
The whole self-publishing process is a challenge and a big learning curve. It’s something that you really can’t expect yourself to be great at the first time around. One of the things I’ve found most challenging is the back-and-forth formatting adjustments and making sure everything is flawless in the actual book files. It’s easy enough to update an ebook file, but print is forever! It’s been a little nerve-wracking to think about, but at this point, I feel confident that I have done my best.
Thank you Abbie, for taking the time to answer all of these questions. It was such a pleasure to chat with her today, and I hope you guys enjoyed this post! If you want to check out 100 Days of Sunlight, you can buy it on Amazon or add it on Goodreads.
Thanks for reading :) See you next week!