Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honour his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.
But the training is even more gruelling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.
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Q&A WITH THE AUTHOR MIRANDA KENNEALLY
Recently, there has been a huge trend with dystopian YA novels. Why do you choose to write realistic fiction?
To tell you the truth, I would love to write sci-fi or fantasy, but I've never been all that great at world-building. I love reading contemporary fiction, and people say you should write what you love reading.
Your characters often crossover in your novels. Is this your way of giving your characters a sequel or a happy ending?
Yes, I chose to write companion novels rather than sequels, because to write a sequel, you have to create drama. If I've already given my characters a happy ending at the end of a book and they have grown and developed, I don't want to take that away from them by creating unnecessary drama. I also loved the idea of creating a community in which kids influence each other in different ways throughout the books.
Running the marathon for Kyle was Annie’s way of coping with her stress and grief. What advice would you give others in similar situations of grief or stress?
I would say give yourself time to heal. Recognize that everyone's healing process is different. Don't beat yourself up if you don't feel better in a certain amount of time; everyone heals in different ways. If you need to, talk to good friends, your guidance counselor, or a therapist.
Why do you choose to write YA books? Have you ever considered writing other genres?
I'd love to write adult romance or historical romance. I might try writing adult romance one day, but I'm just too busy with my YA books right now. I also love sci-fi, and would love to try writing another one. I've written 3 sci-fis, but they aren't exactly publishing material! :)
Your books take place in a small town. Is your hometown similar to the one in your books?
Yes, my books take place in Franklin, Tennessee, which is near where I grew up (Manchester, TN). I use real restaurants and landmarks from Franklin, Manchester, and the surrounding towns in my books. Only a couple of the schools I mention are real. Most of them are named after shopping malls in TN.
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