DEBUT DISTRICT is a regular feature on Artsy Draft in which I post appreciation towards debut releases through author interview, book blitz, listopia, review, and other related content.
It’s the release day of 100 Days of Sunlight and I’m delighted to have Abbie on my blog today! 100 Days of Sunlight is an amazing contemporary and I’m so grateful to get the opportunity to read the early copy and share my review about it! If for some bizarre reason you miss the post, you can check them out here and read 100% gushes and rambles from yours truly. Abbie also talked all about her gorgeous debut cover and how she came up with it!
Okay! So today, we’re going to talk all about Abbie’s debut, the characters in it, what inspired her to create them, and also her writing journey and experiences! Also, there will be very minor spoilers in this Q&A! And before I forget, there will be an international giveaway that you’ll not want to miss at the end of this post, so don’t forget to check them out and join! Now, let’s get into it!
Q: Hi, Abbie! Thank you for chatting with me today! First of all, I want to congratulate you for your upcoming debut release, 100 Days of Sunlight! As the synopsis said, one of the main characters is Tessa, a poetry blogger. If you could describe this book with lines from any poetry, what would it be?
A: Hi, Vinny! Thank you so much for featuring me on your lovely blog today! I am thrilled and honored to be here, talking about my debut 100 Days of Sunlight. That’s a great question to start off with! There’s a poem by Emily Dickinson that I feel describes this book well because of the way I feel about it – and the way I feel about every book I write:
“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”
I feel this so deeply! If I can touch one soul with 100 Days of Sunlight, it will not be written in vain.
Q: One of the things that made me really excited about this story is Weston, the bright and confident boy with no legs who decided to help Tessa to keep blogging and writing poetry during her temporal blindness. Tessa even labeled him as “obnoxious optimistic”. For me, he is such a strong character with strong personalities, despite his disability. Can you tell us a bit what inspired you to create his character?
A: That’s a great question! I love Weston and could talk about his character all day. His character was very much inspired by real people who have gone through similar experiences and not let anything limit them or take away their zest for life – people like Nick Vujicic, Rob Jones, and Travis Mills, to name a few. Their stories, sense of humor, and attitude about life has greatly inspired me – and I wanted to translate that into Weston’s character and journey. I wanted to step into his shoes and experience the emotional journey of loss, recovery, and getting back up when life knocks you down. I also wanted to show how even when a person seems to be happy and optimistic all the time, we can’t really know what personal struggles they face every day.
Q: A lot of scenes in this book made me all smiley and laugh, while few of them made me tear up too, but all of them are definitely my favorites. For you, which scene is your most favorite and why? Is it because you connected to the scene emotionally or is it because a matter of technicality that it took to write it?
A: Oh this is such a hard question! I love too many scenes in this book. But one of my absolute favorite scenes is the part where Rudy visits Weston in the hospital. I got super emotional writing this scene because I loved the dynamic of Weston and Rudy’s relationship – how they beat each other up and act like tough guys, but underneath all that, they are really two softies who love each other more than either of them would admit. In this scene, I feel like they both let their guard down and it was very sad but adorable to write.
Q: As a big fan of contemporary story, I immediately knew that I need to read 100 Days of Sunlight! And now that I’ve read it, it officially becomes one of my favorite contemporaries of the year! You delivered such an engaging story and made me swoon over these characters and their relationship! Since this is your debut book, are you thinking of contemporary story as your field of expertise and interest or are you planning to explore other genres in the future?
A: Oh my gosh, thank you so much! I’m blushing over here. Contemporary is definitely my favorite genre to read and write, but I do plan on branching off into other genres in the future! You’ll definitely see some more contemporary stories from me… but I might just surprise everyone with a crazy sci-fi or fantasy one day. We’ll see!
Q: In 100 Days of Sunlight, we got to see how Weston played the ukulele and sang one of Tessa’s poems. Let’s say if Tessa was not a poet and he had to sing a cover instead, which song that you think he’d play?
A: Probably Here Comes The Sun or Don’t Worry, Be Happy. I can just see it.
Q: Also related to the previous question, is there any particular reason why Weston played the ukulele in this story? Because I assume (not to sound creepy and like a stalker for watching your older Youtube’s videos, lol) it’s because you also play ukulele yourself. Or is there any other reason?
A: Haha I’m honored that you’ve watched some of my older videos! Yes, I definitely have a special place in my heart for the ukulele, since I do play it. It’s such a fun, sunshiney instrument that’s pretty simple to learn, and I knew Weston wasn’t the type to learn a complicated instrument, so it was perfect for him! (Plus it’s a very cute image, Weston playing a yellow ukulele…)
Q: If (and when, excuse me while I’m too excited over here!) 100 Days of Sunlight is getting adapted into a movie, which actor/actress that you imagine will be part of the cast? Personally, I keep portraying Sadie Sink as Tessa, but I’m contemplating between Noah Schnapp and Asa Butterfield as Weston!
A: I’m getting so excited over here too!! This would be THE ULTIMATE DREAM come true, so you better believe I think about it a lot. (The fact that you’re thinking about it too makes me so happy!) I keep imagining Elle Fanning as Tessa, and I can definitely see Noah Schnapp as Weston… I fancast my characters wayyy too much haha!
Q: Finally, I think this question will be interesting for other debut authors out there. You are a blogger and you have a Youtube channel where you consistently post everything bookish and writing-related. As someone who has an established community on the internet before releasing your debut, do you think it helps you as a debut author during the process of releasing and promoting your book? Can you share a bit of your experience with us?
A: Yes. It definitely helps sooo much. I feel so blessed to have a community of writers cheering me on and looking forward to reading the book! It’s very surreal. I think pre-launch promotion is even more important than post-launch promotion, especially for indie authors. I don’t want to just release a book and be like “hey everyone please read my book!” I’m more interested in growing relationships with my community, on YouTube and my blog. I love interacting with other writers and sharing experiences, challenges, and triumphs. I want 100 Days of Sunlight to mean something special to my community – because they helped inspire me while writing and editing and, now, publishing it!
Writing can be a lonely art, even in the process of publishing. That’s why I don’t know where I would be without the WritersLife Wednesday community, and all the lovely people who read my blog. They are my support system, and they constantly push me to be better and inspire me to do the impossible.
This has been so much fun! Thank you again for having me, Vinny! I loved chatting about all things writing. 🙂
And that’s the end of my interview with Abbie! If you’re looking forward to reading her book, it’s release today and you can find all of the details and information below!
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.
100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.
Title: 100 Days of Sunlight | Series: – | Author: Abbie Emmons | Genre:Contemporary • Young Adult | Publication Date: August 7, 2019 | Format: eARC | Source: Author | Links: Amazon
Author’s Website • Author’s Blog • Facebook • Instagram • Youtube
If you don’t have the access to get 100 Days of Sunlight, then don’t worry! Abbie has been very kind to provide three eBook copies for three lucky winners! You can find more details about the giveaway below and be sure to join asap, because the giveaway will end on August 31, 2019!a Rafflecopter giveaway