THE FUTURE OF US
by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
3 Signed Copies will be given away on Friday, January 13, 2012!
About the Book:
It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long—up until last November, when everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh’s family gets an America Online CD-ROM in the mail, his mom makes him bring ti over so Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto Facebook…but Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. Josh and Emma are looking at their profiles fifteen years in the future. Their spouses, careers, homes, and status updates—it’s all there. But it’s not what they expected. And every time they refresh their pages, their future changes. As they grapple with the ups and downs of what their lives hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right—and wrong—in the present.
Check out our Exclusive Extended Interview with the Authors here:
1) How did you get the idea for the novel?
CAROLYN: Jay and I were brainstorming about an interesting topic for a collaborative novel and I told him this story from when I was a teenager. My dad came up to me and said, “Do you realize that your future husband is out there in the world living his life right now?” At the time, the prospect of that just blew my mind. I asked Jay what he thought would happen if you could find out, as a teenager, who your future spouse will be. How would that change the course of your life? Within seconds, we were saying to each other, “What if you could see that spouse on Facebook?” An idea was born.
2) No matter how many books you write, I’m sure each one has its own challenges. How was this book more challenging to write than your others? How was it easier?
JAY: This book was a lot easier. With my previous book, if I got stuck on a story element, it could take a long time to find a solution. Here, if one of us was stuck, Carolyn and I would be on the phone within hours bouncing around ideas. Because we shared an identical vision for this story, everything moved much faster and smoother than if we’d written it alone. Now that it’s finished, it does feel like a book either of us could’ve written by ourselves, and it would’ve turned out very similar. But it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun to write!
3) Thinking back to the way beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
CAROLYN: Every time I start a book, it feels like the first time I’ve ever done it. I’m clueless, in way over my head, and I have no idea how I’m going to make it happen. I suppose that’s a good way to keep things fresh, but it’s hard to remember each time that I’ve been here before and I will eventually know what I’m doing again.
4) Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process? What’s your least favorite?
JAY: My favorite part is brainstorming, whether I’m with a notebook or computer or just driving and thinking. I love thinking about the characters and twists and all the possibilities. My least favorite part is the actual writing. But then, when I get through the story and go back to refine my word choices, I like it again.
5) This would make a great film. Any talks of turning your book into a movie?
CAROLYN: We’ve already sold the film option for THE FUTURE OF US t0 Warner Bros. It was this crazily paced week where Jay and I turned in the final draft of the book, he flew to New York City so we could film a video about it together, and then – while we were having lunch with our publisher to celebrate – we got a call from our film agent about the movie rights.
6) If you could have dinner with one of your characters who would it be?
JAY: I’d have dinner with Sydney. There are a lot of characters in the book that we originally thought would have small roles, but ended up becoming much richer characters as the story went along. Sydney is one of those characters, but most of her backstory is simply hinted at. I think there’s a lot to her that remains hidden. Plus, she comes from a wealthy family, so maybe she’d pay for the dinner!
CAROLYN: I’d have dinner with Jordan Jones, Jr., the first husband Emma has when she looks at Facebook. I’m curious who Emma got rid of so hastily, if he’s actually an amazing guy or if Emma made a good decision by making sure they’d never meet.
7) Who’s your favorite character in the book and why? Who was the most fun to write?
JAY: Tyson was another one of those characters who started off small, but became much more developed out of both necessity for the story and simply because he refused to stay in the background. His humor and sensitivity also made him the most fun character to work on.
8) Which came first, the title or the novel?
JAY: The novel came first, which we were calling IT’S ABOUT TIME. It took forever to come up with the final title because we wanted something that hinted at the premise and hopefully worked on a couple levels. With our editor, publisher, and agents all trying to figure this out, we discarded dozens of titles that sounded too sci-fi, too romantic, or too blah. We literally hit upon THE FUTURE OF US within hours of absolutely needing it.
About the Author:
Carolyn Mackler is the Printz Honor winning author of The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things; Tangled; Guyaholic; Vegan Virgin Valentine; and Love and Other Four-Letter Words. Her novels have been published in over 15 countries.
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