I was super excited when I got the chance to interview Morgan Matson, author of one of my favourite YA contemps Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. Read on to find out more about the book (which is published in the UK this week) and to find out about Morgan's inspirations, her summer playlist and where she's going on her next road trip!
|photo credit: Meredith Zinner|
When I first heard about Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour I marked it as a light summer read, but it is so much more than that. Dealing with such themes as friendship, grief, love and loss it’s become one of my favourite contemporary YA reads. What was the inspiration behind the book?
First of all, thank you for having me on your blog! And I’m so glad that you liked the book.
I love to drive, and before I wrote Amy & Roger, had driven across America twice. On the last journey (I was getting my car from California to Connecticut, much like Amy!) I started thinking about how a story of a physical journey could also mirror a story about an emotional journey. And traveling is just such a great way to take a character – especially one who has retreated from the world – out of their comfort zone, and introduce them to new characters, new experiences…
I’m from Ireland and I have always dreamed of going on a great American road trip. While reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour I actually started Google searching places I might visit! Can you tell me some of your favourite road trip destinations?
Ireland is one place that I’m dying to go! (If I do, I’ll have to get your recommendations!)
Most of my favorite American road-trip stops made it into this book! But I was very sad to leave out some destinations that just didn’t fit in with their schedule. :) I really recommend spending some time in Memphis, Tennessee – they make a small stop there in the book, but I just loved it. Home of Graceland, the blues, amazing barbeque. I would have stayed longer if I could! Route 66 is pretty fantastic. There’s a stretch of this historic highway that goes through the state of Oklahoma that I am especially partial to. I live in Los Angeles now, and have found that I love the coast road trip – you can take Highway 1 all along the California coastline up to San Francisco and beyond! It’s a gorgeous drive – and one I highly recommend!
I loved Amy’s travel scrap book which is filled with mementos of her and Roger’s road trip, and I adored the playlists included in the book, as I am always on the lookout for new music! What’s on your summer playlist this year?
I’m glad you liked the playlists! I actually just made a new mix, and attached the song list in case you wanted a very thorough answer :) But I’m mixing it up a little this summer – I’ve been listening to some new bands (new for me, that is!) like Search/ Rescue and The Band Perry. But in summers I always like a little bit of hip-hop in the mix as well as some oldies you just have to sing along with as you drive! (are there any bands you’re loving right now? I also am always looking out for recommendations!)
Me: I've been listening to lots of great stuff this summer. I just recently discovered this band Guards and I can't stop listening to them! So good! I'm also listening to lots of Best Coast, Tennis, Beach House and Au Revoir Simone at the moment.
Can you recommend some books that fans of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour might also enjoy?
I love any and all books by Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti. I also love If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss. Maureen Johnson’s books are also great – I love her sense of humor.
For me, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour ended on a perfect note, but I already miss the characters terribly! Do you have any plans to revisit any of the characters featured in Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour in the future?
I’m afraid not… but I must confess, I became very fond of Lucien, and have certainly thought about a book where he would get more of his own story. But no concrete plans yet!
Can you tell me anything about your next book and your next road trip?
I just finished the first draft of the next book. Things may change totally, so I’m not saying too much just yet! But it’s another summer book – but taking place over the whole summer, set at a summer house by a lake, and a girl who returns after several summers away.
In terms of road trips, I am actually heading off very soon on my first international road trip – flying to Cancun, Mexico, renting a car and driving through Belize! It’s a little daunting, but I’m really looking forward to it!
Big thanks to Morgan for the great interview, and special thanks to Kat for arranging everything! As Morgan mentioned in the Q&A she shared her latest playlist mix with me, and I'll be sharing that with you later this week, along with my review of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and a special giveaway. Stay tuned for that!
The next stop on Amy & Roger's Epic Blog Tour is I Want To Read That where you can read an exclusive extract from Amy & Roger's Epic Detour. Don't miss it!