2017 YA Debut Authors Bash…..Amy Giles


Now is Everything by Amy Giles




Read the book New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith calls “powerful and haunting,” and acclaimed author Peter Brown Hoffmeister calls “beautiful and sad.”

Now Is Everything is a stirring debut novel told in alternating THEN and NOW chapters, perfect for Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven fans, about what one girl is willing to do to protect her past, present, and future.

The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.

Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.

When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking.


Interview with  Amy

When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

I want to say always, but I think it really set in when I was seven. Books always fascinated me. I was determined to see my name on a bookshelf someday.

How did this book come to you?

A few years ago, there was a small plane crash. Everyone onboard died, except for one little girl. She had to leave her entire family behind, crawl out of the wreckage, and walk for miles to find help. The story haunted me. Eventually, I started thinking about it in “what ifs”: what if the girl wasn’t seven, but seventeen? What if being in a plane crash isn’t the worst thing that’s ever happened to her?

Was there anything particularly challenging about writing this book?

Personally, I hate flying. I met with a flight instructor when researching Now Is Everything to make sure I didn’t make any errors in writing the scenes around the airplane. He offered to take me up for a lesson. Even though I knew it would probably help me really dig into the scene, I just couldn’t. That terrified me!

What is the most exciting part about writing a book?

So many writers disagree with me on this, but I am happiest when I’m writing the first draft. That’s when I’m writing for myself, when the idea is so fresh and exciting that all I want to do is get back to my laptop to keep writing.

Do you have a specific routine to get into writing? Any quirks?

I need quiet and coffee. I can’t listen to music, or even hear background chatter. It is so distracting.

When it comes to writing, what you are strong points?  Weak points?

I’ve been told my voice is my strongest quality, but I will admit that I’m not very self aware of what exactly my voice is. I just try to stay true to who I am. Weak points? I could rattle off a bunch of areas that I think other writers do so much better. I suffer from imposter syndrome, if not every day, then every other day.

What do you want readers to take away from your book?

This story has been called so many things: a mystery, a thriller, a romance, a whodunit. But for me, this was always a story about sisters, and how far someone will go to protect the ones they love.

Do you have other books in the works?

My next book, That Night, is scheduled to come out next fall.

Will you always write in the same genre?  If no, what other genres?

Right now, I think I still have more stories to tell in contemporary YA. Though I do have a ghost story I want to write…some day.

Fun questions:

What is your favorite book and why?

I’ve said this so many times, but Jeff Zentner’s The Serpent King is one of my all-time favorites. I want to be buried with it. It was an achingly real story about friendship, family, and grief. I cried like a baby halfway through the book, but by the end, the story had healed me.

What is your favorite genre to read?

When I’m not reading YA, I love a twisty psychological thriller, or a beautiful told story, like Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kittredge. Also historical fiction, like Lilac Girls and The Nightingale.


Who is your favorite author?

Don’t make me choose, there are so many! Mary Kubica, Liane Moriarity, Sarah Dessen. I’ve loved so many YA books by debut authors—Robin Roe, Kerry Kletter, Kathleen Glasgow—I can’t wait to see what they write next!

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy?

I’m ridiculously one-dimensional. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. Or trying not to forget something vitally important on my daughters’ cluttered schedules. I’m still searching for that hobby or interest that makes me sound more interesting when these questions come up.

Do you have a favorite book boyfriend?

I think I wrote Charlie to make up for all the rotten boyfriends I dated in high school and college. After Charlie, I adore Olly in Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything. And Daniel in The Sun Is Also a Star. Actually, Nicola Yoon writes some seriously swoony boyfriends.

What is your favorite quote?

Not to be that mom, but my favorite quote came from my daughter when she was seven, running around shirtless. “I’m not putting on a shirt until I have to work for the Man!” We’ve since amended that to be “I’m not putting on a shirt until I have to work for Woman!” But it’s still one of my favorite things anyone’s every said.



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Amy Giles is a copywriter, having written everything from cereal commercials to animated webisodes to print ads to commercial fishing catalogs. Her true love is writing for and about teens. She lives on an Island that is Long with her husband, two daughters, and rescue dog.


  1. Kathy Valentine says:

    Great Q&A,this book sounds real good!! Shared on all my socials!!

  2. I hadn’t heard of this book before, but I’m super intrigued now. I love the interview– it’s always interesting to see where the ideas for books come from!

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