Tuesday, June 11, 2019

An hour with Amy Mason Doan...plus a book giveaway

We're pleased to welcome Amy Mason Doan back to CLC to celebrate the recent publication of her sophomore novel, Summer Hours. Melissa A really enjoyed this novel and will be reviewing it this summer. Amy has a signed and personalized copy to give away!

Amy Mason Doan grew up in Danville, California and now lives in Portland, Oregon.

She’s written for The Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, Forbes, The Orange County Register and other publications. Amy has an M.A. in Journalism from Stanford University and a B.A. in English from U.C. Berkeley. Her debut novel, The Summer List, published in 2018. Check out Melissa A's review. (Adapted from Amy's website.)

Visit Amy online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest

Becc was the good girl. A dedicated student. Aspiring reporter. Always where she was supposed to be. Until a secret affair with the charming Cal one summer in college cost her everything she held dear: her journalism dreams; her relationship with her best friend, Eric; and her carefully imagined future.

Now, Becc’s past is back front and center as she travels up the scenic California coast to a wedding—with a man she hasn’t seen in a decade. As each mile flies by, Becc can’t help but feel the thrilling push and pull of memories, from infinite nights at beach bonfires and lavish boat parties to secret movie sessions. But the man beside her is not so eager to re-create history. And as the events of that heartbreaking summer come into view, Becc must decide if those dazzling hours they once shared are worth fighting for or if they’re lost forever.

Set in the mid ’90s and 2008, Amy Mason Doan’s Summer Hours is a warmly told novel about the idealism of youth, the seductive power of nostalgia and what happens when you realize you haven’t become the person you’d always promised to be. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

What did you learn from writing The Summer List that you applied to Summer Hours?
I trust myself more now. I don’t need to see the word count climbing to reassure myself that the story has ignited; sometimes I make more progress on the plot by lying in my hammock with my eyes closed, visualizing scenes in my head, than I do by sitting at the keyboard.

For example, as I was drafting SUMMER HOURS, I could suddenly see my main character, Becc, driving up Pacific Coast Highway with this massive wedding present wedged between herself and the man in the passenger seat. It’s like a wall, which works perfectly because at the beginning of the novel they’re barely speaking. That mental image gave me the idea to withhold the identity of Becc’s traveling companion at first. I then worked out the road trip scenes in my head—identifying the funny moments, the tender ones, the sexy ones—for weeks before writing them down.

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
That they Kon-Mari’d their bookshelf and THE SUMMER LIST and SUMMER HOURS were two of 20 books they kept because they want to read them over and over. And it wasn’t even a friend!

I’m also happy when anyone says my books made them feel something—made them laugh or cry, or reminded them of a friend who had drifted. As a reader, I give up on a book after 50 pages if it doesn’t make me feel anything.

If Summer Hours were made into a movie, who would star in the lead roles?
Becc – Kaitlyn Dever (I’m obsessed with the movie Booksmart!)
Eric – Timothy Chalamet
Cal – Armie Hammer
Serra – Cierra Ramirez
Maggie – Cara Delevingne
Mrs. Haggermaker – Frances Sternhagen

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
Abby Fabiaschi’s I LIKED MY LIFE. It’s heartbreaking but incredibly warm and funny, and the premise—a mother who’s committed suicide watches over her family and helps them heal—is somehow immediately convincing. It’s a beautiful book that I missed when it came out in 2017 because I was in my writing cave.

What is the strangest thing currently residing in your purse/handbag?
A cookbook called His Turn to Cook from 1983. I bought it at Goodwill to include in a giveaway I’m doing for the SUMMER HOURS launch party—a totebag full of prizes related to the novel. In SUMMER HOURS, aspiring journalist Becc gets stuck writing the totally sexist “women’s column” of the newspaper, and has to test recipes like “Igloo Meatloaf” and “Fudgy Lovin’.” I found the most dated, ridiculous cookbook I could. The recipes are for things like “Beef Alamo” and “Venison Stew,” and the pictures feature lots of fishing tackle and boar’s head skewers.

What is your favorite thing to do in the summer?
Kayak in Lost Lake with my family.

Thanks to Amy for visiting with us and for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends June 16th at midnight EST.


Barbara H said...

I look forward to reading The Summer Hours. It sounds so good!

Suburban prep said...

The first romantic relationship was in high school. It was fun exciting but still young love. It has been a number of years but I know he is married and I am married.

Michelle L said...

My first romantic relationship was one that lasted through the high school years. It was sweet, annoying, loving, frustrating.....

traveler said...

My first romantic relationship was with my husband. The other ones were too young to be considered serious.

Carla S. said...

I am still in touch with the man in my first romantic relationship (from high school) even though we have both married twice since then.

diannekc said...

My first romantic relationship was in college. Lost track after college.

Rita Wray said...

We remained friends after it was over.

Jessica said...

It wasn't very good. Didn't last long and was not at all memorable.

Mary Preston said...

His name from Frankie. I think about him from time to time.

Peggy Russo said...

My first romantic relationship was with someone I went to school with. We were very young and it didn't last long. It ended when I met the man I would eventually marry.

Kelly Rodriguez said...

My first romantic relationship was with a boy I went to school with. I was definitely in love and thought I was going to marry him. Lol

jean602 said...

I was 5 his name was Danny. Don't remember much else.

Linda Kish said...

I can't remember that far back. There were romances in high school but nothing lasting.

Bonnie K. said...

My first romantic relationship was with someone I met through a friend. This guy lived on the East coast and we were pen pals. I stayed with him and his mother for a month during the summer. I would say this was just a little romance where I loved receiving long letters. I wished I had saved them. The first serious romance was with my husband-to-be. I met him in the dorm at the college I attended. The guy I was visiting introduced us. We were married the following year.

bn100 said...

met at school

dstoutholcomb said...

not much to tell--summer high school relationship

Tatum Rangel said...

My first romantic relationship started in high school. He was a senior and I was a junior. After his finishing school, he went away to the army for four years. Although we were still together, a long-distance relationship was hard. After our six-year relationship, we broke up not just because we'd grown apart, we didn't want the same things for the future. We were sad about it, but we realized it was for the best. We still remained friends, anyhow.

RD said...

I got engaged but it did not work out. Thank the Lord! LOL!!!

Amy C said...

Wonderful giveaway! My first romantic relationship was with someone I met in high school. We ended up getting married after I graduated, but it didn't work out and we were divorced a few years later.

Kelley B said...

His name was Kevin and he gave me his ID bracelet.