YA Q&A with Kathryn Holmes

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In this week’s Q&A YA Wednesday, we’ve got, Kathryn Holmes, whose debut THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND launches February 17, 2015. You can see the book blurb and Kathryn’s bio at the end of the post—but first, you’ll want to see how she answers our quirky questions.

1. You wake up one morning and, OMG, you’re a __________ ! What’s the first thing you do with your new ability?

Overnight, I seem to have gained the ability to alter my appearance in an instant! I roll out of bed, yawning, and catch sight of myself in the mirror. I do a double-take. Instead of my usual blue eyes and brown hair, I have glittering green eyes and flowing auburn curls. I blink at my reflection for a few seconds, and then watch my hair straighten and turn black, and my eyes go dark. A moment later, I’m tan and blonde. It’s cool—but also weird—to see all these different versions of me. And the frequent changes are making me a little dizzy…

2. Turns out your parents aren’t happy with your change. What fictional character do you ask to help you get out of the bind, and how do they “fix” you?

I try to explain to my parents that I woke up like this—really, just like Beyonce!—but they aren’t having it. So I call for reinforcements: my good pal Lola from LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR and Sydney Bristow from the TV show “Alias.” If anyone can help me wrangle my new look (or rather, looks, plural…), it’s these two masters of transformation.

3. Back to normal, you arrive at school and literally crash into your crush. He/she asks you why you’re shaken up. What do you tell him/her?

I’m not exactly back to normal, but Lola and Sydney did help me figure out how to pick one look and stick with it. I slam into my crush wearing a slightly enhanced version of “regular me”—and I have to admit, it’s nice to ensure a good hair day just by thinking about it. When my crush asks what’s up, instead of filling him in on the stranger-than-fiction facts, I tell him I had the weirdest dream. In it, I discovered I could change anything and everything about my appearance just by wishing it. The problem was, I couldn’t decide what—or who—I wanted to look like.

4. He/she isn’t convinced you’re telling the truth—after all, it’s a pretty far fetched story. He/she suggests going somewhere to talk about it more. Where’s this dream date taking place?

To my surprise, my crush blurts, “Wanna grab lunch off-campus?” I nod, and we head to his car. (Since this scene is set in school, I’m assuming we’re in East Tennessee, where I grew up…which means we’re definitely eating lunch at Chick-fil-A. My grown-up, New York–based self craves those classic chicken sandwiches!) My crush doesn’t talk while we’re on the road, but when we pull into the drive-thru, he says, glancing at me, “For what it’s worth, I think you’re pretty great just the way you are.” Swoon.

5. It might not be true love yet, but there is a Happily Ever After in your near future. As a Fearless Fifteener, your book is out this year. Tell us about it in 140 characters or less.

Hallie Calhoun is a social outcast after an incident with a guy six months ago. Getting lost in the mountains might help her find herself again.

ABOUT KATHRYN HOLMES unnamed-1

Kathryn Holmes grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, where she was an avid reader and an aspiring writer from an early age. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and piles upon piles of books. A graduate of The New School’s MFA in Creative Writing program, Kathryn works as a freelance dance journalist, among other writing gigs. THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND is her debut novel.

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND

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Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her…silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?

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