Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Q&A with G.F. Miller




G.F. Miller is the author of the new young adult novel Not If You Break Up with Me First. She also has written the YA novel Glimpsed.


Q: What inspired you to write Not If You Break Up with Me First, and how did you create your characters Eve and Andrew?


A: My brilliant editor, Jessica Smith, came to me with the idea, and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s basically How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days in middle school (to be honest, the premise of that movie makes way more sense in junior high).


I created Eve and Andrew the same way I always create characters—I took a piece of myself, added a sprinkle of some of my favorite current teenagers (of which I know many), and then tossed it in a pressure-cooker plot to see what would happen. Voila!


Q: Did you know how the story would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I don’t think I knew on page one. But by about page 30, I knew where the story needed to go. Typically, I pants my way through a few chapters as I get to know the characters, and then I pause to outline the rest.

Q: Why did you decide to make your characters be in 8th grade?


A: First, there are just not enough books with characters who are 13 and 14 years old. For some reason, we’ve had a long stretch where nearly every MG character was 12 and YA characters were all 17–18. There’s a real danger of communicating to 13–16-year-olds that they aren’t allowed to exist or that their stories are not worth telling.


Secondly, like most human people, I found middle school to be a confounding and traumatizing couple of years. It’s kind of cathartic to revisit it with godlike authorial powers!


Q: What do you hope kids take away from the novel?


A: My goal is to entertain readers and make them laugh. I think everyone deserves a mental break from middle school whenever they can get it!


Beyond that, I hope my readers feel seen and loved. I hope that the book helps a few 13-year-olds take themselves slightly less seriously, have a little more grace for each other, and gain a tiny bit of confidence in navigating relationships.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Am I allowed to tell?? It hasn’t been announced yet! But just between us, I’m working on a spin-off for Not if You Break Up with Me First. It follows two other people in the same friend group, and I’m having so much fun with their story! It’s slated to hit shelves in June 2025.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Readers can find me at gfmiller.com or on Instagram as author.gfmiller. You can also check out my first book, Glimpsed, about a high school fairy godmother whose wish granting has gone seriously off the rails (and the Trekkie who she loves to hate).


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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