The Best Night of Gayle Forman’s (Pathetic) Life
Gayle Forman and I share an editor and when that editor handed me an early copy of If I Stay, she said it would make me cry. I remember thinking, Ha! What kind of sap do you take me for?
Maybe 24 hours later I was sitting in Starbuck’s devouring this book—seriously could not put it down—and fighting tears and then losing that fight. This is one of the reasons I love Gayle’s writing. It’s not easy to build emotions on the page just so, to make readers openly weep. In Starbuck’s! It did not surprise me at all when the book went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Go, Gayle!
Like Gayle, I love to write about music…and absolutely can’t stand when people get the rock’n’roll thing all wrong. Gayle gets it right in the character of Adam in a big way, even more so in the sequel to If I Stay—Where She Went—another book that turned me into a puddle.
I don’t know Gayle well enough to know what kind of scav hunt competitor she’d be. Let’s find out together as she answers my Best Night-inspired Q&A, shall we?
TA: Have you ever…trespassed?
TA: …skinny dipped? If so, where (lake, pool, ocean, swamp) and with whom?
GF: Yes. Aegean sea, Greece, when I was young.
TA: Ooooh, lovely. Jealous! …stolen (or “borrowed”) something? What was it?
GF: I stole a bunch of socks from a store when I was little. They were on the floor so I thought that meant they were free. I returned them, though.
TA: An easy mistake!…kept a secret from your best friend? Explain yourself!
GF: No. I’m a terrible secret keeper.
TA: Well then I will reveal none to you! Do you know what a isocahedron is without Googling? If not, give us your best guess.
GF: I know what a dodecahedron is because I just read the Phantom Tollbooth out loud to my daughter. So I assume this is similar, some many-sided shape.
TA: You know what people saw about how when you assume it makes an…er, well, actually, in this case, you are actually correct! How many of the following items from the scav hunt list in The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life could you scare up in your own home?
A snow globe?
Yes (20 points!)
An American flag?
Yes (25 points!)
A music box? If so, what song does it play?
A self-winding one that plays Swan Lake 40 (TA: Get OUT! You and E. Lockhart must shop at the same, you know, music box store?)
A ticket stub from a Twilight series movie?
Probably, somewhere in my files (TA: 75 points on the line! So I’m gonna give ‘em to you because in the heat of the moment…if, for example, something as awesome as a two and a half foot tall garden yeti were on the line, I think you’d go look?!)
A plant that falls into the category of “succulent”?
I wouldn’t know. (TA: Ack!)
An unopened box of Kleenex?
A red and black screwdriver?
No (TA: For shame!)
A Bundt pan?
Yes (TA: Booyah! We are three for three with YA authors owning Bundt pans! 30 points!)
A stretched penny?
Maybe (in my kids’ crap; and I don’t dare look) (TA: Fraidy cat: you’re out 50 points!)
A divided dinner plate?
An unopened cable bill?
Many (TA: And yet you only get points for one, and only 5 of them!)
Yes, but it hasn’t flowered in a long while (TA: We’ll take it. For 20)
TA: So that leaves you with 235 points. And because you did not lose points for mentioning wanting to smash your Swan Lake music box to bits like E Lockhart (192) did, you’ve beat her by a hair. Alas, Lauren Myracle is still in the lead with a whopping 405 points. Post-mortem question: How many goldfish have you loved and lost in your life?
GF: At least five.
TA: My condolences. And lastly, tell us about one of the best nights of your (pathetic) life:
GF: Amsterdam, I was 18. First stop on my friend Rebecca’s and my two-month Eurrail trip through Europe. It was her 19th birthday. We went to dinner and then to a club where I was to meet up with a Dutch bartender I was crushing on. We got to the club at 11 and the sky was just darkening and we left at 4, the dawn starting to break. We spent the morning at the Dutch bartender’s house, which was basically a squat and then I did things I probably shouldn’t write about (it was Amsterdam, after all) but it was so completely fun and romantic in all the ways that travel is and though that bartender would eventually break my heart, that night, it was all golden.
TA: Aw. Lovely. Sad! That bastard bartender! Thanks for playing, Gayle!