Interview with Janet Gurtler, author of If I Tell

We are happy to welcome author Janet Gurtler today. She is the author of I'm Not Her and her most recent release, If I Tell--both of which we are really excited to read.

book cover
It was like watching a train wreck. I wanted to look away but couldn't take my eyes off them.
Her best friend and her mom's boyfriend. Locking lips. This is the secret Jasmine Evans has to keep at all costs. Because her mom is pregnant, and Jaz doesn't want to ruin her life-again (just being born did it the first time). But the harder Jaz tries to pretend everything is okay, the faster her life spins out of control. Until Jackson. He doesn't care about the popularity of her friends or the color of her skin. But can she really trust a guy who just transferred in from reform school? She might be willing to chance the heartbreak, but telling him everything and risking the truth getting out is a whole other level of scary.

Q: Hi Janet! Welcome to our blog. Please tell us a little about yourself in a haiku.

A: Oh no. I don’t even know how to write a haiku. I am ashamed. I had to google this to try to figure it out. I am a horrible person.

Okay. This is my first ever haiku attempt. Possibly vile and incorrectly done.

Weird but nice mom type
Devoted to the Laptop

And to Yoga Pants

Q: What is something that made you laugh out loud recently?

A: My family and I were driving home from a long road trip and my husband and I started to talk about when we were really old and how our grown-up son would want to keep wrestling with him when he (my husband) was frail and weak. It doesn’t sound funny at all now, but at the time we were tired and giddy and it was hilarious and we were laughing our heads off.

book coverQ: For fans of I'M NOT HER, what similar characteristics can they look forward to in IF I TELL? As an author, was writing IF I TELL a different experience from writing I'M NOT HER?

A: I think that IF I TELL has some of the same emotional honesty that I hope readers found in I’M NOT HER. The characters in both books do some rotten things, but they are not rotten people. I think readers can expect a story about learning who you really are and what you really want from life, not what others want from you in both stories. I’M NOT HER was actually an easier book to write for some reason. Some books are just easier to write than others and I’M NOT HER flowed faster and easier.

Q: Is there a scene in IF I TELL that was inspired by a real-life event that happened to you or to someone you know?

A: Well, I hope this isn’t too spoilerish, but in the book the mom ends up sick with Post Partum Depression, and this is something that I experienced when my son was born. It was horrible and hard and really, really scary to go through. It’s also something that women don’t get to talk about, but that happens to many new moms. Not always to the same degree and sometimes worse than to me and to the mom character in IF I TELL, but I definitely drew from my own experience in the book. It was both difficult and cathartic to write those scenes!

Q: If you can hang-out with one of your characters from IF I TELL for a day, who would it be and what will you do together?

A: Goodness, I would love to hang out with Jaz. Of course I would have to quiet my desire to tell her how to run her life. Ha ha. She is like a daughter to me in many ways after all. I would love to hang with her at the coffee shop to chat and then have her play her guitar and sing some of the songs she wrote herself. And then I would hug her and take her for a swim.


Thank you for stopping by our blog and answering our questions, Janet! Fellow YA contemporary lovers, to learn more about Janet's books and to read an excerpt of both If I Tell and I'm Not Her, check out her website and chat with her on Facebook and Twitter. Also, stop her blog for updates on her books and other fun stuff.


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