Today, we have an interview with Jennifer Farwell, the author of Seven Weeks to Forever.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Deciding how much of Cassidy's history from her previous life to include and the best way to include it. One of the first drafts of the book had flashback scenes to different times in her previous life and included different characters, like her mom, and a different best friend, and David, but I eventually decided that these strayed too far from what I wanted the story to focus on and weren't really adding as much as I would have liked. So I cut them in an early edit, and after that I was glad I did because I ended up changing a few things and adding new chapters during a later edit that took it in the direction I wanted to go.
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
I think I relate to both Cassidy and Riley well, but possibly Riley just the teensiest bit more. That may be surprising, since he's a nineteen-year-old guy. He's a writer like me, and he's going to journalism school, which I also did. He also spends a lot of time at a recording studio, which is something I did when I was nineteen, although I wasn't the one recording. More than that, Riley's the character who experiences love and loss and life and death from the perspective of someone who only knows this life. And you can tell that underneath the layers of what he's gone through, he's a romantic at heart, and I'm definitely a romantic at heart, too.
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
The Cassidy-and-Riley date scenes! If I need to pick which date scene was the easiest to write, it's really a toss-up between the first "not really a date" (but still kind of an impromptu date) scene when they first have lunch together, or the birthday date scene. I think it's because I really like exploring those first tentative, nervous, iffy feelings, and building romantic tension. Plus it's always fun to build up to the bigger romantic moments and see how they got there.
Which actors would play the main characters in the movie version of the book?
I'd love to see Anna Popplewell (Lola on Reign) as Cassidy and Sam Palladio (Gunnar on Nashville) as Riley.
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
I love that you asked this question! Here are my picks for the movie soundtrack and a little bit about why I chose each song. If you have Spotify, I created a Seven Weeks to Forever playlist with all of these songs that you can find here if you'd like to listen along!
1. Just a Dream - Nelly. Now I'll say straight up that nothing in this story is a dream, so that's not a spoiler and it doesn't say anything about the story or what to expect if you haven't read it! It is a song about love and loss and longing for someone, though, and that's pretty fitting with the book. I'll give credit to my mom on this one, because after I told her about the book I was writing, she came to me one day and said that this song had to be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book.
2. Timeless - The Airborne Toxic Event. I'd already written a draft of this book and was in the middle of a round of re-writes when this song was released as a single. I'd say if there's one song that really captures the essence of what Cassidy experiences in her tug-of-war of emotions about Riley, The Before, and The Life-After, this is it.
3. Kiss Me Slowly - Parachute. This song IS Cassidy and Riley. No spoilers, but there are a couple of scenes where this song would be absolutely perfect. And now that I'm thinking about this song, I want to go put it on repeat!
4. Taking You There - Broods. The overall ethereal feel plus the lyrics make this the ultimate soundtrack song for this book. I could easily see this playing in the background during the scene where Cassidy watches Riley through a coffee shop window.
5. Killing Me Softly - The Fugees. This song is perfect for Cassidy and Riley once Cassidy realizes what she's there to help Riley with. What he's gone through — the reason she's there to help him — reflects what she went through in her previous life and still carries with her in her current life.
6. Fix You - Coldplay. One-hundred-percent THE song for right before a certain conversation that Cassidy has with Noah that has to do with Riley.
7. Heaven In Our Headlights - Hedley. I can hear this song playing when Cassidy and Riley are driving on the I-5, headed somewhere that Riley won't reveal. It's not only a fantastic driving song, but perfectly captures Cassidy and Riley at that moment, I think!
8. Glad You Came - The Wanted. I chose this song because it speaks to a lot of things that Cassidy faces when it comes to Riley, about time slipping away and her universe never being the same. It’s also an uptempo song that is about being happy to meet someone and spend time with them, and that really reflects Cassidy and Riley as they grow closer.
Any future books in the works?
Yes! I'm finishing up a book called HIDING OUT IN HOLLYWOOD right now, which is the sequel to my first novel, ROCK STAR'S GIRL. I also started another book during NaNoWriMo last November, which is tentatively titled THE DAMAGE DONE. And I've been toying with the idea for another book continuing the story of Cassidy and Riley, or maybe giving Selena her own book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Farwell has been writing since the day she picked up a navy blue Crayola as a toddler and began scribbling on her parents' freshly painted white walls. She's the author of SEVEN WEEKS TO FOREVER (her most recent novel), as well as ROCK STAR'S GIRL and its forthcoming sequel, HIDING OUT IN HOLLYWOOD (2015). When not writing novels, she can often be found at a Kundalini yoga class, cheering on the L.A. Kings during hockey season, or curled up with a good book. She grew up in Thunder Bay, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Pico.
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ABOUT THE BOOK:
Cassidy Jordan knows she'll die a few weeks after her eighteenth birthday, and she can't wait. This is her second time here, and she knows what's waiting for her in The Life-After — the place most mistakenly call "the afterlife." Getting back there is supposed to be easy: she just has to find nineteen-year-old Riley Davis and help him get his life on track. But doing that isn't easy at all.
By the time Cassidy finds Riley, she has only seven weeks to help him before her time is up. Riley will die too young if she fails, and she'll never see The Life-After or have another chance at life again. But no one told her helping Riley would mean dating him; she hasn't dated anyone since the love of her first life caused her death the last time she turned eighteen. And no one warned her she'd cross paths with Selena Jensen, her ex-best-friend who hasn't forgotten why their friendship ended and is protective of Riley. Then there's Cassidy's family, who thinks she's a normal girl headed to Harvard in the fall. When her aunt discovers that's not the plan, she shows up to try and drag Cassidy from L.A. to Boston.
Helping Riley is already hard with her aunt and Selena in the way. It's almost impossible when Cassidy realizes she's falling for him and is faced with a choice: give Riley the life he's meant for and leave when it's time, or give up eternity for the true love she's never had, knowing Riley will die the same way she did in her first life and that her entire existence could end at any time.
iBooks at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/seven-weeks-to-forever/id866155086?mt=11
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seven-weeks-to-forever-jennifer-farwell/1119288767?ean=2940045840170