Anyway, this is a bit late but due to Kindles having no copy and paste facility (that I've noticed), here's Hannah's answers to some random questions I asked...
Writing the first draft of Saving June was actually not very difficult—from the start I had a pretty good sense of what the story would look like, and it came pretty easily once I sat down to write it. In general I do find middles the most difficult to write. It’s not too hard for me to come up with beginnings and endings, it’s all the stuff in-between that gives me trouble!
-Harper does a lot on their road trip, such as take part in a protest and bring friends along randomly. Did you draw on your own experiences?
Some of it does derive from my own experiences. When I was seventeen, some activist friends and I travelled by van to New York City to protest at the Republican National Convention, which was a pretty big deal for me at the time! I didn’t base any of the characters on specific people, but I did know people similar to them, which informed parts of the story.
-What was your favourite part in Harper's story?
I think my favorite part of Harper’s story was her finally spreading June’s ashes, and the following scene on the beach with her, Jake, and Laney. It’s the moment where she’s achieved what she set out to do, and she really starts to let go and allow herself to begin to heal. It was very cathartic to write.
-Can you relate to any of these characters?
I relate to all of them, really! I think most people have been in Laney’s position, trying to be a supportive friend but being a bit over your head or not being sure how to make things right. I definitely share Jake’s love of music—though mine is not quite as rabid as his—and like him, I was somewhat unmotivated during my high school years and not sure what I’d do after I graduated. And of course I related to Harper; her quiet anger and feelings of inadequacy are qualities I shared at her age, and I also have a penchant for sarcasm!
-How important is music to you?
Very important! I can’t sing, and my guitar playing skills are very, very limited, but I loved listening to music. There are songs I associate with certain periods of my life, and music can affect my mood—it can remind me of people I know or things I’ve been through, it can pump me up and make me excited… it’s definitely a big part of my life!