Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Street Team: Interview with Emily France, author of Signs of You

Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.

When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.

When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.

As part of the Sunday Street Team and in celebration of the release of Emily France's Signs of You, I have the pleasure of hosting Emily France on my blog today. I got to ask her some questions that were inspired by the synopsis of her book, and a few that were off the cuff.

It was a great chance to get to know her and I hope, having taken this chance to get to know her too, you'll look forward to her book, Signs of You, as much as I do. There's a Rafflecopter at the end, so be sure to check that out!

Do you thinks ghosts are real?

Well, I’ll say that I believe that the people we’ve lost are always connected to us. I’ve felt loved and supported by family members who are no longer physically with me, whether it’s through their memories, or maybe a bird I see flying across the sky at just the right moment, or even in a dream. So I’m not sure how we all stay connected, I just know that we do.

What is one thing that people typically think is imaginary that you most wish was real? Time travel, unicorns, etc?

Magical wardrobes. I would love to come across some antique cabinet, hop in, and get out in a magical world. Maybe I just haven’t found the right closet yet? I’m keeping hope alive.

In your travels, what has been the most awe inspiring sight you've seen thus far?

Standing in a tea field in Darjeeling, India and seeing the Himalayan mountains loom in the bright blue sky. It very literally took my breath away. And I drank the greatest cup of tea of my life in a little shelter on that hillside.

Is there a book that has ever helped you get through a difficult time? If so, what was it and how did it help?

So many books have done this for me. When I was in the tenth grade, my very favorite person in the world was my grandmother and she started suffering from a horrible illness. I watched her deteriorate for years. I became obsessed with The Great Gatsby at that time. I even drew larger-than-life characters on huge reams of paper and hung them around my room. Looking back, I think I loved being whisked away from my grief and into the glittering, glamorous world of Gatsby.

If you could write any genre other than the one you've already written in, and didn't have to worry about deadlines or anything, what genre do you think you'd like to tackle?

Fantasy! I would love to write a story that legitimately called for the use of castles. I’ve tried to shoehorn them into a few of my contemporary stories and they’re just awkward. It’s kind of a tough sell to have a castle right beside a mall.

If you could bring a literary being out of a book for a day and share an experience with them, who would it be and what would you do with them?

I would totally hang out with Nancy Drew and solve a crime.

What do you find more peaceful, sunny days or rainy afternoons?

Sunny days! That’s one of the many reasons I love Colorado. We get lots of sun here.

Adult coloring books are a big trend right now. If you are interested in them, or were to get into them, what show or book series do you think you'd most enjoy having a coloring book based on, i.e. Sherlock Holmes, Game of Thrones, etc.?

I haven’t used these, but I totally get the appeal. I love to meditate and to me, coloring sounds like just another meditative practice. A way to be in the here and now, one pencil stroke at a time. I get it.

Oh, and I’d like a coloring book based on Game of Thrones. I mean . . . dragons. Enough said.

What is the first book you can remember reading or being read as a child?

Frog and Toad are Friends!  I adored that story and still keep a copy on my bookshelf in my living room. Now that I think about it, it’s funny that SIGNS OF YOU is centered on four epic friendships. I guess I’ve loved stories about friends for a long, long time.

Thanks for having me!

About the Author

Emily France graduated from Brown University before going on to law school, where she was the editor-in-chief of the law review. She finds creative inspiration in all things spiritual, from sitting with Benedictine monks for 4 a.m. vigils in a Rocky Mountain monastery to trekking to Buddhist and Hindu temples in India. Now she writes full-time and lives with her husband and their fearless Tibetan Spaniel in sunny Colorado—the closest place to Nirvana she’s found. Signs of You is her debut novel. Visit Emily online at and follow her on Twitter @EmilyFranceBook.
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