Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Janet Gurtler Author Interview

Photo Content from Janet Gurtler

A Rita Award Finalist and Crystal Kite Award Finalist, Janet Gurtler's young adult books have been chosen for the JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION and as BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS from the Canadian Children’s Book Center. Janet lives in Okotoks Alberta, Canada with her husband, son, and a chubby black Chihuahua named Bruce.


Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (April 23, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402277946
ISBN-13: 978-1402277948

Praise for HOW I LOST YOU

"The all-too-relatable tale of two inseparable best friends, Grace and Kya, as they struggle when their relationship begins to fall apart. It's a cute summer read, perfect for any girl who's faced tough times with her own BFF." Entertainment Weekly

"Gurtler gracefully negotiates the powerful emotions that accompany a changing friendship and brings the game of paintball to life with fascinating detail. Readers . . . will understand the difficulty of moving on from a toxic relationship that once felt like it would last forever." ―Publishers Weekly

"This is a relatable story about nurturing a friendship, and it's not every day that teens will have the chance to read about paintballing. The lesson that Grace learns is a good one, and the strong female characters are a plus. " School Library Journal

Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
My grade six teacher was pretty instrumental in getting me excited about story writing. He praised me and I ate it up and finally found like I’d found my “thing”.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I love storytelling because it takes us away from the stresses of everyday life. While we’re reading we’re immersed so fully in another world. Storytelling also gives us a chance to explore concepts we might not either wise face. I think storytelling really teaches us a lot about who we are in the world, and who we want to be.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
It’s really hard for me to pick favorites, because I read so much and love so many. VERA DIETZ, BEFORE I DIE, THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE, SPEAK, LOOKING FOR ALASKA. Those are a few.

My favorite book outside my contemp genre would be UNWIND by Neil Shusterman.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Not everyone is going to get your magic, and that’s okay. This was from Jo Beverly, a romance author.

In your new book; How I Lost You, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
How I Lost You is the story of Kya and Grace, two girls who have been best friends forever. It’s the summer before their senior year, and they’re trying to figure out where they’re heading in their relationships and in their lives and ultimately with each other. I think readers will enjoy the emotional journey of Grace and Kya as they struggle to find their own way and whether or not they can find a way to stick by each other. Plus, there’s hot boys. And paintball action!

What part of Grace did you enjoy writing the most?
I love that Grace is a strong but caring character who’s been kind of living in the shadow of her best friend. I love that in this story, she is starting to discover her own identity and starting to look after her own needs instead of always putting others before herself.

For those who are unfamiliar with Kya, how would you introduce her?
Kya is a troubled teen who’s been traumatized by an event in her past. She has a lot of darkness in her soul and is angry and striking out at a lot of people. To me she’s a lost little girl inside. She has a lot of potential, but she has a long way to go before she overcomes her past. She has to learn to love herself, before she can learn to love others.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Well, Grace may be in some need of new friends, so I would love to introduce her to Jaz from If I Tell. I think they’d click and Jaz’s boyfriend, Jackson and Levi would also get along so it would make for great double dates!

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
How much do you weigh. My weight has fluctuated my whole life, and even when it’s on the lower side, I’ve never been comfortable revealing it to anyone.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
I never really had a summer job, because I had jobs from the time I was 14 and up. I worked during school and during the summer.

Who was your first boyfriend?
Wow. That’s hard to answer. My first mature, real boyfriend didn’t happen until I was in my late teens. Frank. He was 29 and I was 19. Kind of ew now that I think about it. I had boyfriends in Junior High that would last a week or so, and lots of crushes in high school. I was madly in love with a boy named Rich in grades 10-12. I don’t think I would call him a boyfriend though because we weren’t mature enough to date and talk to each other like normal human beings. Plus he had other girlfriends most of the time I was worshipping him ha ha.

Tell me about your first kiss
Sixth Grade. On the side of a hill. We pressed our lips against each other for a while and I wondered what all the fuss was about.

When was the last time you cried?
Watching Perks of Being a Wallflower. On the plane. Yes. I was weeping on the plane watching it!

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love with heartbreak.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I would love to be a teen now because I would have LOVED the Internet. (But with better self-esteem than I had back in the 80’s when I was one!)

There are a few things Grace Anderson knows for sure. One is that nothing will ever come between her and her best friend, Kya Kessler. They have a pact. Buds Before Studs. Sisters Before Misters. But in the summer before senior year, life throws out challenges they never expected. And suddenly the person who's always been there starts to need the favor returned. Grace and Kya are forced to question how much a best friend can forgive. And the answer is not what they expected.

Grace and Kya are the true meaning of what best friends are. The pair does everything together, shares each other’s inner thoughts, and made it known that nothing will ever come between them. When their friendship presents an unexpected challenge, they began to question just what their friendship means and what it means for their future. Janet Gurtler’s very powerful story, How I Lost You, details the events of what extent a friend will do for another friend and the selfishness one friend can be towards the other.

The friendship that Janet describes in this book is something that many of us can relate to. It is something that everyone holds dear to their heart. We all have that one friend, or former friend, that we shared our deepest secrets to, the one we can always trust, and the first person we think of when help is desperately needed. That is the exact path that Grace and Kya’s friendship was heading and it seemed to be unbreakable. The moment the bump-in-the-road rocked their world, their friendship steers into a complex story when a friend is wronged by a friend.

There were so many surprising factors in this book. All the instances of friendship and the struggles Grace and Kya faced were realistic that it made the reading very gripping. The details that Janet gives readers are simply amazing. Each scene is described in great detail that is paints a clear picture and it becomes easy to picture yourself into the story. How I Lost You is an insight to how friendship develops when one friend changes. It will uplift the reader and gives life situations a new outlook.

You can purchase How I Lost You at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JANET GURTLER for making this giveaway possible.
 2 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of How I Lost You & Swag by Janet Gurtler.
1 Winner will receive One poster, One Bookmark, and
 One button of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.
10 Winners will receive One bookmark of a Surprise Art by James Vallesteros.

APRIL 18th THURSDAY Sassy Book Lovers REVIEW
APRIL 19th FRIDAY Ever and Ever Sight REVIEW
APRIL 20th SATURDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW & MUSIC PLAYLIST
APRIL 21st SUNDAY Beneath the Cover REVIEW
APRIL 22nd MONDAY Annie Brewer Writes REVIEW

APRIL 24th WEDNESDAY Book Passion for Life REVIEW
APRIL 25th THURSDAY Chapter by Chapter SPOTLIGHT
APRIL 26th FRIDAY Alluring Reads EXCERPT
APRIL 28th SUNDAY Candace’s Book Blog REVIEW
APRIL 30th TUESDAY Book Haven Extraordinaire REVIEW
MAY 1st WEDNESDAY James Vallesteros ARTWORK


  1. It sounds like a light read for the summer. :)

  2. Great interview and review Jean! This book sounds fantastic. On my tbr list now for sure!

  3. I have several of Janet's books that I am waiting to read this summer. Looks like I have another one to add to the pile! Thanks for the giveaway!