Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Candace Ganger Interview - Six Goodbyes We Never Said

Photo Content from Candace Ganger

Candace Ganger is the author of Six Goodbyes We Never Said and The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash as well as a contributing writer for HelloGiggles and obsessive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and world’s worst vacuum sales rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, best-selling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. She lives in Ohio with her family.


Wednesday Books
St. Martin's Publishing Group
On Sale: 09/24/2019
ISBN: 9781250116246320 
Ages 14-18
Sold by: Macmillan


PASTE, "Best Young Adult Books of September"

"Two teens maneuver painful routes through profound grief as well as the complex quagmire of severe mental illness... Ultimately hopeful, and readers will connect with the messy, visceral lives simmering on the page. Profoundly emotional and truthful." Kirkus

"With great empathy, Ganger alternates the protagonists' points of view, revealing the way Naima navigates her OCD, anxiety and depression, and PTSD, and Dew handles his social anxiety amid their grief, loneliness, and sorrow. Through the teens' humorously awkward gravitation toward each other, Ganger creates a heartfelt, convincing story about the restorative power of self-care and friendship." Publishers Weekly

"Naima is diagnosed by the author with obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, while Dew is diagnosed with social anxiety. These issues are explored with humanizing examples that invite empathy. Sure to be reassuring to those working their way through grief." School Library Journal

"A no-filter story of living with loss, guilt, and mental illness. Naima and Dew are a mess of imperfections, and you’ll want nothing more than for them to figure out how to be okay(ish) again." Rebecca Barrow, author of This is What It Feels Like

"Candace Ganger weaves a beautiful story of loss, grief and the struggle to move on in Six Goodbyes We Never Said. One of the realest voices of our generation, Ganger infuses this story with relatable, flawed teens who must learn how to cope in this world or be lost forever. I laughed and cried while reading and this book will stick with me for ages." Jessica Burkhart, editor of Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles

"Six Goodbyes We Never Said is a knowing tour de force filled with crackling wit, pain, and mini, freeze-dried marshmallows. Original and funny, the best parts may be found in the small moments, especially Ganger’s hilarious, spot-on dialogue, as well as tucked within the brilliantly-placed parentheticals. All that and a bowl of Lucky Charms. Or maybe six boxes." Gae Polisner, award-winning author of The Memory of Things and In Sight of Stars

"Pure, raw emotion. Naima and Dew broke my heart from the opening pages, with the intensity and honesty of their grief. But it is how they come to heal―through family, unlikely but unconditional, connected by the wounded places in themselves―that will stay with me. Ganger’s rendering of loss is complicated, unflinching, and ultimately beautiful." Jared Reck, author of A Short History of the Girl Next Door

"Candace Ganger’s heartbreakingly honest, raw story of two teens struggling with grief and mental illness in the wake of incomprehensible loss is a moving testament to the power of human connection and forgiveness. Dew and Naima will stay in your heart long after the final page." Robin Reul, author of My Kind of Crazy

"Naima and Dew show such ferocious tenacity as they fight their way through enormous, all-consuming loss; I couldn't help but love and root for them. Their story will break your heart and heal your soul." Misa Sugiura, award-winning author of It's Not Like It's a Secret

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
No doubt, hearing from readers about how/why my work touched them. It's literally the only thing that keeps me writing some days.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
That they are me: I am them. This was a surprise! Self-awareness at its best.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Discovering the loss of my biological father 4 years after his passing. I'd searched for him for years. It's a Wound that will never heal

Hello, dear reader.

I think it should be known that, while Six Goodbyes is a work of fiction, I share the many characteristics, fears, and pains, in both the delicacy of Dew, and the confused ferocity in Naima. Please let this brief note serve as a trigger warning in regards to mental illness; self-care is of the utmost importance. And while I hope Six Goodbyes provides insight for those who don’t empa- thize, or comfort for those that do, I also understand everyone reacts differently.

Dew’s social anxiety is something I, and many others, struggle with. We carry on with our days and pretend it’s not as hard as it feels inside. Others can’t quite see how much it hurts but we so wish they could. Naima is the most visceral interpretation of all of my diagnosed disorders combined. Her obsessive-compulsive dis- order (OCD) and related tics, her intrusive thoughts, her utterly devastating and isolating depression, her generalized anxiety dis- order (GAD), which makes her so closed off from the world, and her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from losing the biggest portion of her identity—those are all pieces of me. Very big pieces. They don’t define me, but it would be misleading if I didn’t ad- mit they sometimes, mostly do. I’m imperfectly complicated like Naima. And though I’ve written extensively on both my mental illnesses and living biracial, between two worlds—never enough of one or the other; always only half of something and never whole or satiated—I often still feel misunderstood. Hopefully Dew and Naima’s stories will provide a little insight as to what it’s like inside their heads, and inside mine.

Both Dew and Naima want to hold on to the roots that have grounded them in their familiar, safe spaces. But once their meta- phorical trees are cut, and all the leaves shielding them from their pains have fallen and faded away, not even photosynthesis could bring them back to life. Those roots, Naima and Dew feel, will die off, and everything they had in their lives before will, too. There are many of you out there who feel the exact same way, but I assure you, Dew and Naima will find their way— they will grow new roots that flourish—and you, my darlings, will, too.

Thank you for reading, and may Six Goodbyes serve as per- mission to speak your truths—the good and the painful. Here’s to another six airplanes for you to wish upon.

Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go

Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It's causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.

Candace Ganger's Six Goodbyes We Never Said is no love story. If you ask Naima, it’s not even a like story. But it is a story about love and fear and how sometimes you need a little help to be brave enough to say goodbye.

You can purchase Six Goodbyes We Never Said at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CANDACE GANGER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger.


  1. "Best date you've ever had?" I've never been on a date, but I'll tell you all about it if I ever go on one!

  2. I've been married 40+ years, I don't remember dates!

  3. Any date I go to Books A Million or any book store is a good date!