Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
Trish: I was googling pictures of the Bahamas for another writing project when I clicked through to the blog of a couple of young women who were traveling America’s Great Loop aboard at 27-foot sailboat. They were (and still are) best friends and as I read the entire blog, I started thinking about what it would be like if they weren’t best friends. What if this trip could make or break their friendship? Or, what if three girls were supposed to make the trip, but the friend who held their friendship trio together couldn’t go? That was the seed that grew into Start Here.
What character do you most relate to and why?
There are little bits of me in both Willa and Taylor, so I hope it’s not cheating to say both. Like Willa, I grew up with a single mom and my relationship with her was the same kind of strong. Taylor’s uncertainty–her struggle to figure out what she wants–is all me.
Why do you feel young adult books are so popular and have such a voice right now?
I think teen readers see their emotions and experiences reflected on the page, and it helps remind them that they’re not alone. For adults, I think there’s a bit of nostalgia, maybe reliving the good and wincing a little as we recognize our past selves in the bad.
Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.
Start Here is the story of Willa and Taylor, who make a deathbed promise to their best friend, Finley that they will take a sailing trip that the three of them were supposed to take together. As they travel, Willa is getting cold feet about college, Taylor is exploring her sexuality, and both girls are learning how to live with out Finley. It’s a story about grief and friendship and figuring out who you are.
What’s next for you in the book world?
Right now I’m editing an adult novel that I hope will be published one day soon, and then I’ll be diving into a new YA fantasy project. It’s very different for me since my previous novels were all contemporary, but I’m super excited about it.
Who is your favorite writer right now and why?
I will read anything that Suzanne Young writes. Her latest novel, Girls with Sharp Sticks calls back to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, but with an inventive, modern twist. Suzanne is such a smart, creative writer and her books never let me down.