{Tour} I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Welcome to Swoony Boys Podcast! This is our stop on the I’ll Meet You There Blog Tour. We are beyond excited to be a part of the promotion for this title, because honestly we want to shout it from the rooftops that everyone needs to get their hands on a copy of this book.

If you’ve stopped by here before, you might already know that we are Heather Demetrios obsessed and that we’ve been excited about this book for almost a year now! To celebrate its release, we’ve got a great interview with Heather today, info on the greatest pre-order campaign of all time, plus a fun giveaway at the bottom of the post! You don’t want to miss any of it!

{Tour} I’ll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Also by this author: Blood Passage
Published by Henry Holt and Co., Macmillan on February 3rd, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Goodreads Buy the Book

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

**Author Interview**

Hi, Heather! Thanks for doing this interview with us! We always love when we get the chance to talk with you, but this time is really special for us. We are so excited about I’ll Meet You There and we can’t wait for our readers to hear more about the story and get to know you better. Here we go…

We love everything you write, but this one really struck a chord with us. Tell us a little about what sparked you to write I’ll Meet You There. What was your favorite scene to write?

I got an idea to write a book set in a roadside motel—I just thought cool stuff could potentially happen there. I tried a couple of different story ideas on for size—Sky was always the protagonist, but it wasn’t until Josh became a major character that the story came together. All my books are about breaking free from situations where you feel trapped, and this one hit particularly close to home with both the war, Sky’s poverty, and how art and love can save you. My favorite scene to write was the pool scene and pretty much all of Josh’s sections. I’m really proud of those.

Now we’re going to put you to work. If you only had thirty seconds with a stranger in an elevator, how would you pitch this book?

I call I’ll Meet You There the book of my heart. It’s a love story about two young people who are trapped in their small town. Josh is a Marine who has just returned home from Afghanistan and he’s now an amputee with a lot of demons. My dad has PTSD and both my parents were Marines, so this story hits pretty close to home and it’s really important to me. Skylar is hoping to go to art school, but problems at home might keep her from going. They draw closer together over the summer because they work at a quirky roadside motel. One thing that this book explores that most YA books don’t is poverty. I hope a lot of readers who are struggling in this way will find some hope in the book and feel known.

(I’m a geek and timed myself saying this and I totally did it in 29 seconds! I was talking fast, but still.)

One of the questions we love to ask every author we interview is, if you could introduce one of your characters from this book to a character from any other book (yours or someone else’s), who would it be and why?

I was really tempted to say I’d introduce Nalia from Exquisite Captive to Josh, since she’s a jinni and could heal his leg, but I think he’s become a better person through dealing with the challenges of being an amputee, plus Sky would not be cool with a hot jinni hanging out with Josh. So, I think I’d introduce Benny from Something Real to Dylan, one of Sky’s best friends. I just think they’d have a blast together and become besties in a matter of minutes.

We’re going to start this question with a much needed thank you. Many of our loved ones have served, or are currently serving, in the military. In fact, Meg’s husband is currently active duty Army. Military life isn’t often addressed in YA. Oftentimes when it is written about, the details, characters, or story as a whole feel unrealistic or forced. That was without a doubt not the case here. Thank you for that. Thank you for taking this one on, for doing it justice, and for not shying away from the realism that this story portrays. With all of that said, what kind of research did you do to make the story so realistic?

First, thank YOU for saying all this because my greatest fear was that I wouldn’t get it right and somehow dishonor the experience of the people that serve, and their families. Both my parents were Marines, and many members of my family are or were in the Marines or Army. My cousin actually just got back from Afghanistan and my aunt was a civilian family readiness officer for years. So, I was lucky in that I had a lot of people that I could talk to. My dad taught me cadences, but I didn’t talk to him too much about his experience in the Gulf War because he has PTSD. It’s something he still struggles with. I reached out to Marines and Soldiers in various ways (Facebook, Twitter, through other friends). They were so helpful in discussing their deployments to Afghanistan and/or Iraq and what it was like coming home. I read lots of books and articles, of course, and found NPR’s journalism on veterans’ affairs to be especially helpful. I also found lots of YouTube videos about boot camp and missions in Afghanistan. For Josh’s amputee situation, I found an amazing vlogger on YouTube named Wesley Hughes (Amp4Life). He’s an amputee and did videos showing how he lives with his prosthetic. SO helpful. The research was often heartbreaking, but I was so struck by the generosity and honesty of the guys I spoke to who’d served. I wanted the book to do right by them, and I hope it did.

Skylar is one of those fictional girls that we read about and just KNEW we would be friends with if she could jump out of the pages of her story. Where did you draw your inspiration for her from? Do you see yourself in her?

Skylar is the most autobiographical I’ve ever been when writing a character. If I were to paint a picture of what it felt like for me to be a teenager, Sky would be pretty close. This book was so hard to write, because it forced me to wrestle with a time in my life that was really hard. Her longing to get out of her small town, the way art is oxygen for her, the financial struggles she has, the way she looks at the world—these are very similar to how I was as a teen. My best friend, who went through it all with me, could probably point out all the specific parts of me in the book. But Sky is very much her own person and a better person than me. She has a toughness I never did, a generosity and compassion I’ve never been able to grasp, and she’s just plain cooler than me. I don’t know that I would have ever been able to get through to Josh, to be the parts of the day where he smiled. So, Sky is Sky, not Heather. Her art is really the core of who she is. Sky sees the world around her and tries to make it more beautiful. She collages in her mind, covering the drab scenery of her town with flights of fancy. She shows her love through art, like the collage she makes for Marge. Art is her escape, her safe place, her identity.

Let’s talk about Josh. We were immediately drawn to him, and we can’t help but feel that you must have fallen in love with him as soon as he popped into your head. What is it about him that you think readers will see and connect with? How is he different from other boys you’ve written about?

Josh is such a GUY. Like, a guy’s guy. He would do things that would make me cringe and rage and I still loved him. He’s unlike any male character I’ve written. Like Sky, the more I got to know him, the more my heart hurt for him. My poor husband—I totally cheated on him with Josh. 🙂 I was surprised by how I was able to get in his head and find his voice. He’s just so real to me. I’m not entirely sure why. I mean, my research certainly helped with details and expressions, but he was just Josh from the very beginning. When I was in theater school, we talked a lot about how it was much more compelling to see someone try not to cry, than to see someone sob. That’s what I wanted to do in the book. To show a guy trying like hell to hold himself together. The few times he can’t, I had to be very, very careful of not writing in the over-dramatic and cliché arena. I think readers connect with him because he’s so imperfect. He screws up and does stupid guy stuff, but he can also be so unexpectedly gentle and loving. It’s those moments that get you, because you don’t see them coming.

I’ll Meet You There touches on some difficult themes. Topics that others might shy away from. Why was it important for you to put Josh and Skylar’s story out in the world?

These are kids outside the picket fences. I love YA, but I do think that so many contemporary stories feature people who are solidly middle-class. Even if they have financial struggles, they’re glossed over in favor of the major plot in the story. I wanted to get down in the dirt and shine a light on how life is really freaking hard for a lot of teens out there. We can see that Josh really has no options in life, that the military is his best shot at having a career. He clearly doesn’t have parents who are at home, helping with his homework. And Sky, her mom doesn’t have a “respectable” job. She’s worked at Taco Bell her whole life, they live in a trailer park. This is reality for thousands of teens and I was tired of them being marginalized. My life wasn’t nearly as hard as Sky’s, but there was a point when we were on food stamps. That’s some rough stuff to grapple with when you’re surrounded by people who just don’t get that. Josh’s story was particularly important to me because, again, there are thousands of teens joining the military in high school. My brother’s a senior and all of his paperwork is filled out for the army. If you look at the statistics, the majority of casualties, PTSD victims, and amputees are between the ages of 18 and 24. When these service members come home, they get treated like crap. Look at the problems with the VA and our population’s ignorance on the war these guys (and women) are fighting at home. As a daughter of a former Marine with PTSD, I can tell you that it can be downright terrifying sometimes. They bring the war home, and then everyone in their life has to help them fight it. We need YA that is raw and brave and not afraid to tell it like it is. If I have done that in even the smallest way, I’ll consider I’ll Meet You There a job well done.

Let’s switch gears for a second and talk about other people’s books. Is there a book or book series that you think is under-appreciated or hasn’t gotten enough credit for how good it is?

I totally love this question! I know in the book world Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy has gotten love, but no one outside of our YA bubble seems to know about it. I think it’s being made into a movie, though, so hopefully it’ll blow up because it’s absolutely brilliant. I also adored Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina. Again, it got lots of love in the industry, but it sort of disappeared after its release. It’s such a gorgeous, unique fantasy. Actually, I just looked it up and found out the second book is finally coming out! Yay! Finally, I am head over heels in love with Sarah McCarry’s All Our Pretty Songs and its sequel Dirty Wings. Book three of that series comes out this summer. Her writing is luscious and her books have so much diversity.

We know you have the final two books in the Dark Caravan Cycle coming up, is there anything you can share with us about those yet? Are there other stories in your head dying to be put on paper once that series is complete?

Oh my gosh, I am so excited about Blood Passage (Book 2 in the DCC) that I could pee my pants. I seriously can’t wait for you all to go to Morocco with Nalia, Raif, and Malek. I’m working on Book 3 and all these really cool new characters are popping up, and it takes place in Arjinna, so I’m having loads of fun. It’s tough wrapping up a series, though. I have a new series I’m also working on (fantasy) that pretty much puts all the things I adore in one place. I can’t wait to share about it, but I’m terrified of putting it out there until it sells. We’ll be submitting it soon. I have a couple ideas for a contemporary book, but IMYT was so intense that it’s hard finding something I’m as passionate about. I’m kind of waiting for something to stick. When it does, I’ll write it as quickly as possible, so that I can get another contemporary out there for everyone.

You know we can’t let you leave without asking you about swoon. We have fallen in love with so many of the boys you have written, and Josh is no exception. Now we want to know which swoony boys you have on your list of favorites.

Okay, I could talk about this FOREVER. All of Stephanie Perkins’s boys, especially Etienne. Chaol from the Throne of Glass series. Joe from The Sky Is Everywhere. Sean from The Scorpio Races. And I will forever love Laurie from Little Women and Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables. I could really go on. And on. And on.


***About Heather Demetrios***

Author Heather DemetriosWhen she’s not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real, which Publisher’s Weekly calls “[An] addictive yet thoughtful debut” about reality TV stardom. She is the author of the upcoming EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, a smoldering fantasy about jinn in Los Angeles and what Kirkus called in its starred review “an intoxicating, richly realized realm of magic, politics, spirituality and history” (#1 in the DARK CARAVAN CYCLE). She is also the author of I’ll Meet You There. I’ll Meet You There is a love story about a young combat veteran and a girl trapped in their small town, both struggling to escape the war at home. Heather is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for youth of limited economic means. She is proud to have an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can always find her on Twitter (@HDemetrios), ogling the military dogs she wants to adopt (but can’t because her NYC apartment is way too small).

Find Heather Here:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

***Pre-order Campaign***

If you order I’ll Meet You There before Valentine’s Day 2015, you can submit proof of purchase to receive an exclusive handwritten letter from Josh Mitchell! We got ours this week and we can safely say that it contains a glimpse into what happens with Josh and Skylar in the future and YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT!  Click here for full details.

As if that wasn’t enough, Heather announced yesterday that if you buy your copy this week, you can help support the Wounded Warrior Project! Find out more on that by clicking here.


Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships to US only.

Winner will receive a copy of I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and be sure to check out theother stops from the I’ll Meet You There Tour!



  1. I want to read their story cause it sounds fantastic!!! <3 Also, it sounds kinda like Something Like Normal by Trish Doller, which I loved.

  2. I love this idea of being trapped but it being made bearable with that right person by your side. Beautiful

  3. It sounds like a fantastic romance and who doesn’t love to read about that? I know I do, since I have yet to experience that in real life. I live vicariously through the characters I read about. Thank you for the interview. I always love to hear from authors. Thank you for the giveaway too.

    P.S. I click the tweet button on the rafflecopter and it say’s that you are giving away a signed copy of DEFY. I hope that still counts? Might want to check it. 😉

  4. I want to read Josh and Sky’s story because of the family life it deals with, the “demons” (to be cliche) that Josh is dealing with after coming back from Afghanistan and discover how they (hopefully and forever) fall in love. 🙂 Plus it takes place in a sort of rural area that isn’t seen a lot in fiction so that’s a huge reason.

  5. I want to read the book because both of the characters have such unique backstories. I’m intrigued and want to know exactly what brings them so close.

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