{Tour} As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl (Author Interview!)

Welcome to Swoony Boys Podcast! This is our stop on the Daring Debuts Blogger Campaign Tour. When our friends over at Penguin asked if we wanted to be a part of a tour all about debut authors there was no other answer than a big YES from us! (WE LOVE DEBUT AUTHORS!)

This title released last week and if you haven’t gotten your hands on a copy yet, run and grab one today! Not convinced yet? Our interview with the awesome Shana Youngdahl is all you’ll need to be 100% in. You don’t want to miss any of it! Ready to go? Let’s start with the 411…

***About the Book***

{Tour} As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl (Author Interview!)As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl
Published by Dial, Penguin Group on August 20th, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
Goodreads Buy the Book

A timely, searing, and unconventional romance from an urgent new voice in young adult fiction

In one impulsive moment the summer before they leave for college, overachievers Scarlett and David plunge into an irresistible swirl of romance, particle physics, and questionable decisions. Told in non-linear, vivid first-person chapters, As Many Nows As I Can Get is the story of a grounded girl who's pulled into a lightning-strike romance with an electric-charged boy, and the enormity of the aftermath. Cerebral, accessible, bold, and unconventionally romantic, this is a powerful debut about grief, guilt, and reconciling who you think you need to be with the person you've been all along.


Hi, Shana! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. We’re excited for our readers to get to know you and As Many Nows as I Can Get a little better, so let’s get started!

Let’s start with the easy stuff. Tell us a little about what sparked you to write this book. Where did the idea come from? Did you have a favorite scene to write in As Many Nows as I Can Get?

When I learned of the deaths of a few old friends from my past I was mostly a practicing poet. I kept trying to write poems about all of the feelings I had about these people who were gone from the earth too soon and I couldn’t get them right. Eventually I realized it was because for whatever reason my exploration of that loss was in the characters of Scarlett and David—who for the record are extraordinarily different from me and any of the people I know who left our world too soon— but because I knew them when we were young this was the story that came to me. My favorite scene to write was probably the one where I finally nailed Scarlett’s voice—that’s the scene where she imagines when she met David Warren. I was about three drafts in at this point and when I wrote that I knew all the pieces were clicking together. I also really enjoyed writing the scene where Scarlett and Mina first met, even though that one was not really nailed down until very late in the game (maybe draft nine or ten?) It is now one of my favorite scenes in the novel. So I guess my favorites are also hard won.

Tell us about your writing environment. What does a typical writing day look like for you?

Usually I write at the end of our long dining table, the side we don’t eat at, and look out into the woods behind my house in rural Maine. I’m a full-time professor so during the school year I write from about 5 to 7am, then get I my kids ready for school and go to work myself. Summers are a bit more flexible, but I still try to write every week day unless I’m on vacation.

One of our favorite questions to ask authors 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), what characters would it be and why?

I’d love to introduce Scarlett to adult Kat from the novel Marlena by Julie Buntin. I imagine they might have some interesting conversations about loss and self-forgiveness and moving on. I imagine them drinking fancy water in New York and talking about how even though life might look different than you thought it would when you were young, growing up and working toward your dreams is still worthwhile. I also can’t help but wonder what would have happened if when David went out to Stanford instead of hooking up with the people that he met there who lead him down an even darker path that he could have met Oscar from Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun and maybe caught a ray of light—but I guess that would have changed my whole story. . .

This book has so many themes running through it. But the ones that stood out to us were – young love, friendship and young adults dealing with those things and the consequences of choices. Why do you think these are things that are important for teens (or anyone, really!) to read about?

We all make some bad choices. Scarlett makes some really bad ones but she finds a way through them. I think all of us, but perhaps especially young people, feel like they are defined by a bad choice they made, or a series of bad choices, and that the bad can completely ellipse the good. For example if you fail out of your first semester of college you’re doomed and college isn’t for you. This just isn’t true. You probably just had a difficult adjustment. Or maybe you need to do something else for a year or two. If you fall into a place where bad choices define you; you limit yourself and are really at risk for not becoming all of the wonderful things you really can be. People are complicated and screw up and everything is not all black and white. That narrative is increasingly important for our children today.

Writing is a very personal thing. Which makes us wonder, do you see yourself in any of these characters? If so, was it intentional or did you not realize it was happening until later?

Of course, I see myself in both Scarlett and her mom; although Scarlett is far better at physics and math than I am. I’m not sure if Scarlett’s choices were catastrophically worse than mine or if when I rolled the dice things just turned out a bit better, but certainly my first year of college though tough was not so tough as hers.

Tell us more about Scarlett and David. If they could describe each other in three words, what words would they use?

Scarlett for David: Ass. Ass. Ass.
David for Scarlett: Exquisite. Brilliant. Focused.

Let’s talk about teenage Shana. If you could write a letter to yourself at 17 years old, what would be in that letter?

Things will get better. Dreams do come true. Work hard, switch to fluoride toothpaste now and floss. Oh and that weird floaty feeling you get that is anxiety. Work with it. Breathe.

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? Help us spread the love!

I’m not sure there has been enough time to say it’s been under-appreciated but I highly recommend Shannon Schuren’s debut The Virtue of Sin. It’s a contemporary about a young girl in a cult who has the courage to break out. I was awed by Schuren’s world building in a contemporary and the awakening of her main character Miriam. And since I’m a sucker for YA goes to college I need to give a shout-out to Gloria Chao’s American Panda which wasn’t underrated but I still more people must read it. I loved every page of Mei’s difficult first-year of college. It was challenging for very different ways than Scarlett’s and as someone who works with first-year college students it really resonated with me. I can’t wait for her next book coming in October!

How about a mini round of This or That?:

E-book or Printed Book? Depends, why am I reading? For teaching always print. Also any author I really want to collect. But for travel/fun ebook.
Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert, most days.
N’SYNC or Backstreet Boys? The Cure.
Classic or Current? Classic.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate. Always.

You know we can’t let you leave without asking both of you about swoon just a little bit more. Who is on your list of favorite fictional boys?

How about some generational pairs of swoony boys? Jess and Luke from Gilmore Girls, Jughead Jones and FP Jones from Riverdale.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Shana! This was a ton of fun and we couldn’t agree more about your swoony boys! #TeamJessForever!


***Meet Shana Youngdahl***

Author Shana YoungdahlShana Youngdahl is an Assistant Professor of English and First-Year Writing. A fiction writer and poet she is the author of the poetry collection History, Advice and Other Half-Truths (Stephen F. Austin State University Press 2012) and three poetry chapbooks. Her debut novel As Many Nows As I Can Get is due out in August 2019 with Dial/Penguin Teen.

Find Shana Here:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Happy Swooning!

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