{Tour} Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern (Author Interview!)

Welcome to Swoony Boys Podcast! This is our stop on the Fear of Missing Out Tour. When our friends over at Macmillan asked if we wanted to be a part of this tour there was no other answer than a big YES from us!

This title released this 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 lovely Kate McGovern 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} Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern (Author Interview!)Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, Macmillan on March 19th, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Goodreads Buy the Book
4.5 Stars

Everyone has a fear of missing out on something--a party, a basketball game, a hangout after school. But what if it's life that you'll be missing out on?

When Astrid learns that her cancer has returned, she hears about a radical technology called cryopreservation that may allow her to have her body frozen until a future time when--and if--a cure is available. With her boyfriend, Mohit, and her best friend, Chloe, Astrid goes on a road trip in search of that possibility. To see if it's real. To see if it's worth it. For fear of missing out on everything.


Hi, Kate! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. We’re excited for our readers to get to know you and Fear of Missing Out 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 Fear of Missing Out?

The idea came from a story I read a while ago in a newspaper. It was about a woman in her early 20s who was facing death, and she felt driven to explore cryopreserving her brain. She got a lot of pushback from her loved ones but her boyfriend supported her. I thought it was a beautiful and very moving story. I don’t know about a favorite scene, but I enjoyed writing the scenes in the cryonics facility. It was fun to create an environment that was intended to be both kind of futuristic and also surprisingly normal.

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

I have a regular “day job” and I’m the mother of a two-year-old, so my writing days are confined to two mornings a week. On Mondays and Fridays, I drop my daughter at daycare and then usually write from a coffee shop nearby. I have just a handful of hours to be productive. No more waiting for inspiration to strike! I just have to get to it and put words on paper.

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), what characters would it be and why?

Oh man, this is such an interesting question. I think I would introduce Astrid to Meg Murry from A WRINKLE IN TIME. I think they’d have a lot to talk about—about the possibilities and impossibilities of science and where science meets magic, about being sad and angry and full of hope, about having little brothers.

Alright, we have to ask. What kind of research did you have to do to write about the cancer and cryopreservation? Basically we want to know how you brought Astrid and her journey to life!

I did a lot of reading, to start. I relied particularly heavily on a handful of video diaries on YouTube made by teenagers who are dealing with cancer or other debilitating illnesses. I used those not so much to understand the details of their symptoms—because science journals can tell me about those things—but to understand their experiences and their emotional journeys, since this is something I haven’t personally experienced. There are also several books and television documentaries about end of life care that I found especially helpful. One thing I did not do is visit a cryonics facility myself. Maybe one day.

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?

Several of the characters share certain qualities with me and with others in my life, but I wouldn’t say any of them are based on specific people. I think I identify particularly with Astrid’s mother, probably because I became a mom in the middle of writing this book, and I really feel for her.

We loved Mohit. He is so supportive and perfectly swoony and brings so much to every page he’s on. Was he a fun character to write? Tell us all about him!

Well, he’s pretty cute, isn’t he? He was fun to write, but challenging, actually. I think one of the early pieces of feedback I got about him was that he was potentially “TGTBT,” as my editor says (“too good to be true”). I was like, “Oh but he’s just like my husband, really!” (Haha.) I had to figure out how to make him a little bit more selfish, a little bit less understanding of Astrid’s every mood and every whim. He’s going through a loss of his own, of course. He’s human. He’s not going to react perfectly all the time. And I had to find ways to draw that out while still keeping him this fundamentally good-hearted guy. (And, to your earlier question, there IS a lot of my husband in Mohit. My husband loves to ask questions, and he refuses to watch movies that do poorly on Rotten Tomatoes. Refuses.)

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

I was a major, major theater geek. Theater was my whole world, all my friendships, everything. And I was a late bloomer in the romance department. Like, I don’t think I went on a date until college. At all. I didn’t have a real significant other until I was 25 or so. I think if I was writing to myself back in my teens, I’d probably say that that’s actually okay, even though it’s going to be frustrating. That it’s going to be years yet—like, years—before you fall in love, but the wait will be worth it, because along the way you will figure out who you are in this world, and how to be very comfortable with that person, and treat her well. And that’s really invaluable. I’d probably write a very annoying letter that my 17-year-old self would not like to read, but it’d be the truth.

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!

Let’s see. There are so many under-appreciated but really good books out there! One favorite that comes to mind is BIG GIRL SMALL by Rachel DeWoskin. Another is Elaine Dimopoulos’ MATERIAL GIRLS, which is a super fun and page-turny read but also a really sharp, feminist critique of consumerism. And I’m currently reading a new novel called ALL THE WALLS OF BELFAST by Sarah J. Carlson, which is a romance set against the backdrop of present-day Northern Ireland and its historic conflict. I am really fascinated by Northern Irish history, so it’s right up my alley.

How about a mini round of This or That?:

E-book or Printed Book? Printed.
Introvert or Extrovert? So much introvert.
N’SYNC or Backstreet Boys? Backstreet Boys.
Classic or Current? Current books, classic music.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Can I say coffee?

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?

I’m going to go ahead and say good old Gilbert Blythe, to start. He learns the hard way that name-calling is not going to get you the girl (or the guy). In more recent fiction, Rishi Patel from WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI and Olly from EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING are favorites.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Kate! This was a ton of fun and we couldn’t agree more about Gilbert! He was our first fictional crush for sure!

Rating Report
4.5 Stars
4.5 Stars
4.5 Stars
5 Stars
4 Stars
Overall: 4.5


***Meet Kate McGovern***

Author Kate McGovernKate McGovern is the author of Rules for 50/50 Chances, which was called a “standout contemporary read” by Booklist. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a house full of books.

Find Kate Here:
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Happy Swooning!

4.5 Stars

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