Sourcebooks Fire is incredibly excited to tell you that I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler will be featured as the Apple “iBookstore Book of the Week,” starting May 21st. The book will be offered free for this week, and we want readers to get a chance to rediscover the magic of Janet Gurtler’s characters and stories.I’m Not Her is a journey of self-discovery for one teen who learns more about herself and her relationship with her sister and family when tragedy strikes. Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?
with Janet Gurtler
What inspired you to write I’m Not Her?
I wanted to look at what would happen when someone who is perfect and has everything (on the outside) suddenly has it drastically taken away. And what happens when family roles are suddenly altered or reversed. I remember envying others when I was a teen and wanted to look beneath the illusion of “perfect”.
I’m Not Her is about two sisters finding their way through a tragic event. Did you draw from experience with Tracey (your sister) the dynamic between Tess and Kristina?
I was kind of shy around Tracey when we were teens. She was three years older than me and so much more sophisticated back then. THAT changes drastically ha ha just kidding. Tracey was taller and thinner (still is) and I envied her. I did use some of our dynamics in the book sister relationship, but Tess and Kristina are more forced into growing intimacy while Tracey and I developed ours more naturally. Tracey and I also bonded over the weirdness of our parents (but don’t tell them that. )
Everyone deals tragedy differently. At what point did you know you were going to pair humor with hardship and how did you learn to balance the two?
I think dry humor is my intrinsic way of dealing and I passed this trait on to Tess. I like humor in sad situations if it is used appropriately. Tess’s humor is much like my own. Kind of self depreciating and okay maybe a little inappropriate at times, but it’s a way of coping. As Tess becomes stronger and is able to express herself more, she’s able to get the things she thinks outside of her head and it helps lighten some really dark moments with her sister.
Now for some fun stuff: What’s a typical day of writing like for you?
Write write. Facebook. Write write. Twitter. Write Write. Goodreads. Write write. Google. This goes on from 9-3 and then I pick my son up and take him to swim club. I may write again in the evening if I’m deep in a book, but usually that’s when I waste more time reading celebrity gossip or reading other people’s YA!
You say you’re addicted to the Internet, where can fans find you most?
About the Author:
Janet lives near the Canadian Rockies with her husband and son and a little dog named Bruce. She does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says “eh” a lot.
Janet only gives 5 stars to the books she reviews because she is an author herself and knows that no book can appeal to everyone, but like a child, it is very special to the creator.
Other Books by Janet Gurtler: