Just three days ago, Gayle Forman’s newest YA novel, Just One Day, hit shelves. In honor of the book’s release, Penguin Teen is hosting a 24-hour read-a-thon on Twitter. Starting today at 5 p.m. ET to tomorrow at 5 p.m., fans are encouraged to read the book and Tweet about their progress with the hashtag #JustOneDay. Then from 7–8 p.m., Forman will participate in a chat and answer questions about Just One Day and the upcoming sequel, Just Another Year. After the jump, Forman teases the special promotion and offers up a juicy casting tidbit about the film adaptation of her book, If I Stay.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s been the reaction to Just One Day so far?
GAYLE FORMAN: I’ve heard from readers on Twitter for the most part. They seem pretty into it. And strangely, they’re pretty emotional about it. I was a little surprised by that. If I Stay and Where She Went, I understand where you might get your Kleenex out. I understand it’s kind of an emotional story, but I don’t expect to make you cry on this one! [Laughs] But people have been telling me, “Oh, the cliff-hanger!” and “Oh, the crying!” So it’s been pretty gratifying. A lot of people are reading it in just one day, which I enjoy—although they should wait until tomorrow!
Speaking of, where did the idea for a 24-hour read-a-thon come from?
There were so many things that I wanted to do thinking about what can happen in a day. And it sounds gimmicky because the title is Just One Day, but really it’s about the fact that the book questions how much in your life can change in just one day. Originally I had this brilliant—I thought—idea that we would give away the book for free to various e-reader devices for just a day. You could download the book for free, and then it would disappear in 24 hours. I thought that the technology existed because when you check out library books they show up and disappear. But apparently it doesn’t exist for this kind of thing…. Also I wanted a way to make it a communal experience. Travel is such a big thing about the book, and one of the things about travel is that you come together with these random people who you’ve never met before and have this communal experience.
At the end of the 24-hour period you’re participating in an author chat. Will you follow along with the read-a-thon Tweets prior to that?
I’m going to try to stay off because [if people are] hating it or having a problem with something, I don’t want them to feel like they can’t say it because I’m there monitoring. So I’m going to stay out of it. Penguin has all these fantastic moderators from different blogs that are going to be there keeping things going.
NEXT: Forman talks about the film adaptation of If I Stay…
What can you tell me about Just One Year?
I am not going to tell much about Just One Year because even if I tell a little about it, I feel like it’s too spoilery. All I’ll say is it’s from Willem’s point of view, and it will raise more questions and answer more questions. But there’s definitely a lot of Willem in it!
Shifting gears a little bit, what can you tell me about the film adaptation of [2010’s] If I Stay?
I feel like Hollywood is that boyfriend that keeps breaking my heart. I keep going back, and it keeps breaking my heart. It’s been sort of back and forth, but the latest is that Chloë Moretz has expressed interest—it hasn’t been greenlit, it hasn’t gone anywhere—but she’s the Mia apparently on deck with interest now. They’re trying to get it together and find people to play the parent roles. But Chloë is the Mia I’ve heard about. A lot of possibilities have come and gone, but she’s the one I’m most excited about. So hopefully that will pan out, and I’m allowed to say the name which is new! [Laughs]
So can you picture Chloë as Mia?
I can. Just because she’s a fantastic actress, and she’s got such range. She’s the right age for it. She’s actually even a little bit young, so it would be remarkable to have somebody that young. But I think she has a lightness to her, and she also has gravitas to her. She’s a real natural. I would be delighted if that came to be.
Can you share any other specifics about the movie?
I’ve herad things about dates and pre-production about when things were happening, but there’s been nothing that’s been certain. And I’ve heard it so many times before I don’t know. So yeah, I think when all that really starts to happen, everybody will know.
Anything else you want to add?
I hope lots of people come to the read-a-thon. I think it will be an interesting experience to see people reading it in a day. And then they can ask me whatever questions. I know Penguin has some cool prizes, and I suppose the amount of attendance we get will determine how much I might give away about Just One Year in the chat!