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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Story Secrets: FREEFALL by Mindi Scott + Giveaway!

It is my pleasure to get to introduce you to Mindi Scott, fellow 2010 debut author of FREEFALL, which comes out in just a few days! In the meantime, Mindi has generously promised a copy of FREEFALL to one lucky reader (see below for details).

I'd heard about Mindi and was so excited to find out she's a hometown Seattle girl! We met at the SCBWI Western Washington Conference last spring - in fact, you can meet Mindi in my TMAS author secrets video:

Welcome, Mindi!


FREEFALL is the tale of sixteen-year-old boy, Seth McCoy, who was the last person to see his best friend alive and the first to find him dead. The story begins about two months after that event when some of the numbness is starting to wear off and Seth has to decide how to move forward with his life.

Holly Cupala: so what is the story behind the story?

Mindi Scott: My husband has been in various bands since he was in high school, so a lot of the dynamics and band details are from my observations being around musicians all the time.
Also, I have certainly experienced loss, grief, and pain. None of the character backstories in Freefall match my life, but I found it very easy to relate to some of them. There’s actually a conversation between two of the characters about what it’s like to dream about people who have passed away. Every time I read it, I’m kind of overcome by this feeling of gratitude, like, I am so glad that someone else understands!

Of course, the funny part is that I’m the one who wrote their dialogue and, in fact, created them, so it makes complete sense that they would understand!

Holly: What do you most hope your readers will take away?

Mindi: I really wanted to show how communication and connecting with people can help someone pull themselves out of a rut, so I hope readers will pick up on that.

Holly: Any story secrets you might be willing to share?

Mindi: Originally, Seth’s mom was having a fling with the drummer in Seth’s band. (I know, right?!) Everyone who read that draft thought it was pretty scandalous, but the real reason I ended up changing it was because I discovered that it had nothing to do with Seth’s arc.

Also, there used to be a character named Hailey who figured prominently into the story. She was the girlfriend of Seth’s older brother as well as the sister of Kendall (a girl in the story). I realized, though, that Hailey was undermining the roles of both Seth’s mom and Kendall, so Hailey had to go!

Holly: What’s up next?

Mindi: I’m working on more contemporary YA novels and hoping for the best!


Thank you, Mindi!


Mindi has generously agreed to give a copy of FREEFALL to one lucky commenter! You have until Monday at midnight to comment on one of the following: a) why you'd love to read FREEFALL, b) if you have ever dreamed about someone you have loved or lost, and if the dream changed the way you thought about them, or c) why you think grief and healing are important subjects in YA lit.

And here's an extra treat, readers...the book trailer for FREEFALL. Enjoy!


  1. I have seen Freefall everywhere and it keeps getting great reviews! The story just sounds great and the cover is simple and nice.

  2. I really want to read this!

    I've heard great reviews coming from those who've got an early copy. The story itself looks like a pretty cool read and not to mention that the cover is very beautiful and eye-catching!

    <3 Erin

  3. Great interview!

    I would love to read this because I like "boy" books, and there's not many of them around. It sounds like a great read.

  4. oh, Pick ME :)

    i've always want to read a great book from new authors for me !

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  5. c) Well, teens are always faced with difficult situations that they must overcome in order for some sense of balance to be restored. Many teens in today's society go about it the wrong way, and that's why I believe that YA books that address grief and healing are so important.

    Thanks for the giveaway! I've been wanting to read this one for a while.

    cc932005 at hotmail dot com

  6. I'm dying to read this one! #1, it's part of my contemps challenge ;)
    I think it's important to talk about grief and healing in YA lit because that's something we all have a hard time dealing with, but as a teen, it's so much harder. All the hormones nad super strong emotions, plus you don't really want to talk to your parents most of the time, so it's great to find a book to immerse yourself into and relate to, so it can help you deal!

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    dukesangel002 AT yahoo DOT com

  7. Oooooh, I have been dying to read Freefall. When I first read the synopsis way back when, I automatically thought it sounded like something I'd love. Plus, I love the message Mindi wants readers to take from the book. Eeep!

    Great interview, and thanks for the giveaway. You are too kind! :)


  8. I can't help it..I'm going to answer all three questions.

    I want to read Freefall because of the premise, the cover and well, I just have a thing for books that deal with grief and loss.

    I think grief and loss are topics that connect with everyone some way or the other. They are also important for YA because while losing someone at any age is hugely impactful, losing someone particularly during one's teens leaves an indelible mark on the person. While teens might not really show it, their vulnerability comes through in these times of crisis.

    And yes, I've dreamed about someone I loved and lost. I still dream about my grandfather.


  9. I'd like to read this because of all the positive things I've heard about it... it's a bit out of my "reading comfort zone" yet it sounds amazing.

  10. What a great idea for a book. Everyone has to deal with loss in some way, shape or form. This book sounds like a great way to relate to someone that has experienced pain and loss. My dad died when I was 7. I am now 37 and I still dream of him, talking to him, catching him up on my life so I can totally relate to what Mindi is saying in her book. I would love to read this book!

    and yes...my name is Mindy with a y!


  11. C) I think grief and healing are very important subjects in YA lit because it is something that basically every teen/YA is going to go through at one time or another. Those books help us realize we aren't alone and that things can and will get better even when we think there is no end to that dark tunnel of hurt and grief.

    I've been very anxious to read Freefall! It sounds amazing and the YA lit world really needs more contemporary books so yay! :D


  12. I would like to read Freefall because I'm intrigued by the premise.


  13. I'd love read Freefall as I've been intrigued by the premise for months now! Since I first found out about it, I've been counting down the days until it is out!

  14. Teens do not process death and grief the same way adults do. I think it is because they are still in their own mind immortal.But grief and healing add tremendous perspective to any human life.
    My son was with his best friend (17 years old) 10 years ago when the friend accidentally had a homemade pipe bomb go off in his hands. His friend died that night from shrapnel to the heart. My son had tried to make him stop, tried to warn him but Eric was immortal and "nothing was going to happen".
    That experience gave my son a whole differently look at the fragility of life long before most kids do. He grew up to be an engineer who works on and invents micro machine that save babies lives. My son said that had he not tried to get Eric to stop, he would have never have gotten over it. I can't wait to read "Freefall'. Great Trailer!

  15. Freefall sounds like a book that deals with an issue that teens need to face. Unfortunately death and grief are apart of life.
    bkhabel at gmail dot com

  16. Love all of these great comments today! I'm looking forward to it, too. :)

  17. I think that grief and healing are such great topics to present in YA lit because teens experience so much of it and the adults around them do a horrible job of helping to ease them through it. Not to knock on adults (I am one), but we in America have a weird relationship with death and don't do a great job of supporting teens who are dealing with grief. Like all things teenaged, kids often listen to their peers more closely than the adults in their lives. And, books are kinda like a good friend. Not preachy.

    Thanks for writing about reality. Kids experience it every day.

    mrsderaps @ hotmail . com

  18. I feel like I just got the inside scoop very cool

  19. I would love to read Freefall because I have heard so many good things about it. It has been on my wishlist for a while now.

    swordsforfighting at yahoo dot com

  20. B. I dreamed about my father several times after he died. I'm not sure if I can say that any of those dreams changed what I thought of him, exactly, but they did highlight his caring side.


  21. I did actually dream about someone I've lost, which was a profoundly creepy experience. Even in my subconscious I was still stuck with the memory of seeing him stop breathing, so he was back, just not breathing. (Which makes the hairs on the back of my neck stick up to remember. Augh.) I dreamed it, getting more and more convinced that something was WRONG, till the memory busted through and broke the dream. I was furious with the world when I woke up, and him for leaving, and God for taking him, and myself for dreaming it, but my reaction to grief has always been anger, so it didn't really change things.

    Probably because of that anger, I generally avoid books about grief. However, this one looks very- good. And interesting. Devastating, but interesting. The aspect of relationships in moving forward with grief is something that isn't brought out very much.

  22. Okay, so I know this is totally weird, but I have been dreaming recently of my 19 year old cat that I had to put to sleep last year. Every time I dream of her I don't expect her to be there and then when she comes out I always wonder how she is still alive because I haven't been feeding her. It kind of freaks me out and you would think I would get over it when I dream about it repeatedly. I don't think of her any differently because of the dream, when I wake up I'm just glad that I get to see her again.

  23. c)I discovered recently that I react to events in the way that I've imagined characters in books to do, so its important that there are books about loss and grief so that others have a way of learning how to react. It also helps to prepare people for the facts of life.

  24. I can't wait to read this!
    I think books about loss and grief are important because sometimes when you're dealing with the loss of a loved one, you feel alone and like no one in the world understands you. So it's important for people to know they're not the only ones who have felt that way. The book can be a sort of guide to deal with that kind of situation.

  25. I'd looove to read this (:
    I think grief and healing are important subjects in YA because most of us young adults experience some sort of grief and might not know how to talk about it with others. We can relate to the themes, and maybe they even help us to open up a little.

  26. I'm already getting a copy of Freefall so please don't enter me. I really enjoyed this interview. Since I read an ARC of the book - I was like WHAT?! about Seth's mom having a thing with the drummer! I think it's neat to hear all the 'outtakes' a story has in them.

  27. I think young adult literature needs to be infused with reality: real life issues that teens face. Loss and suffering are two of those things. Being able to explore issues like that through books and reading make them easier to relate to in real life. The same goes for things like sex and drugs...but even more important are the basic emotions like loss. It is inevitable that we will all be faced with loss: reading about it helps us when we have to experience it for ourselves.

    I really want to read Freefall, can't wait!

    allison.dayle at gmail.com

  28. I would love to read this because I love reading stories from male perspectives and the story sounds wonderfully intense. Thanks for the interview!

    settle.nicole at gmail dot com

  29. Everyone experiences grief and healing. However, for some teens they get stuck ont he grief part and are unable to move on to the healing process. WOrds are powerful and I believe that through fiction, the idea of them being able to heal can be placed in their heads.



  30. Am I in time? I have seen this book everywhere and it sounds great.. and I love the cover, simple and nice.