Today on Okie Dreams, I am absolutely thrilled to welcome YA author Pintip Dunn. I fell in love with Pintip’s work after reading Forget Tomorrow and have continued to love every single book she has published to date. Here, we chat about her latest release, SEIZE TODAY, the third book in the Forget Tomorrow series, and also a little about the series on whole and her writing process.
Meet Pintip Dunn, author of SEIZE TODAY
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. Pintip’s debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. In addition, it is a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, and the MASL Truman Award. THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, the novella BEFORE TOMORROW, and GIRL ON THE VERGE. She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at pintipdunn.com
Q & A Interview
Can you tell us about yourself and your current release?
Pintip: I grew up in a small town in Kansas, and I got my B.A. at Harvard University and my J.D. at Yale Law School. I’m a lawyer turned stay-at-home-mom turned author. I have three kids, and I write in two genres of YA fiction — science fiction and contemporary thriller. I have five novels published and three more coming…and I’ve written my last six books on my cell phone! (I’m physically unable to type on a keyboard due to my fibromyalgia!)
My current release is SEIZE TODAY, which is the third — and final! — book in my Forget Tomorrow series. This series is about a future world where memories can be sent back in time to your younger self. In the first book, FORGET TOMORROW, my heroine Callie sees a vision of the unthinkable — her not-so-distant future self killing her beloved younger sister. Book 2, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, follows that sister, Jessa, as she tries to change the past and involves lots of time travel fun. This book features Olivia, the only true precognitive of her time, as she faces off against her mother, Chairwoman Dresden, the seemingly evil leader of the governing agency, as the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.
I am so excited to share the culmination of this story with my readers. I hope they love Olivia and Ryder as much as I do!
What have you learned most in the process of writing the Forget Tomorrow book series?
Pintip: I think I learned to write from the heart. Let me explain. I am always playing with my writing process, from being a total pantser to experimenting with being a plotter. Through writing these books, I came to understand that my best writing emerged from those moments that aren’t previously planned. Rather, they came from flashes of insight or the characters speaking to me while I wrote. Thus, I am now a plantser, which means that while I will plot out the big turning points beforehand, I try to let my characters guide me as much as possible.
How do you feel your writing process has changed from the first book to this newest release?
Pintip: Ha. Well, it’s much shorter, for one. While it used to take me over a year to write a book, I can now complete a manuscript in four months. My writing process changes from book to book, as I alluded to above, and I am always experimenting with new ways of writing. But overall, I think I approach the page with much more confidence. I have a much better understanding of craft, which means less revisions. And now, I trust that I’ll be able to complete a new book. It’s really just a matter of hours spent in the chair!
What is your favorite thing about the writing process? Brainstorming? Creation? Finished product?
Pintip: I love the writing itself — that slow crafting of prose to convey exactly what I’m trying to say. Even though my process differs depending on the book, I tend to fast draft the entire story first, and then story board to work out the kinks of the plot, and then I throw the entire “zero draft” away (it’s not good enough to be called a “first draft”!). I then rewrite the entire manuscript, slowly, really paying attention to the words. This stage is my favorite part of the process. And then, when I finish, I revise to the best of my ability, and then it goes to critique partners, my agent, or my editor.
What is the most inspiring research discovery you’ve had since developing this series?
Pintip: I mostly researched this series by reading books about time travel and brainstorming with my scientist friends. I think my favorite idea that we came up with is the idea of asynchronicity as a disease that affects one of my characters — her body and her mind are out of time with one another. Specifically, while her body is present in our time, her mind is zooming around in different time periods. In order to bring her fully back to the present, they must realign her body and her mind so that they exist in the same time.
When and how did you learn that language had power?
Pintip: I think I always knew this. I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I was six years old, and as soon as I could read, words had the power to transport me to these completely different magical worlds. In the worlds of the books I read, I was loved and I was accepted. I learned about the person I was meant to be. Eventually, the girl that was born inside these books crossed over into the real world and became me.
If you could tell your younger writing self one thing what would it be and why?
Pintip: This is an interesting question because this is precisely how the Forget Tomorrow series came about! I had been lamenting my copious amount of rejections to an editor-friend of mine, and she said, “I wish I had a crystal ball. Then I could tell you that five years from now, you would be a publisher author, and then you wouldn’t waste so much time worrying about it!”
The next day, I was thinking about her words and wishing my future self could send me a memory of how my life would look. My next thought was: “Hey, that would make a pretty cool idea for a book!” And presto! The Forget Tomorrow series was born.
If I could tell my younger self anything, I would tell her to persevere. If I could motivate her by showing her a memory, I would share with her the moment that Nora Roberts (one of my writing idols) presented me with a RITA for Best First Book. I think more than anything else, that would convince her to stay the course, no matter how long or bumpy!
Thank you so much for being here today, Pintip! We loved chatting with you about SEIZE TODAY and the FORGET TOMORROW series and getting to know more about your writing process and thoughts.
Readers you can find SEIZE TODAY online today at:
You can read my review of SEIZE TODAY here
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