It's an honour to have Alice Kuipers stop in today on her book release blog tour. Alice, the award-winning young adult fiction author of 40 Things I Want to Tell You and Life on the Refrigerator Door, is an expert chronicler of the teenage heart, and she has now taken her work to new heights. A riveting, high-concept novel with heart, Me and Me is about what it feels like to be torn in pieces, and about finally finding out who you really are.
The twelve of us at Our Collective Muse are fairly big fans of the city of Saskatoon so we asked Alice to share with us a little bit about how she ended up in Saskatoon (after growing up in England) and why she stays. Here's what she wrote:
"Both Yann—my partner—and I come from big cities and we appreciate that here we don’t have to spend time commuting or rushing to get our kids to activities. We love how friendly we find people, and how there are always new people to meet as well as people we’ve known now for many years, when we head out the door. I’ve learned over the years to tolerate winter—I’ve taken up cross-country ski-ing and I remind myself of how beautiful the summers are when it’s minus forty and I’m trying to get four children into winter gear.
I wrote a lot of my new novel, Me (and) Me, in the café D’Lish, not far from our house. My main character, Lark, works there, she walks by the river and writes songs, and she does parkour by the bridge. I needed to root this novel in a reality because it takes on a magical element—Lark lives two parallel lives. I based the book in a city called Edenville, which I modeled on Saskatoon, to give the book the feel of contemporary realism, while Lark figures out which life she is going to live in.
Like Lark, I had to make a choice in my life and then lived with the future that life brought—I’m from the UK and when I moved to Canada to live with Yann, it meant leaving a whole life behind. At first, when Lark is faced with a choice she is paralyzed, she doesn’t know how to decide which way to turn. I didn’t know when I committed to Yann that I was committing to a life in a small city that I’d never heard of before I moved here, but this is the life I’m lucky enough to be living, and Saskatoon, with its beautiful river, dastardly winters and creative spirit, has turned out to be the right choice for me."
Thanks again, Alice! We adore you.