HelloGiggles contributor and author Candace Ganger talks to us about her first young adult novel
HelloGiggles is what it is because of the talented writers who share their genius with us. One such creative is Candace Ganger, who has also ghostwritten a myriad of projects for best-selling and award-winning authors. Now, Candace channeled her brilliance into a book of her own, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash. The young adult novel follows Birdie Paxton and Sebastian Alvaréz (aka Birdie & Bash), two teenagers who are learning to navigate the waters of tragedy while discovering themselves, each other, and what the future holds.
Birdie & Bash is a narrative we can all relate to, as one never forgets the madness that comes along with being a teenager. Yet, Candace deepens this plot by putting her complex characters in equally complex situations as she guides readers on a journey that will take you back to all the moments that have defined who you are.
To learn more about the inspiration and hard work that went into Birdie & Bash, we reached out to Candace for an interview.
HelloGiggles (HG): Where did the idea for The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash come from?
Candace Ganger (CG): The central background story that connects Birdie & Bash is loosely based on something that happened to my family in 1979. I’ve wrestled with wanting to rewrite their history for many years, so when pieces of Birdie & Bash popped into my head, it felt like the right time to do it. The rest, as they say, is history.
HG: What attracted you to the young adult genre in the first place?
CG: I’ve lived my sophomore and junior years of high school over and over throughout my life. That’s when I had my first love, heartbreak, loss, and discovered a sense of who I was and who I wanted to be. I’m drawn to the rawness of being a teen because it’s the most I’ve ever felt about anything, ever. It can’t be replicated and I want to bottle it — err — draft it (in print) so I can re-live the moments infinitely.
HG: Since this book deals with a traumatic situation involving a young boy, I’m wondering: Were these scenes hard for you to write, as a mother yourself?
CG: They were extremely difficult, especially knowing my family actually lived these traumas. I had to work hard to disconnect myself from the truth and my fictional story. Though, I always knew how I wanted it to end.
HG: Though I’m sure they’re like your children, do you by any chance have a favorite B&B character? One who was especially fun to write?
CG: Sebastian Alvarez is many pieces of me. I struggled through school, lost my biological father to cancer, and tend to keep people at a safe distance. Though, in Birdie’s defense, I, too, question the logic in things like love and religion. As far as fun, I loved researching on behalf of Violet’s love of astrology. It’s also fun to write the bad guy which, in this case, was Wild Kyle.
HG: Was there anything that didn’t make it into the final draft? Or, on the other hand, was there anything you felt compelled to add at the last second?
CG: The final draft has a different ending than what I had originally. Thank God for editors or it could’ve been a totally different story. I didn’t add anything at the last minute because that would drive my OCD/Anxiety Disorder to a climax! I’m a planner — to a fault.
HG: What did you, personally, learn while writing this book? Did your characters teach you anything?
CG: I learned a lot about The Collision Theory, and about how some things shouldn’t react (à la Birdie & Bash). Writing their story was atypical because the first draft was finished in about a month and one major revision took place both before my Gram died, and in her after. There may be a point in there when you can feel my emotional shift. Though, the whole process was a learning experience, because though I’ve been ghostwriting for over a decade, this was MY book. I loved every part of the process (except the hurry up and wait).
HG: What would your advice be to all the creatives out there who want to write a book?
CG: Stop dreaming, talking, and hoping, and do.
The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash can be bought on Amazon for $12.21.