Anna Gragert
Updated Sep 12, 2017 @ 3:09 pm
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Candace Ganger
Credit: Anna Buckley / HelloGiggles - Merinda Buchanan Photography

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.