March 2, 2016

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy – Interview and Giveaway

You Were Here


Hello Readers!  We are so excited to have author, Cori McCarthy, on the blog today to celebrate the release of You Were Here!  Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!




Praise for You Were Here


“A beautiful coming-of-age story, this book will leave readers thinking about it long after they close it.” –VOYA Magazine, a VOYA Perfect Ten


“A skillful blend of storytelling, emotion, and adrenaline-fueled daring” –Publishers Weekly


“The mix of forms as well as the insights each character gleans through their urban explorations render this book both readable and teachable on multiple levels.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, STARRED Review


“Readers who appreciate stories of searching for personal truths will be happy to join this meaningful quest for identity and independence.” –Booklist


“You Were Here  is wrenchingly beautiful in its honest and achingly accurate portrayal of grief and how it breaks us–and the way unconditional friendship puts us back together.” –Jo Knowles, award-winning author of See You At Harry’s and Read Between the Lines


“Through razor-sharp wit, no-holds-barred momentum, and heart-wrenching twists, Cori McCarthy dares you to climb through the broken, abandoned wreckage of the past, stand on the edge of the world, and face something even scarier: the truth.” –K.A. Barson, author of 45 Pounds (More or Less and Charlotte Cuts it Out


“The urban explorers of You Were Here dive deep into the forgotten man-made spaces all around them–and their own feelings of loss, love, and fear. McCarthy deftly intertwines the characters’ stories, filling them with authentic pain and heartache as well as soaring moments of grace and humor. I dare you to read it!” –Maggie Lehrman, author of The Cost of All Things


Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!

Hello! It’s great to be here. You’ve written some awesome questions.



Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)

Five misfit teenagers figure out death, friendship & love the hard way while climbing through manmade ruins



What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?

I was watching a show on the National Geographic channel about people who urban explore, and I remembered all the times I’d climbed through manmade ruins as a teen. I had been thinking about writing a grief novel from personal experience for a long time, and the setting and story idea just merged sort of beautifully.



Tell us about the main character(s).

I think people are saying that Jaycee is the main character because she is written via a first person perspective. I believe that there are five main characters in this novel, and that this a collective story, i.e. without one of their perspectives, it wouldn’t be the same novel, you know? Jaycee is a beautiful disaster who is emotionally stuck five years in the past when her brother died. Mik is a selective mute, pre-med major with a crush on Jaycee that only rivals his guilt over Jaycee’s brother’s death. Bishop is my heartbroken, artistic poet. Natalie is in control of everything except Jaycee, and that terrifies her. Last but never least, is Zach. You should read to find out who Zach is; I don’t want to spoil it. He’s a hoot.



Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?

My favorite parts are always the kissing scenes because I’m a hardcore romantic deep down!



Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?

Jaycee’s bleak depression and Natalie’s anxiety attacks were written out of personal experience, and that was REALLY hard to put words to…



What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?

I’m working on something top secret! But it is another contemporary, ambitious, crazy story like YOU WERE HERE.



It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!

Thank you so much! And I hope everyone likes the story!



[about-author author=”Cori McCarthy”]



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  1. Rachel B

    I’d like to take my friends and explore Central Park. I know it’s not unique, but there are so many hidden places within the park that it is a lot of fun to explore.

  2. Amy O

    I don’t know if this counts as exploring but Alabama has an unclaimed baggage museum/thriftstore that I’ve been dying to go to. The idea that people just don’t ever get their bag from the airport is so shocking to me and apparently there’s a pretty cool collection of unique items they’ve found!

  3. Mary Preston

    I don’t know about unique, but the local museum is quite good.

  4. Abagail

    Well, there is this Indian Burial ground. And a Indian Cemetery mound that would be fun to go to with freinds

  5. Melanie B

    The Historical society

  6. Mai T.

    I’d love to explore the archipelago of my city. It’s stunning and awesome!

  7. Camelle

    I’d love to explore Palawan especially El Nido and Coron where the lovely beaches is located

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