I had the chance to meet today’s guest at the 2017 Christy Awards gala in Nashville. In fact, I sat at her table 🙂 My mom met Brittany and her husband before I did (because my mom is pure extrovert and I am more comfy chatting with people I already know lol). But when my mom told me that Brittany’s debut, indie-pubbed, YA novel was up for a Christy Award, I just had to overcome my introverted tendencies and introduce myself.
Brittany Goodwin is an author, actress, screenwriter and director, best known for the internationally distributed faith-based feature films, Secrets in the Snow and Secrets in the Fall, which have both been awarded the highest honor of five Doves from the Dove Foundation. Her debut novel If You’re Gone was named a 2017 Christy Award Finalist as well as a 2016 Foreword Indies Finalist. Brittany lives outside Nashville, TN with her husband and every growing number of rescue pets. She enjoys traveling with her hubby and dogs, DIY projects, quoting John Hughes films, playing (and winning!) movie trivia games, and binge-watching Investigation Discovery Channel. A self-proclaimed armchair detective, Brittany is an active member of many Missing Persons blogs and Facebook pages, which inspired the topic of her debut novel, If You’re Gone.
Her debut novel, If You’re Gone, released in June 2016.
Lillian White was planning for the perfect summer- spending every waking minute at the lake with her heartthrob boyfriend, Brad Lee. But her world is shattered when Brad mysteriously disappears the night of his graduation ceremony- the same night he tells her he loves her for the first time. After law enforcement dismisses the case, classifying Brad as voluntarily missing, Lillian becomes desperate to prove that he couldn’t have just walked away. Not from his family. Not from his friends. Not from her.
Heartbroken but determined to find answers, Lillian begins to uncover secrets from Brad’s past that force her to question everything she thought she knew about him and their relationship. Will the truth lead her to him? Or are Brad’s lies just the beginning of the mystery?
Hi Brittany! Welcome to the blog!
Brittany: Oranges! Juicy and refreshing, and loaded with Vitamin C!
Carrie: That is a point that oranges have over apples – Vitamin C!
Brittany: Summer for sure. Long days, sunshine, vacations, beach, just to name a few.
Carrie: but it’s so unbearably hot… lol
Brittany: Very tough because I am a pet parent to several of each, but if I had to choose I would probably go with… no, wait. I can’t choose!
Brittany: I was strictly a tea drinker up until about a year ago but lately I need more caffeine to get moving.
Carrie: I hear ya. Though, my caffeine comes in the form of a diet coke!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Brittany: Can time travel be considered a superpower? I have always wanted to experience lifestyles and cultures throughout different decades… I’d love to be a little Marty McFly and do some time hopping. 🙂
Carrie: Time travel is totally a superpower! Can I come along?
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Brittany: Since I was a kid, I have always had the same bookstore habit. Instead of looking for the best-sellers and new releases I would peruse the clearance bins and wade through dusty paperbacks at used bookstores in search of hidden gems. With my love for filmmaking, I was always looking for a book I could bring life to on my own. I still have a small collection of paperbacks I’ve saved over the years just waiting to be introduced to a new audience!
Carrie: oh I love that!! What a great bookstore habit!
Q: If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Brittany: Well, first you would probably assume that I am a total slob because my purse is a mess! (And I’m not, but really it’s a disaster!) This year has been full of travel, between production for If You’re Gone and other film opportunities, so you would quickly discover where I’d been with a plethora of baggage claim tickets, airplane peanuts, boarding passes, and more than a few grains of sand from my recent film shoot at the Monahan Sand Dunes in Texas!
Carrie: Purses sub as trash receptacles during travel. This is a proven fact. By me. lol.
Q: You have a background in film and screenwriting. What inspired you to write a novel?
Brittany: From a very young age I was always dabbling in writing my “first big novel” and actually completed a very bare bones manuscript of If You’re Gone (then called A Change of Heart) when I was just fourteen. As I found opportunities in film and outlets that would allow my writing to be transformed into feature films I turned my focus to screenplays, but I always had some sort of novel draft in the works. It was after I wrote If You’re Gone as a screenplay that I decided I was ready to really crack down and complete the novel I had envisioned as a teen. The story changed a lot during the adaptation process, becoming more about the loss the main character is dealing with vs. the relationship she was in.
Carrie: That is so great! It was clearly the right time for this novel!!
Q: Describe the main character of If You’re Gone for us – and, since we’ve just moved into a new year, tell us what one of her New Year’s Resolutions would be!
Brittany: The story revolves around Lillian White, a rising high school senior whose boyfriend, Brad Lee, has disappeared. Lillian has always been a fun-loving, guitar playing, bubbly teen but she is suddenly faced with feelings of brokenness and unsure of who she is outside of her relationship. While her original resolution would probably be ‘write ten new songs’ or ‘receive a music scholarship’, she isn’t the same person after Brad disappears. ‘Find Brad’ and ‘Feel okay again’ would definitely be at the top of her post-Brad resolution list.
Carrie: I want to give her a hug ♥
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from If You’re Gone?
Brittany: For me, If You’re Gone has always been a story about how faith is affected during trying times. I hope readers will enjoy the mystery and romance aspects of the story but ultimately feel that they can relate with Lillian’s struggle and know they aren’t alone in those dark moments that make us question God’s plans when answers to prayers don’t come in our own time.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Brittany: Thank you! These questions were so fun and original! I have a NA Contemporary in the works, but my main focus right now is on post-production for the film adaptation of If You’re Gone in anticipation of a summer/fall 2018 release (fingers crossed!) You can also find me starring in a Redbox original film that will come out in late 2018. I will share details on my Twitter @thewritebritt as it approaches!
Carrie: Yay! How fun!
Brittany Goodwin is offering an autographed paperback copy of If You’re Gone to one of my readers! (US/CAN) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Brittany and/or her novel?