Ah-MAY-zing Reads 2014: Slambook Interview with Jillian Cantor


Hello, everyone! Can you believe we’re at the final week of Ah-MAY-zing Reads? I sure can’t! Anyway, to kick-off this last week, I’m interviewing Jillian Cantor, whose  novel, Searching For Sky, was released earlier this month! To learn more about her and her book, check out this slam book interview:

The Author

jillian cantor intro

Writer loves

  • Music album – Right now, what’s been playing over (and over) in my house is the soundtrack to Frozen. (It’s addicting!)
  • Classic novel – The Great Gatsby
  • Breakfast food – Granola

Fill in the blanks

  • My usual writing routine is… Coffee and my laptop, first thing in the morning.
  • If I weren’t a writer, I’d be a… writer. Seriously, I’ve gotten so much rejection in the span of my writing career and there were so many times when I could’ve given up, but I kept writing. I don’t think there’s anything else I’m suited for.
  • Of all the books I’ve ever written, I’m closest to… I can’t answer that. I’m usually closest to whatever I’m working on at the time. But I get close to all my books, or I wouldn’t be able to put in the time and energy to follow through with them in the first place!

The Book

searching for sky

Searching for Sky has such an interesting synopsis! How did you come up with the idea of the book?

To really answer this question I’d have to give a spoiler about the plot so I’ll try to answer it generally so as to not give anything away. I first had the idea for the book after the movie theater shooting in Colorado. I had the thought that our world was pretty awful and nowhere was safe anymore, and the idea of Sky, this girl who has been raised on a deserted island, came to me. How would she view our world? And what’s really better, our modern world, or the life Sky lived on her island? These were the questions I was interested in exploring.

What inspired Sky’s character? Is there anything about her that you could relate to yourself?

Having grown up and survived on an island, I wanted Sky to be tough and fearless about survival skills that I would not be tough about at all (trapping and killing animals for food, fishing, building fires, etc.).  But I wanted her to fear things she comes to discover in our modern world. So Sky is not very much like me at all. Except that Sky is intensely loyal to River (the boy who grew up on Island with her), and I’m like that with my close friends too.

You’ve written several other books before. How did writing this Searching For Sky differ from any of them?

I wrote the first draft of Searching for Sky really fast, in about a month. The idea came to me and I couldn’t stop writing it. I was just sitting there every day for hours writing. I’ve never written a draft that quickly or easily before and I don’t think I ever will again. Sky’s story was special to me and I couldn’t forget about her or let the draft go, even when I should’ve been doing other things. That said, I also ended up adding a lot to the book (more than I usually would) in the revision stages, which I think was definitely a result of me drafting it so fast.

I think the cover of Searching For Sky is real pretty! How would you relate it to your story?

I agree that the cover is pretty, but I can’t take any credit for that at all! (Bloomsbury did the cover.) I think the cover is showing Sky coming out of the middle of the ocean, looking towards San Diego.


jillian cantor dedication

We can’t wait to read Searching For Sky, Jillian! Thanks for sharing about you and your book today! Book nerds, don’t forget to add Searching For Sky to your to-read shelves! Want updates from Jillian herself? Check out her websiteTwitterFacebook and Goodreads!

Wanna win SEARCHING FOR SKY? Enter the giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hazel @ Stay Bookish

Hazel Ureta is an advocate of stories. She is the blogger and Editor-In-Chief of Stay Bookish because she loves talking about books. She enjoys reading Young Adult novels the most and writes them too.
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  1. Anjelie Mendoza on May 26, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I like the idea of this person who wasn’t exposed to these ideas and concepts of the modern world. I don’t know what my life would be without pop culture so it would be fun to see how Jillian introduces to us Sky’s character. :)

  2. Misti on May 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Because the summary and the cover look and sound incredible. It looks like a book I can get lost in. That makes me excited. Thank you for the giveaway.

  3. Vivien on June 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    It sounds really thought provoking!!!

  4. Alexa S. on June 4, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I really liked Searching for Sky! I think Jillian did an incredible job telling Sky’s story, combining heartbreak and hope into one moving tale. I liked it way more than I expected to — which is great!

  5. Arianna on June 8, 2014 at 11:05 am

    The plot, setting and characters interests me and i’m excited as to how the story will end up.

  6. Hope Tweeddale on June 11, 2014 at 11:01 am

    The plot/characters really intrigue me. I can’t wait to read it! :)

  7. Mikee Mae Garcia on June 19, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    The cover makes me wanna read it right now and the personality of Sky that’s brave and loyal is very inspiring.

  8. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight on June 22, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I love the idea that there is a whole world going on and the characters had no idea. That concept just fascinates me so much, and I cannot wait to read as it plays out!

  9. Rachel on June 29, 2014 at 4:43 am

    Really want to read searching for sky now.

  10. Tedi B on March 29, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    I had a student read “Searching for Sky” and she ran up to me asking if there is a sequel? I searched the Internet but didn’t find one. Am I missing it? She kept saying the author left such a cliff hanger! She loved the book!

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on March 29, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      As far as I know, it’s a standalone. Some authors do like to conclude with open, unresolved endings just to leave things to the reader’s imagination. I’m so glad to hear your student enjoyed it though! :D

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