Interview : Pintip Dunn

Forget Tomorrow

Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn is a very good YA dystopian novel!

Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…

by your future self. 

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist. 

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal. 

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes. 

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself. 

I was lucky to have made an interview with Pintip Dunn.

Francesca : Can you present yourself and explain to us how you began to write ?

Pintip Dunn : My name is Pintip Dunn, and writing has been my lifelong passion. In fact, when I was six years old, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I replied, “An author.” I wrote my first novel sixteen years ago and have been writing ever since.

I went to college at Harvard University, where I received my A.B. in English Literatute and Language. I then went to Yale Law School for my J.D. I practiced law for a short time before I turned my attention to writing and my family. I now live with my husband and three children outside of Washington, D.C.. (Although my husband and children are French citizens!)

I’m represented by literary agent, Beth Miller, of Writers House, and FORGET TOMORROW is my first published novel. I have six more books forthcoming in the next few years, from Entangled TEEN and Kensington Publishing, including REMEMBER YESTERDAY (the sequel to FORGET TOMORROW) and THE DARKEST LIE, a stand-alone contemporary thriller.

I’m so excited to be here today! Thank you so much for having me on your blog!

Francesca : How did you have the idea for writing Forget Tomorrow?

Pintip Dunn : I was lying down for a hazy, mid-afternoon nap with my son and contemplating my writing career. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if a future me could send a memory back to my younger self, so that I would know if I succeeded as an author and whether those long hours and heartache were worth it? My mind immediately jumped to the next thought: “Hey! That would make a cool world for a book.” I’d already decided I wanted to write my next novel about sisters, and in particular, the protective, maternal love a teenage girl can have for her much younger sister. What would be the worst memory a girl like this could receive? I asked myself. The answer was obvious: a memory in which she saw herself killing the sister she swore to protest. And voila! Even before my son woke up from his nap, a story was born.

Francesca : The relationship between Callie and Jessa is very strong. Do you have any siblings with whom you have the same type of link?

Pintip Dunn : Yes! In fact, the relationship between Callie and Jessa is based on my relationship with my sister. She is twelve years younger than me, and I have always felt an extremely close, protective bond with her. I wanted to write a story about the deep, maternalistic love that a girl can have for her much younger sister — and the lengths she would go to in order to protect that sister. I’d like to believe that I would be strong enough and brave enough to make the decisions that Callie makes.

I always tease my sister, Lana, that this is my favorite book because I get to kill her in it. This isn’t true for a couple reasons. First, FORGET TOMORROW isn’t necessarily my favorite book. (Like parents, we authors aren’t allowed to have a favorite, right?!) Second, this book isn’t actually about how much I want to kill my sister; rather, it is about how much I love her. This is the reason Forget Tomorrow is dedicated to her. 

I also have an older brother with whom I am also very close, but our relationship will have to be in another book!

Francesca : I love Logan, he’s a hero and he’s so sweet with Callie! Have you ever thought about writing from his point of view (even for few scenes)?

Pintip Dunn : Yes, I have. In fact, I have played around with a novella from his point of view. I don’t know if anything will ever come of it, but it is extremely fun to write from his perspective! He’s such a sweetheart, and I love him so much.

Francesca : I was moved by Zed and Angela’s stories. Will we discover more about them in the future?

Pintip Dunn : Yes, both Zed and Angela are important secondary characters in Book 2, REMEMBER YESTERDAY. One or both of them may even have to face their future memories.

Francesca : The subjects of destiny and free will interested me while reading Forget Tomorrow. Do you personally think that everything has a meaning and can be already mapped out?

Pintip Dunn : I strongly believe in free will and that we are the masters of our own fate. So no, I don’t believe that everything is already mapped out. However, I do believe that some things (not all things!) happen for a reason and that everything in your life leads you to a certain path. Personally, I don’t think free will and destiny are as contradictory as some people believe. In fact, I think that they can co-exist, and this idea is explored more in Book 2.

Francesca : Would you like to time travel? If yes, would you prefer to travel in the past or in the future?

Pintip Dunn : Sure! I would love to time travel, and I would definitely go to the future. I have nothing to gain by traveling to the past. As I said in my answer above, I think everything in my life happened led me to where I am now. I am content with my life and have no desire to change any of it.

Francesca : Would you like to receive a memory from the future, like your characters? If yes, what do you want to know?

Pintip Dunn : As I mentioned above, the premise of this book developed because I wanted to send my younger self a memory of myself as a published author.

But if I had to choose another one, I would send myself a memory of the day my first baby was born. This was easily the best day of my life. I have three kids, and I love them all equally. Each of their birth days are extremely special to me. However, the day of my daughter’s birth was the first time I ever became a mother — and that was the most wondrous, breathtaking, miraculous feeling in the world. Nothing even comes close. I would send that memory to my younger self to remind me in my bleakest moments that there is unimaginable beauty in this life — and  that beauty makes everything else worth it. 

Francesca : Do you already know the end of your trilogy?

Pintip Dunn : I know the overall arch of the story, but I don’t have the specifics worked out yet.

Francesca : Without too much spoiler, can you tell us more about the second book, Remember Yesterday?

Pintip Dunn : Sure! It takes place ten years after the ending of Book 1, and it is told from Jessa’s perspective. All the key characters from Book 1 will reappear. Even the “new” characters are mentioned in Book 1, although you may not remember them. Ryder is Jessa’s best friend, and her love interest is Tanner Callahan. I can tell you that I love this book so much, and I truly hope that people who enjoyed the first book will like it as well.

Francesca : Do you already have writing projects after this trilogy? Will you continue to write YA books?

Pintip Dunn : Definitely! I have two stand-alone YA contemporary thrillers that will be released in the U.S. respectively in summer of 2016 and 2017, THE DARKEST LIE and GIRL IN BETWEEN. I also have another YA science fiction series, FIT TO DIE, that will come out in the U.S. after the FORGET TOMORROW series concludes. These books have not yet sold in France, but I hope they will!

Francesca : What is your last reading and your favorite authors / books?

Pintip Dunn : I just finished UNTAMED, by Madeline Dyer, a fantastic YA dystopian novel.

I have so many books I love, but my absolute favorite are: HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins; THE HOST, by Stephenie Meyer; THE FIFTH WAVE, by Rick Yancey; and GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn.

Francesca : What do you like to do apart writing and reading?

Pintip Dunn : I am a total foodie, so one of my very favorite things to do is to go out to restaurants and eat yummy food. I also love to exercise, watch reality TV, and hang out with my kids.

Francesca : Do you have a message for your French fans?

Pintip Dunn : Thank you SO much for reading FORGET TOMORROW. I am so thrilled and honored to have fans in France. As I mentioned above, my husband’s family is French, and our children are French citizens. They also attend French-immersion school here in the United States and speak French fluently (much better than me!) We visit nearly every year, and it means so much to me to have my book published in a country that is so dear to my heart. Merci beaucoup!!!

Thank you Pintip for your time and your kindness!

***

About Pintip Dunn

Pintip Dunn

Pintip Dunn is the debut author of YA science fiction, FORGET TOMORROW. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books here: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

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