Welcome to the Just One Year blog tour! After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem’s story, picking up where Allyson’s journey in Just One Day ended. In honor of the world-spanning romance, we asked author Gayle Forman to share her memories for 12 different cities, each of which is featured in either Just One Day or Just One Year (or both!). Follow along on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays throughout September as Gayle tells her story in anticipation of the October release of Just One Year!
Gayle Forman (www.gayleforman.com) is an award-winning, international bestselling author and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications. She is the author of the companion title Just One Day, as well as New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went, and Sisters in Sanity (HarperTeen). Follow Gayle on Twitter @gayleforman.
So here’s a funny story about Cancun. Having not been there in more than 20 years and knowing that Allyson and Willem’s stories would be set in the area, I decided to go on a research trip. In my family, that trip was called Spring Break.
I wanted to get a sense of the kind of megaresort Allyson would stay at. As luck would have it, when we were renting a car at the airport upon our arrival, one of those timeshare salespeople approached us and invited us to tour a resort for the day. She offered to subsidize our car rental if we went. I was like, double win! Research problem solved and subsidized. The catch was I had to bring my family but I was promised the kids could swim—and there was a lazy river—so triple win!
Except after four hours of touring the resort, the lazy river was a mirage. The kids were sick of looking at model rooms, especially ones where jumping on the beds was prohibited. I tried to end the tour and get us to the pool, but before they set you free on one of these things, they take you in a room and punch numbers and try to persuade you to part with tens of thousands of dollars that day to purchase two weeks of vacation property a year.
We weren’t buying. As a last-ditch effort, a supervisor was brought in for the Heavy Sell. A former Mexican TV star, he first tried to charm us, and when I informed him we were not buying under any circumstances, he started screaming at us, hurling insults about the patheticness of our lives back home. “You live your life in a box!” he said with a disgusted sneer. (Now, my first New York apartment was rather shoebox-like, but I am pretty sure he was being metaphorical.)
The takeaway: #1) There really is no such thing as a free lunch. My bad for sneaking on the tour all undercover-like. #2) You should always be nice to people because being a dick only makes you feel like a dick. #3) Don’t mess with writers because we will have the last laugh. See Jonny Maximo in Just One Year.
Just One Year Synopsis
After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem’s story, picking up where Just One Day ended. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson’s own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.
Follow the Just One Year blog tour to see all of Gayle’s posts!
9/6: Alice Marvels
9/11: The Flyleaf Review
9/13: The Young Folks
9/16: The Story Siren
9/20: Books With Bite
9/23: Forever Young Adult
9/25: Once Upon a Twilight
9/27: Me, My Shelf, and I