Author Interview: The Geography of Lost Things

The Geography of Lost Things releases today, and I’m so excited to celebrate with an interview from author Jessica Brody!

Interview with Jessica Broday

Let’s jump in with a little about the book! How would you describe The Geography of Lost Things using only five words?

Road Trip. Muscle car. Ex-boyfriend.

Haha. I kind of cheated with that hyphenated word, didn’t I?

The Geography of Lost Things features a fun adventure of trading up items. What inspired you to write this story? Have you do anything similar?

I was actually inspired by One Red Paper Clip, the true story of a guy who took a red paperclip and literally traded it up, via a series of bigger and better trades, to a house! When I heard about that, I was like, “that has to go in a YA book somehow.” I was just waiting for the right book. Then when I thought up the story of a girl trying sell the car that her estranged father left her in his will, I thought, “Bingo!” The two concepts were a perfect match, as they both center around the things we value and the things we’re willing to give up.

Through Ali’s travels she meets strangers and finds out why they value certain objects. What is one item that you value that may seem insignificant to others?

OMG, I LOVE this question! I had so much fun thinking up characters and the random things they value for whatever interesting reason. For me, I have a strange sentimental attachment to certain coffee mugs I own. I think it’s because coffee mugs are really the only things I like to collect and I usually purchase them with a certain book in mind that I will write when drinking from them! For instance, I have a mug I bought at a West End performance of Les Misérables in London that I’ve been writing with every day for the past two years (see question 6 for more context!) I also have a few Disney-themed mugs that I use when writing my books for Disney Press (I wrote a series for them based on the Descendants movies and now I’m writing a LEGO Disney Princess chapter book series for them.)

Every good road trip needs an epic playlist. What are your go to songs while on the road?

I’m usually road tripping with my husband and we have vastly different tastes in music (I love bubble gum pop and he likes electronica.) Strangely enough, the one genre that we agree on is country. (What’s the logic there? I have no idea.) So we end up listening to a lot of country on our road trips. Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and the like. One of our favorite stations on Pandora is actually called “Country Road Trip.” 🙂

Ali and Nico travel up the Pacific Coast on their adventure. What kind of research was involved for this road trip? Have you traveled up the Coast like this before?

Yes! I actually took the very same road trip that Ali and Nico do in the book. I’ve always really wanted to set a road trip book along the Pacific coast—from San Francisco to Seattle—but I’d never actually done that drive. So as soon as my editor approved the synopsis of the book, my husband and I flew to California and did the trip. And we actually visited a lot of the same places that Ali and Nico do.

Before we go, is there anything you can tell us about your next writing project?

Heck yeah! I’m so excited about the next one. I’m heading back to the sci-fi genre, but this time, I’m going off-world, baby! 🙂 My next book, Sky Without Stars, releases March 2019. It’s a sci-fi reimagining of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, set on a distant planet!!! (Les Mis in Space!) It’s the first in a new trilogy called the System Divine series. I co-wrote it with one of my best friends, Joanne Rendell, and we had so much fun together! We’re currently writing book 2, Between Burning Worlds, which will come out in 2020.

22718738About The Geography of Lost Things

Release Date: October 2, 2018
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.

After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?

Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.

He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.

And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.

About Jessica Brody


Jessica Brody is the author of more than 17 novels for teens, tweens, and adults including The Chaos of Standing Still, In Some Other Life, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, A Week of Mondays, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, and the three books in the sci-fi Unremembered trilogy. She’s also the author of the Descendants: School of Secrets series, based on the hit Disney Channel original movie, Descendants. Additionally, Jessica’s first non-fiction book, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel (a plotting guide for novelists) will release in Fall of 2018. She lives with her husband and four dogs and splits her time between California and Colorado.

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