announcing a new book header

Announcing HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Katy Upperman!

How the Light Gets In has been a labor of love more than any other book I’ve worked on. I started drafting the original version of the story when my daughter was three, on her first day of preschool. (She’s eleven now, and in middle school—how is that possible?!) The book has gone through countless revisions and two significant rewrites. I’ve trunked it twice—because the market wasn’t right, and because I wasn’t yet a strong enough writer to pull it off.

How the Light Gets In holds a huge piece of my writerly heart, but for a long time I wondered if it was destined to be a good experience: a manuscript meant to teach me about plotting and high stakes, about building a realistic contemporary(-ish) world, about satisfying character arcs. A chance to grow my craft. A story just for me.

Still. There was something about its characters and its setting and its premise and its romance that drew me back, kept me hoping that one day, it would become a real book…

I’m beyond thrilled to share that Swoon Reads is going to publish How the Light Gets In! I’m so proud of the story it’s become during its most recent revision (guys, the Swoon Teams’ editorial notes are everything!), and while this may sound kind of bananas, I’m grateful for all the years it spent not being a book.

Now, How the Light Gets In has found a perfect home, and become its very best version.

I’m excited to tell you more about this book of mine, and to show you its stunning cover.

First the summary…

Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become.

When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine.

But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomena that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?

How the Light Gets In is different from my other stories in that it focuses on a relationship between two sisters, and it has a paranormal element. But thematically, it’s very similar to other books I’ve written—it’s about grief, healing, love, and forgiveness; it’s about a teenage girl who’s struggling to crawl out of a dark place, and the people who help her along the way. Also, there’s swimming and kitties and poppies and kissing and a delightful Oregon beach town.

I can’t wait for you to meet Callie and Chloe and Tucker, and I can’t wait to share more about this story as its publication date grows nearer. In the meantime, though, can we talk about the gorgeous cover Aurora Parlagreco created?

how the light gets in cover

I love everything about this cover! It so beautifully captures the essence of How the Light Gets In. The dark backdrop with the flash of light in its center. The wilted flowers and trampled grass—straight from a scene in the book. The Polaroids, representing Callie’s memories of her sister. The girls and their obvious bond. The water peeking out from behind them. And the feminine, elegant script. All of the elements in combination feel dreamy and ethereal and lovely, and seriously—I could not adore this cover more.

Don’t forget to mark How the Light Gets In as “to read” on Goodreads, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on its cover in the comments below! <333

Author spotlight

Katy Upperman

I'm a wife, mama, avid reader, and country music fanatic. I like baking, sunshine, social media, Jelly Bellies, and yoga. …

See More