Announcing Our Second Selection for Season 5: FINDING YOU by Lydia Albano!
Dear Swoon Readers,
I’m very pleased to announce that the second title on our fifth Swoon Reads list is Finding You by Lydia Albano. As so many of you know, this is a powerful story of female empowerment and growth that really illustrates how love can give you strength and hope in even the most horrible of circumstances. The emotional highs and lows in this book had us reading until the end. Lydia is an amazing talent and one that I’m excited to welcome to the Swoon Reads family.
A note from Editor Holly West
This novel is so powerful and affecting that I actually had to stop reading and take a break after the third chapter or so because it was making me so tense. Her writing just pulls you into the story and refuses to let you go… even now, months after the first time I read the book, the characters are all just as vivid and present as ever, and I’m so excited to work with her to make this already powerful book even better.
Meet the Author: Lydia Albano
What inspired you to write Finding You?
I had this vague idea in my head for a romantic (*cough* clichéd) story about a girl whose crush goes off to war and she ends up going to find him – really just a piece of fluff. But then I wrote Isla onto that crowded train platform, and could feel the blistering sun and sweaty crowd and the overall chaos, and all of a sudden those hands were grabbing her and the story became about her fight to survive. From there I was just as swept up in finding out what would happen next as my readers were. Every time I tried to outline the rest of the book, it was no good and my words went their own way. It was actually a bit life-changing for me to grow with Isla (who is like me in many ways), to coax her out of her insecurities and watch her become strong on her own. Sex slavery and the value of human life are issues that sit heavily on my heart, and it’s been a challenge and a privilege to try and tackle them in my writing.
What is your favorite moment in the book?
Ahhh… this is a hard one. There’s a part – I can’t describe it exactly without giving away a really important scene – where Isla is faced with a danger she’d escaped before, and this time there’s no chance of a rescue: she has only herself to depend upon, and she has this moment of realization that leads to her rising up and (I think) finally becoming the person that’s been hidden inside. In my very first draft it was really different, but when I reread it and got a better sense throughout the book of who Isla was, and what was important about her story, I realized that everything was culminating to a scene like this, and then it happened. It’s near the end, but I think it’s my favorite. I also kind of like any part where Des is being snarky. That might be a bit arrogant, but I love him.
Who would play your characters in a movie?
Isla = Astrid Berges-Frisbee
Tam = Alex Pettyfer
Phoebe = Abbie Cornish
Zachariah Curram = Alan Garcia (mostly… he’s pretty clear in my head and it’s not exactly right, but close)
Des = Ed Westwick (in appearance, expressions, mien – not in voice)…
What makes you swoon?
Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds, ranting about something way too smart for me. His big words and awkwardness give me butterflies galore. Intelligence is incredibly attractive, as is kindness. Those are the big ones.