Thursday, September 12, 2013

The time it was about science

Gretchen McNeil is definitely one of my favorite authors out there.  She's sassy and awesome and always wears the most gorgeous heels. I threatened to stalk her asked for the arc of 3:59 while we were at Disneyland for the YAppiest Day on Earth, and read it the very next day. And of course, after finishing it, I desperately wanted an interview with her.

As always, she was delightful and said yes.  But, before we get to her answers, let's check out the book!

Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.

Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.
Sounds good, right?

1. Where did you get the idea for 3:59?

This is so cliché, but I was driving home from work one day, and there was a traffic light turning red. I had a split second to decide: gun it or slam on the brakes. I braked, then spent the rest of the time at the stop light wondering what would have happened if I hadn't stopped. The idea grew from there!

2. Tell me about the research you did for the book.

Well, 3:59 is very science based – theoretical quantum physics to be exact. I am NOT a theoretical quantum physicist, so I did a lot of reading on string theory, various multiple world theories, multiple dimensions and some other concepts that I'm pretty sure I couldn't explain if I tried!

3. Josie is an awesome character. I love that she's smart, feisty, and doesn't need to rely on a boy. How did she develop?

When I realized that this was a book about science, I wanted to make sure that my main character was a science geek. But not in a stereotypical Revenge of the Nerds kind of way. I wanted her abilities to be natural, for her to be normal, and for her intelligence to be the one thing she can always rely on. Smart girl characters are really, really important to me, both in what I read and what I write.

4. Was it difficult to keep the duplicate characters/world straight while writing?

Oh yes. Jo and Josie were a challenge, but even worse was Nick I and Nick II (as my editor dubbed them). They had to be similar in some ways, and yet very, very different. Characterization developed slowly and it took several drafts before I really felt like I knew the difference between my characters and their doppelgangers.

5. Describe 3:59 in 5 words.

Parent Trap meets Event Horizon (I realize it's supposed to be "The" Parent Trap but I only had 5 words…)

Speed [ish] round:

1. What is your go to guilty pleasure thing to eat?

Champagne. (That's sort of like a food, right?)

2. What are you reading right now?

Gated by Amy Parker which comes out this fall from Random House.

3. Who are your favorite swoony boys?

Han Solo and Gilbert Blythe

4. Are there any authors that you fangirl over?

Christopher Pike, and if I ever meet Agatha Christie in the afterlife I'll probably soil myself.



Huge thanks to Gretchen for dealing with my fangirling taking the time to do the interview.

Make sure you check out her websiteblogTwitter and Facebook pages.  And don't forget to add all of her books to your TBR shelf on GoodReads.


Wanna win a copy of 3:59? Well, I've got one for you.  And, I'm seeing Gretchen on 9/18, so if the winner gets back to me before the event time, I can have it personalized.

Rules for the giveaway are under the "terms and conditions" on the Rafflecopter widget.

**Good Luck!!**


  1. I am reading this right now! I have been very impressed with the science in this one! So interesting to hear where the idea started.

    My Friends Are Fiction

  2. I wish I could have gone to this event!!!! Gretchen is amazing :)

  3. Or any if her events for this book. Lol I totally thought this interview was from an event, sorry

  4. I don't think I'd take a chance in a parallel world. I like the one I'm in. I'd have to have a good reason to take that kind of risk.

  5. Definitely!! I need some adventure and excitement!!
    -Scott Reads It

  6. Hmmmm, no I don't think I would... I'm afraid the chances of meeting my bf in two worlds would be very slim, since we're from opposite sides of the globe!

    BTW, Stacee, I want to hug you!! Thank you so SO very much for making this international!! You're awesome!

  7. I definitely think that given this opportunity I would visit the parallel world. I am too curious as to let something like this slip !!

  8. I don't think I would,I'm a big coward.I like to play it safe:)BTW thanks for making itinternational!!

  9. I wouldn't because that's creepy... But really cool too. (:

  10. I would...IF I knew FOR CERTAIN that I could come back to my own world whenever I wanted!!

  11. Yes of course! But I would say my goodbyes before leaving.

  12. I don't think so. I just have a feeling it would be like Fringe where I'd just encounter a jerkier version of myself. And if they are way more successful than me, it would bum me out.

  13. Why not, I'm super curious person. :) Thanks for an amazing giveaway!

  14. Why not, I'm super curious person. :) Thanks for an amazing giveaway!

  15. I'd absolutely take a chance in a Parallel world. There are so many things I DON'T regret about my life. But everyone always has those "What if?" moments.

    Awesome giveaway!!!!! <3333

  16. I totally would! Why not! It could be fun to work life like a choose your own adventure! :)

  17. Only if I don't have to deal with people or school in my parallel universe. HAHA.

    Also, I miss you!


  18. Of course I would!!!!I could decide to have a better life and make people see me differently :D

  19. Probably, it makes me curious to see how different it could be.



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