Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Tour: If Only We by Jessica Sankiewicz

Today I'm thrilled to have Jessica Sankiewicz here to talk about her debut novel, IF ONLY WE. I have a totally awesome guest post for you guys today about the rewards and challenges of genre blending, thanks to the time travel mechanic that is such an important part of what makes this book unique.

On Genre Blending

When If Only We began, I had no idea it would become what it is: a contemporary featuring time travel. The original idea was just one scene—the one in the first chapter. As I started to work that scene into a story, the time travel aspect just happened. It wasn't my intention to write such a complex novel right out of the gate, but this story just couldn't be told any other way. Although I enjoy reading books and watching movies with those kind of elements, writing one is entirely different.

I started writing it during NaNoWriMo 2011. It was underdeveloped in my outline, but I figured I would be able to fill in the gaps after the month was over during rewrites and revisions. I am positive that a decent amount of what I wrote that month was out of place in the storyline. It didn't matter at the time, since it was NaNoWriMo, but it definitely mattered once I came back to it later.

One of the hardest things about writing this kind of story, is keeping your time-line. I had to have it firmly set in mind as I wrote, being careful not to mix up the days and to keep everything consistent. Since Adrienne is reliving practically three whole months, she knows a lot of what happened the first time around. So I had to make sure that she recognized these things, acknowledging them without giving herself away to the people around her who aren't reliving the summer.

Another challenge is making it believable to your audience. Is it possible for someone to travel back in time like Adrienne does? If it were science fiction, I could get away with it. But since it's contemporary, and phenomenons like this don't happen in real life, most people wouldn't be quick to believe it. What I think helps my story is the focus on second chances. Adrienne's experience is more about fixing things than how it happened, and that's something everyone can relate to. Plus, it's nice to imagine the possibility, isn't it?

Writing If Only We was bumpy here and there, but it was very satisfying how it all came together in the end. So if you ever decide to combine two different genres, be it time travel in a contemporary or otherwise, be sure to map it out well. The results will be well worth it.

They say all it takes is one wrong move and you lose the game. One false step and you’re trapped. One slip-up in your choice of words and you ruin a friendship forever. That is what they say. They say I lost.

I do not believe them.

At the end of the summer after graduation, Adrienne wonders what happened to cause her life to be in ruins. She isn’t getting along with her mom, her stepsister isn’t talking to her, and, to top it off, the boy she’s been in love with doesn’t want anything to do with her. She believes the turning point was a choice she made at graduation. When she wakes up the next day, she has been transported back three months to that moment, the one where everything started to fall apart.

Adrienne realizes she has been given a second chance—and this time she doesn’t want to mess anything up. Reliving the entire summer, though, turns out to be a lot harder than she thought. As the same days and weeks go by, she starts to see how simple decisions can make a huge impact on the world around her. Despite knowing some of what lies ahead, there are some things she didn’t anticipate. She thought she knew what mistake led her to where she ended up the first time. She was wrong.

And by the time summer is over, she discovers what was really at stake.
Intrigued? Add it on GoodReads!
Jessica is the 28 year old author of IF ONLY WE, a YA contemporary. You can often find her either reading or marathon watching TV on DVD, her favorites being Castle and Veronica Mars. She frequently mismatches her clothes and giggles uncontrollably. She knows almost every Billy Joel song by heart. She collects books and toys, and she has an intense love of cats and lemurs. Currently in the midst of her quarter-life-crisis, she is still takin' names and getting very close to reaching an epiphany.

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So, are you planning to read IF ONLY WE? Feel free to share your thoughts! :) 


  1. Thank you so much for being part of this! :D

    1. Totally welcome. :) I was glad I could help.

  2. Thanks for sharing this book. It sounds interesting.

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