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Everything feels heightened when it takes place in the outdoors: adventure, self-discovery, even romance. Enter THE DISTANCE FROM ME TO YOU, a story about a girl hiking the Appalachian trail that will elevate you to dizzying heights. Here to tell us about the mind behind the masterpiece is author Marina Gessner!

Name: Marina Gessner 

Novel: The Distance from Me to You 

Available: October 20 

Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? Right out the gate with a tough question! I would call it a tossup between F. Scott Fitzgerald and George Eliot. Though one more contemporary author, Peter Cameron, is a definite contender. 

What’s your favorite thing about your book? My main character McKenna, because of her strength and her faith in herself. She doesn’t let anything hold her back from what she knows she can accomplish. She also has a good heart. 

If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose? Dick Diver, from Tender is the Night. I’ve always had a crush on him. Though he leads a pretty rarified life and might not be much help on a deserted island. I’d probably be in charge of the fire, plus gathering wood and finding food. Come to think of it, it could ruin our relationship. 

Where do you write? This is embarrassing. I usually write in bed. Preferably with my dog and/or cat keeping me company. If I could live in yoga pants and a T-shirt I would. Especially for first drafts, I write in bed, under the covers. I always say it’s like convalescing – I can’t get back out into the world until the book (like a fever) has been broken. 

Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? Andre Trocme. He was the pastor in a little French town called Le Chambon sur Lignon, during World War II. He led his parish in an incredible rebellion against the Nazis, admitting they were sheltering Jews but refusing to turn them over. Nobody was hiding under beds or in closets – the townspeople made sure the children were going to school, and families were able to observe the Sabbath. It’s a beautiful story. You can learn more about it in Philip Hallie’s book Lest Innocent Blood be Shed. There’s also a wonderful documentary called Weapons of the Spirit, by Pierre Sauvage, who was one of the children the Trocmes rescued. 

Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted? I do tweet! I would say my funniest tweets are pictures of my cat outsmarting my dog. The cat is so much smarter and I have the photographic evidence to prove it. 

What is your favorite season? Fall. I love when the heat is finally relieved by that little chill in the air. 

If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? Boulder, Colorado. It’s my favorite place on earth. 

Do you have any writing rituals? Not really – just sit down and do it! I will say pouring a cup of coffee helps. 

What is your idea of earthly happiness? My husband and daughter and me on a long walk in the woods with our dog. That nice fall chill in the air, too! 

What are you currently working on? Short stories and essays while I figure out my next novel.

Thanks, Marina! We can’t wait to hear more about your next novel.

Follow Marina Gessner on Twitter!

Get your copy of THE DISTANCE FROM ME TO YOU!