Hi everyone! Today I’m back with a post I’ve been excited about for a while now! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might’ve come across a wonderful little book I reviewed – Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin. I recently had the opportunity to conduct an interview with the author of the book and I’m here to share all her wonderful answers with you.
Paintbrush is a Young Adult Contemporary following Josie Sedgwick and Mitchell Morrison who have spent their whole lives in the Indian Paintbrush Community Village. The two are just about to graduate high school and the journey to graduation is filled with self-doubt, revelations and anticipation too! You can read my review for the book here.
Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren’t particularly close–at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.
But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.
Hannah Bucchin has spent her life falling in love with beautiful places, both real and fictional. She grew up in charming Bethlehem, PA, went to college in sunny Chapel Hill, NC, spent a summer studying wildlife in Tanzania, volunteered on organic farms across New Zealand, and hiked all over Acadia National Park in Maine. When not writing, reading, or adventuring, she likes to daydream about the dog she’ll adopt someday, listen to music from the sixties, and exchange ridiculous texts with her parents and siblings.
INTERVIEW WITH HANNAH BUCCHIN
When did you first realize you wanted to write Paintbrush? What has been one of your favorite moments through the process of writing and hearing back from readers?
The story and characters came to me while visiting Western North Carolina, where I now live. I wrote my first draft right after graduating college, in about five months. The writing and publishing process has been so interesting to discover – both more complex and more fun than I thought it would be. One of my favorite parts of the whole process has been hearing back from readers who have felt a deep connection to my characters. It’s an amazing feeling to have words you write resonate so strongly with people you’ve never met.
Which book, series or author are you inspired by to write?
I was obsessed with everything Sarah Dessen when I was in high school, and her books have had a major influence on my life and my writing. There are so many amazing YA authors right now that inspire me: Jandy Nelson, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Becky Albertalli, Jeff Zentner, etc. All these authors write characters with such unique, authentic voices and realistic struggles – something I aspire to do as well.
Josie and Mitchell are some of the most unique character I’ve read about. As a teenager with so many choices ahead of me, I quite relate to them. Did you base your characters on anyone from your personal life, maybe yourself?
Parts of Josie and Mitchell are like me, but neither of them is fully based on me. I identify very strongly with parts of both of their personalities – Josie’s loyalty to her home and protectiveness of her family, Mitchell’s yearning for adventure and restless feelings – and yet I’m very different from parts of them as well.
In the book, Josie and Mitchell are about 16 years old. After writing about them, if you could give the 16 year old you any piece of advice, what would it be?
This is a great question! Teenage me could use a lot of advice – “you will not die if you’re hair isn’t perfectly straightened” and “homework is best done carefully after school, and not frantically during homeroom”. But on a more serious note, I would tell teenage me to be kinder to myself. I was always very hard on myself – about how I looked, how well I did in school, what other people thought of me, etc. I think a lot of teenagers feel this way. I would tell myself – “Hey. You’re pretty great. And you’re doing your best. So chill out.”
Can we look forward to anything more from you?
Yes! I can’t give away too much, but I’m currently working on another YA contemporary. This new novel takes place in Maine, and it follows the lives of two sisters over one summer.
And that was all from Hannah Bucchin, author of the lovely Paintbrush. I am so thankful for the opportunity to interview her and am definitely looking forward to reading her next book!
*I received Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
And that’s all for today! Hope you have a great day! Until next time –