Author Interview + Audiobook Clip: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas


My love for Because You'll Never Meet Me will never end and for this love, I interviewed the wonderful Leah Thomas and I am sharing it with you! First, I am grateful for the publisher Bloomsbury for letting me read the book in advance thru Netgalley and to the author herself for patiently providing the answers to my (yet silly) questions.

This book is very special to me for it talks lots of essentials and morals in life especially for teens. It started out with an unusual friendship between two unusual boys. Their friendship turned out to be lessons of trust, self-worth, courage, weakness and more. Because You'll Never Meet Me is a must read for every YA readers.

On this interview, I still want to warn with spoilers just like on my review. The questions and answers might spoil you on the book but I guarantee you that you will enjoy the book even after reading this interview. If you have not read the book yet and don't want to get spoiled with this interview, you can come back anytime when you're already done! Anyway, I'm psyched we'll all see the hand writing of the main characters!

Publication: June 2nd 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.


The senior editor of Bloomsbury Children's Books have described Ollie and Moritz from the beginning of the book, can you describe them from your point, too?

When I want to be succinct about my boys, I say it like this: Ollie is an extrovert trapped outside of society, and Moritz is an introvert trapped inside society. Both of them feel trapped, and this huge similarity makes them friends despite their many differences.
Also, let us understand the difference of "blind" and "sightless"?
Moritz hates that people imply he has a disability. When people call him “blind,” he sees this as them dismissing the way he sees the world: through sound and smell and feeling. This is why he is so adamant that he is not blind; he’s just technically without the ability of “sight,” due to his lack of eyes. But Moritz still sees so much, in his own way, and that’s enough for him. The last thing he wants is pity.
Every time I read Ollie's letter, I really wonder his handwriting. I wish I could see his "drunk-doctor" handwriting from you! One photo will do. :D
Oh, this is such a fun request. And weirdly enough, I’ve written letters as Ollie, in thank you notes to booksellers and friends! So here’s an example of Ollie and Moritz writing to someone (I’ve blurred the names out). Truth is? My own handwriting is terrible! So this was very real for me. Ahaha.


Ollie said, "There are all kinds of adventures in the world." What kind of adventure you had for Ollie and Moritz that you would like your readers to seriously take and add on their bucketlists?

I would say, on a personal level, taking a chance on getting to know someone different from you. Some of the best friends I’ve ever made grew up in different countries, under different circumstances. People are the greatest adventure.
"I am less human somehow, I don't expect humanity from others." Moritz said this and it really hurts. Will you enlighten us more? I really don't know how to ask you about it. I just want you to tell something.
Well, I think when you finish reading the book, you’ll see where Moritz’s low sense of self-worth really comes from. But really, I think this is how a lot of people feel during their teen years. It’s so hard to find confidence in yourself, even when other people believe in you. Moritz can’t see past his own feelings of regret, his own dark history. 

What on earth are the faculties of Moritz's school thinking? They suspended him for being. . . sightless? Talk about discrimination.
You know, I worked in schools for a few years, very recently. And I can say with some confidence that the schools I worked in wouldn’t have made this mistake – or made it intentionally. But when violence occurs in schools, faculty can be galvanized into taking rash action. There’s no room for error when the community eye is on you. (For example, I read about a school just this morning that was taking its students to court over a relatively harmless senior prank). And it is also the policy in many, many schools that when two students partake in a fight, both are suspended, pending more information. Doesn't always matter who started it!

But yes, I do think Moritz is in a place that doesn’t make an effort to understand him. But he also doesn’t make an effort to make himself understood. Communication has to happen both ways! That's very hard for him; he's a very private person.
Tell us about yourself and why did you write Because You'll Never Meet Me. What's the start?
That’s such a big question! How can I answer that question? I was born on November 29th, 1989 in Tawas, Michigan –
Haha. No, no. I think I have a really hard time with questions like this – “What inspired you?” and “where did you get the idea?” – because for me, ideas come from a thousand places at once! So part of it was me, growing up alone in the woods. Part of it was me living abroad in Taipei for a year, far from my family. A lot of it was my love for misfit stories and science fiction. And the echolocation thing – I remember watching a youtube video, long ago, about people learning to echolocate. And that stuck, a bit. And I remember reading a little pieces online about people claiming to be allergic to their cellphones. And I did have a penpal, for a little while! And my family overseas in England sent me letters all the time! And!
And, and and!
I guess that ideas are never simple, but once you start writing, things sort themselves out. I hope that’s not too vague an answer! 
But mostly... I think we've all felt alone in a crowded room. This is a story about overcoming loneliness. Who hasn't been there? :P   



Listen To Because You'll Never Meet Me's Audiobook Clip


Released on June 2nd, 2015 by Audible Studios

Yani

Let's leave it up to this quote from Emily Brontë:
"And from the midst of cheerless gloom
I passed to bright unclouded day."

4 comments

  1. Ahh I hadn't heard of this one but i ABSOLUTELY ADORE the cover for Because You'll Never Meet Me and the lovely interview you did with Leah Thomas!

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    Replies
    1. I adore it too but I'm sure you will adore much more the story of it. Thank you, Lily! :)

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  2. This sounds like a really good book so I decided to add it to my TBR. I skipped the interview part because I don't want to be spoiled but I'm really glad you loved it.

    Haraiah @ Random Things In Action

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  3. Great decision, Haraiah! I really love it when people add the books I love on their TBR. It's okay you skipped the interview but I would be delighted if you listen to the audio book clip! :)

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