Why Can’t I Be You by Allie Larkin
By SMW Staff
SingleMindedWomen.com recently interviewed Allie Larkin, author of the popular novel STAY. Allie’s newest book is Why Can’t I Be You.
Allie, I really enjoyed Why Can’t I Be You. Jennie was this combination of a lot of women I knew in my 20s. How did you come up with the storyline?
Thank you so much! My editor for STAY had interest in a story about someone becoming someone else. I took that theme, spun it several different ways, and became fascinated with the idea of telling an identity story in a very realistic way. People of the same generation have so many similarities and a shared history of pop culture. I wanted to highlight that.
Jenny is loveable, and I found myself rooting for her, but I often wondered why exactly when she does something so deceptive. Was it hard to create a character that you love despite her wrong-doing?
I knew I was walking a fine line with Jenny. To make her a character readers would route for, she needed to be a character I was rooting for. She does the wrong thing, but she’s so earnest in her reasons for taking on Jessie’s identity. Delving into her past and thinking about why she was a person who would want to be someone else, made it easier to justify her actions.
I loved Jessie’s group of friends in Seattle. Did you base any after your own high school buds?
I write pure fiction. None of the characters in this book are based on anyone in real life. But the spirit of Jessie’s friends – their warmth and the way they all take care of each other – is similar to my amazing friends from high school.
So whose life looks really exciting to you?
You know, mine isn’t too shabby. But who wouldn’t want to be Amy Poehler, really?
Jennie gets dumped at the airport? What’s the worst way you were dumped?
I’ve been married for almost a decade now, so all of that seems pretty far in the past. I remember the heartbreak (and the ice cream), but I’ll let any offending ex off the hook and keep the details on the down low.
If Why Can’t I Be You were turned into a movie, who would you like to see play Fish?
I think what’s more important is who you would like to see play Fish. I try to keep my dream casting choices to myself, especially this early in the life of the book. Once a book is published the reader’s vision of the characters is what matters. I have my Fish, and if he’s different from yours, that’s perfectly fine.
I have Colin Egglesfield in my head as FISH!
About Why Can’t I Be You:
At one time or another, everyone has wished they could be someone else. Exploring this universal longing, Allie Larkin follows up the success of her debut novel, Stay, with a moving portrait of friendship and identity.
When Jenny Shaw hears someone shout “Jessie!” across a hotel lobby, she impulsively answers. All her life, Jenny has toed the line, but something propels her to seize the opportunity to become Jessie Morgan, a woman to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance. Lonely in her own life, Jenny is embraced by Jessie’s warm circle of friends—and finds unexpected romance. But when she delves into Jessie’s past, Jenny discovers a secret that spurs her to take another leap into the unknown.
About the author:
Allie Larkin is the internationally bestselling author of the novel Stay. She has never ordered a dog off the internet or assumed a new identity to attend a high school reunion. Allie lives with her husband, Jeremy, their German Shepherd, Stella, and a three-legged cat. Visit Allie Larkin online: www.allielarkin.com
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