Thursday, May 10, 2012

On the Road With YA Authors


This month IN HONOR is out in the world!  It’s a story of a letter, a mistaken last request, and the road trip those things lead to.  I love a good road trip, but I love a good road trip story even more, so this month I’m hosting a Road Trip Interview Series featuring all of my favorite author friends!  Stop by daily for dream cars, playlists, and tales from the road!

Today I'm so happy to have Morgan Matson here with me--especially since we're on the road together this week for the Summer Lovin' Tour!  Morgan is the author of SECOND CHANCE SUMMER, which just came out two days ago, and AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR--a fantastic road trip story, if I may say so myself!

Morgan, thank you so much for stopping by!  Let's get down to it!

All road trips begin with a set of wheels. Close your eyes. Imagine your ideal road-trippin’ vehicle.  What do you see?  Why? 

As a road trip veteran, I’m going to have to go with practicality over flash.  And while it’s awesome to imagine road-tripping with the top down in a sweet convertible, I’d have to pick what Amy & Roger crossed the country in – a Jeep Liberty.  I have to say, sometimes an SUV comes in handy, as I’ve found while driving cross country – like snow when you don’t expect it.  I also love the idea that you could go off the beaten path, if need be. 
Next up: travel companions.  The right ones can make or break the whole thing. Who would you hit the road with? You can choose anyone—alive or dead, real or fictional. As many or few as you like.
I’d have to say my boyfriend. We’ve taken many road trips together, and we’ve got the routine down.  Also, he’s much better with navigation than I am, which really comes in handy when you’re as directionally impaired as I am.
But I’d also like to make a case for the solo road trip.  It’s a little more daunting, and you need to prepare a little more.  But sometimes it’s great to have some alone time on the road.  Also, this way there’s no negotiating about stops or food!
It’s true that road trips are about the journey, but what’s your ideal destination?
This changes very frequently, but right now it’s Sayulita, Mexico.  I’ve been dying to go.  And it’s a 1500 mile drive from Los Angeles…which sounds just about right.
Is your style more ‘map it out’ or ‘meandering route’?
My favorite style is a combination of these.  I like having an ultimate destination, maybe some friends or sights that I plan to see.  But then I like to toss all the plans away and see where the road takes me.  But I find that have a few anchor destinations really helps – you almost enjoy the freewheeling aspect more when you have a loose structure to the whole trip.
We all know that food consumed while on the road never counts against you.  That being said, what are your favorite road snacks and/or eating establishments?
Eating establishments vary by region, but I always always make it a priority to eat the local fast food and to stop at local diners.  Mostly because diners = pie.
In terms of mini-mart food, I always like to have a variety of things to get me through to the next rest stop. Diet coke, always.  Almonds or trail mix…for energy.  And then something sweet – my last few road trips, I’ve been partial to Spree. And then something salty to round out the mix! My go-to is always BBQ potato chips.  Oh no, now I’m hungry….
Problems sometimes happen and inquiring minds want to know:  Can you change a tire?
No! And I really think that I should learn, because I’ve been in quite a few road trip situations where I’ve been in the middle of nowhere, with nothing around for miles.  Scary!
Best road trip memory:
Oh, there are so many! But recently, I took my first international road trip and loved it. My boyfriend and I flew down to Mexico and rented a Jeep and drove down the coast.  When we crossed the border into Belize, I remember thinking that this was really the only way to travel.
Worst road trip memory:
Several years ago, I was driving from LA to Arizona.  I was pretty much in the middle of the desert, and my engine light went on.  I didn’t have any cell service, and I’d just passed a sign that said “Prison area – do not pick up passengers.”  I made it through, but it was really scary there for a while!
Any road trip pictures you want to share?
I document my trips on this tumblr – feel free to check them out! J
That's so awesome Morgan!  Thanks again for stopping by!

Want more Morgan? Visit her on her website or Twitter!


  1. Fun post! Just took a road trip last weekend; snacks are a major factor! Also, we listened to an audio book which helped so much (Holly Black's Black Heart; my attempt to push YA on my husband and sis-in-law!).

    We always like to invent a tagline or some key factor to make fun of and bring up for the rest of the trip. Example: in Indiana saw a sign for "milk and moooooo-re" with a giant cow on it. That doesn't quite work phonetically (more sounds like moar not moor) so we kept saying it weird in stupid voices and then made a song out of it.

    Will check you out on twitter!

  2. Ahh! I <3 both of you ladies! Great interview, Jessi! And Morgan, so much fun getting to know more about you. :) Your books are both fabulous and it's been so fun telling my friends about them.

  3. One of these days I want to take a cross country road trip. As a child, my family and I drove everywhere - from Texas all the way up to Wyoming one summer. But I think as an adult, I'd like to plan my own roadtrip - map out the destination, mark my pit stops along the way, and perhaps find my own detour ;-) One day.. one day...

    Oh & my go-to roadtrip snack is popcorn!
    P.S. I just started Morgan Matson's Second Chance Summer today - LOOOOVE!!!