Today is the book launch day for Catch Somewhere by Megan Hall. This debut YA novel follows the story of Kinsley, a teenage girl who experiences heartbreak that leads down a destructive path. I enjoyed reading this book because you see and feel the struggle of Kinsley. It is heart wrenching, but there is hope too. I really appreciated how Megan weaved such a great story about an important subject (cutting), but with a Christian perspective. I wanted to share my interview with Megan:
1. What inspired you to write your book, Catch Somewhere?
Megan: I was teaching middle school at the time, and part of our day was spent on Writing Workshop, where my students had the freedom to write anything they wanted, in any genre, for a set amount of time. Several of my girls decided to try their hands at longer stories with chapters, and I thought, “Well, maybe I can do that, too.” I didn’t even have a plot when I wrote the first few pages. I’m not sure I even knew where the story was going until I was about halfway through! The characters drove the story.
2. You address the hard subject of cutting in Catch Somewhere; was this something that you dealt with personally?
Megan: It was. I’ve written about my journey with self-injury on the Huffington Post blog before. I struggled with cutting in high school because, like my main character Kinsley, I wasn’t sure how to deal with emotional pain. Also like Kinsley, I ended up finding healing from that addiction.
3. What do you hope readers gain from reading Catch Somewhere?
Megan: For teen girls, I want them to see that there is something more, bigger, and beyond. It’s so easy to be young and think that what we see is all there is, and when all we see is hopelessness and pain and angst, we are lost. It’s difficult to grasp the reality that things will get better. I want my readers to find the only One who can truly anchor their souls.
4. How can Catch Somewhere help girls who are cutters?
Megan: There is such a stigma with self-injury. I think it’s still widely misunderstood, although there have been strides made in the last two decades from when I was a teenager. Cutters are wrongly thought to be suicidal, which is usually not the case, although occasionally the two can be linked. I want this book to do two things: show those girls who struggle that they aren’t alone and they don’t have to feel shame, and to raise a realistic awareness of the issue for others.
5. What resources do you have for cutters?
Megan: That’s a great question. I think there are some good programs out there, like To Write Love On Her Arms . Sometimes it’s easier to take the first step by connecting with someone who doesn’t know you personally, and TWLOHA has a good resource page for that. I also have a website where people can message me and I can help connect them to further resources. But honestly? I firmly believe that healing happens in community. I would urge anyone to find someone they trust, a parent, teacher, youth leader, older sibling, friend, and talk with them. We walk out our healing with each other.
6. Can you share about your ministry, Dauntless Grace?
Megan: I’d be glad to! Dauntless Grace is a ministry for women, to connect them with a meaningful story. Like Kinsley in the book, we all have a broken story. For her it was an absent father, a broken heart, and feeling unworthy. Our stories may look different. But the truth is, we all need healing, and we all need connection. We all need hope that there is something more. Dauntless Grace aims to help women find that hope, that new story, one that has been redeemed by God. We have a conference called Re:3 (Rewrite, Redeem, Release) that we bring to churches to help women find a new story in their own lives.
7. What book influenced you as a teenager?
Megan: I read between 100 and 200 books a year, so it’s difficult for me to pinpoint certain books! I know I read a LOT of Lurlene McDaniel books, which are super depressing now that I look back on it! I devoured anything I could get my hands on, though. I remembering discovering Lori Wick (Christian romance author) as a teenager and reading her novel Pretense, which I still read at least once a year.
8. What are you reading now?
Megan: Today? Or tomorrow? I seriously read 3-4 books a week. Right now I’m tearing through Julie Klassen books, which are Christian historical romance novels. My answer will seriously change next week though, so ask again!
9. Will there be a sequel to Catch Somewhere?
Megan: I think so. I have a little bit of an idea in my head. I sat down the other night and wrote a few pages. I think the sequel will be from Alayna’s point of view. I’m interested to see what happens when she leaves her small-town bubble for college and has her faith challenged a little. I make no promises that this will happen anytime soon!