The time it was about Finding Mr. Brightside

Posted March 5, 2015 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 14 Comments

I read Finding Mr. Brightside on a whim and absolutely fell in love with it.  It was exactly what I didn’t know I wanted at the time. So obviously, when it came time to be part of the blog tour, I may have lost my mind a bit agreed.

FindingMrBrightside BlogTourBanner

Before we get to Jay’s hilarious interview, let’s check out the book.

3Abram and Juliette know each other. They’ve lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don’t really know each other—at least, not until Juliette’s mom and Abram’s dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don’t speak.

Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a few months later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite her to Taco Bell. To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins.

Sounds good, right?


1. Where did the idea for Finding Mr. Brightside come from? 

To trust or not to trust that a primary care physician can see the lack of serotonin/dopamine in your brain by shining his flashlight-o-scope in your ear, etc.? That is the question, but I have my Hippocratic doubts that their answer won’t be sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. I wanted to write a book about two teens with a complicated history who manage to a) realize the side effects of their hastily prescribed meds maybe aren’t for them and b) help each other overcome them in a realistic but not-too-depressing way.

I also wanted an excuse to do some questionably tax-deductible research at the beach.

2. Why do you love Abram and Juliette and why should readers root for them?

Things I love about Juliette:

-Turns everything into a competition but isn’t desperate about it, just making things more interesting

-Overachiever with habits anyone can relate to—e.g., Starbucks, avoidance of people

-Paranoid sunscreen applier who still expects to be tan (so she can win the Who’s Tanner? competition)

-Takes care of her dad in her own “Is it me, or have you not changed your clothes this week?” way.

Things I love about Abram:

-Woos girls with Taco Bell, whale documentaries, and microwave popcorn

-Dwells primarily in the present, not the past/future

-Encourages his mom’s pursuit of a) happiness and b) the next Candy Crush level

-Wins stuff like the Who’s Tanner? competition without even trying

3. What was the weirdest thing you googled while doing research?

Definitely trolling the Adderall and Paxil forums.

The Adderall people are like:

CrackAintWhack147: Are you kidding me, CVS won’t fill my prescription early?! Anyone tried Costco???

Overstimulated01: Costco=no-go. Their pharmacists are stricter than my wife’s parole officer.

CokeHooverer66: Try the Kroger on Sawmill Road, ask for Ralph, and thank me later.

The Paxil people are like:

Blah999: I feel really blah again today. Am I supposed to feel so sleepy hollow? (I can’t tell if that joke is funny.)

Zzzquilzzz: I don’t even know where I am right now, but I feel nothing.

EmptyInside53: I also feel nothing.

4. Without spoilers, was there anything you had to cut that you wish you could have kept?

Nothing major, but I never want to cut any jokes. They’re like my children, and I’m like that awful parent who always sees the best in them, even when they’re sucking all the helium out of a scene to make their voices sound “funnier.” These days, my solution is to cut and paste them into Evernote, then promise I’ll be back for them as soon as I can. Eventually they go up for adoption on Twitter, where, unfortunately, nobody retweets them.

5. Describe Finding Mr. Brightside in 5 words. 

Love, sex, drugs, beach? Hollaaaaaaa.

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes. 

Me: “Mom, guess what? I GOT A BOOK DEAL!!”

Mom: “OH MY GO — wait, honey, are you driving? You know how I feel about talking on the phone and driving.”

Me: “Actually just pulling into the driveway.”

Car in lane beside mine: *Honks at me for going 30 in a 65*

Mom: “What was that?”

Me: “My neighbor.”

Mom: (Skeptical pause.) “Did you really get a BOOK DEAL??!!”

And so on….

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

1.Solar-powered, waterproof smartphone with built-in WiFi and custom Finding Mr. Brightside phone case.

2. Selfie stick: Sure, the wild boars will make fun of me, but little do they know it doubles as a spear.  And think of the selfies we could take together, just me and my boars.

3. My girl: Is it messed up to drag her to the island with me when she could lead a perfectly normal life back home? Of course, that’s why I’m not going to tell her I’m the one who requested she be summoned.

4. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

Dear Hopelessly Naîve Jay:

-Just because you’re going to be published, doesn’t mean you need to feel like you should be on social media ALL THE TIME, okay? Relax.

-You have many gifts, but redoing your WordPress website is never going to be one of them.

-Unless you’re trying to institutionalize yourself, don’t read your reviews. Do I look like I’m joking?

-You and Mom will never be able to figure out the mysteries of your Amazon ranking, okay? It’s best to not go up and down this path repeatedly.


Older, Wiser Jay

5. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question}

Hi, I’m Bella. I’m going to move back to Florida, get some hobbies, and fall in love with the idea of giving birth to a sense of humor—an immortal one that doesn’t suck (blood, etc.). Once I’ve delivered—the labor, as you can imagine, will be excruciating—I’ll create a can’t-skip online dating profile that attracts mortals, man-beasts, and, of course, vampires for miles. I’ll date them all—every single one—but not in a skanky way, I’ll just be looking for great book recommendations and worldly experiences from every walk of life. Zombies, too? Hellz yeah—call me!

Eventually, I’d like to settle down AT COLLEGE and wait for the rest of my brain to mature before making any unnecessarily adult decisions, like having an actual baby or whatever. My roommate will probably hate me, but because of all this personal growth, I’ll have a better understanding of where she’s coming from.


5027222Jay Clark is the author of Finding Mr. Brightside, which author Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl) calls “one of my favorite YA books ever,” and The Edumacation of Jay Baker, which Booklist praised in a starred review: “The magic lies in the telling.” When he isn’t writing, Jay enjoys thinking seriously about getting a golden retriever puppy but then having second thoughts about it, playing tennis as if something important is at stake, and complaining about his monthly Starbucks expenses when they’re fully within his control. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.


Huge thanks to Macmillan for the invite and to Jay for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out his website, following him on Twitter, liking his Facebook page, and adding all of his books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

And click here to see the rest of the tour stops for all sorts of goodies.

Now. Need to get your greedy hands on this book? {Hint: the answer is yes.} Macmillan is so nicely offering up a copy.  Contest is US only and additional giveaway rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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14 responses to “The time it was about Finding Mr. Brightside

  1. Kaitlyn A

    What’s my favorite thing about Taco Bell? I’m pretty sure that’s only the best question ever! The delicious food, cheap prices, and quick (mostly) service! Do you have enough room on here for a paragraph because I can keep going….

  2. Caroline

    This sounds soooo good! Shame it’s a US only contest, oh well! Good Luck to everyone :D

    I will definitely be buying this when I see it on the shelves :)

  3. My favorite thing from Taco Bell is….either the nachos supreme or the mexican pizza supreme.

    Thanks for the giveaway! Finding Mr. Brightside is one of my anticipated releases of the year. Haha.

  4. I loved this post thank you! I must read this book it sounds amazing. My favorite food from Taco Bell is the Crunchwrap. Why? Well it’s a tostada wrapped in a ginormous flour tortilla filled with a bunch of yummy (and probably unhealthy) stuff. Yeah… Taco Bell is delicious. Nom Nom Nom.

  5. daphne

    I’m in LOVE with the new AM Crunch Wraps. I get the steak one. Yum-o! I also love those Cinnabon balls with the frosting on the inside. Too bad they only come with three.

    Honestly, my most favorite thing are the sayings on the hot sauce packets. I remember a story about a guy giving his girlfriend the “marry me” packet and she thought he was proposing.

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