The time it was about Autofocus

Posted June 6, 2016 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 4 Comments

I’ve been a fan of Lauren Gibaldi since I got my greedy hands on The Night We Said Yes.  I was able to flail all over interview Lauren for that book and I was super excited to get the invite for the Autofocus blog tour.  And I couldn’t sign up fast enough.

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Before we get to Lauren’s answers, let’s check out her new book.


It’s always been a loaded word for Maude. And when she is given a senior photography assignment—to create a portfolio that shows the meaning of family—she doesn’t quite know where to begin. But she knows one thing: without the story of her birth mother, who died when Maude was born, her project will be incomplete.

So Maude decides to visit her best friend, Treena, at college in Tallahassee, Florida, where Maude’s birth mother once lived. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena has changed. With a new boyfriend and a packed social calendar, Treena doesn’t seem to have time for Maude—or helping Maude in her search.

Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude in her search, she starts to find that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.

Lauren Gibaldi has crafted a beautiful and timely coming-of-age story that poses the question: Is who we are determined at birth, or can we change as we grow?

IndieBound | B&N | Amazon | The Book Depository

Sounds good, right?


1. Please give the elevator pitch for Autofocus. 

Maude travels to Tallahassee, Florida to learn about her deceased birth mother, whom she’s never met, and wonders if who we are is determined at birth, or if we can change as we grow.

2. Why do you love Maude and why should we root for her?

Maude is imperfect, and I love that about her. She’s sometimes quick to judge, but she’s caring and determined. I want people to root for her because her quest is simple—to find out who her birth mother was. She just wants to know that.

3. What was the weirdest thing you had to google for research?

Well, Maude’s mother died in child birth, so I Googled conditions that would cause that. I should note that I was heavily pregnant while doing this. (To say I terrified myself would be an understatement.)

4. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?

There’s a scene where Maude and Bennett visit an area in Tallahassee called Lichgate. It’s a real place, one I visited frequently when I lived there. It’s a sweet scene, and I’ll leave it at that.

5. Were there any scenes that had to be cut that you wish could have stayed?

In my very first draft I had a scene where Maude visits the FSU Circus. I was part of the circus, so I loved including it, but even when writing, I knew it added absolutely nothing to the plot, so I cut it. But, in retrospect, I kind of wish I still gave the circus a quick nod. Just for fun!

Speed {ish} round:

1. If you could have dinner with any three fictional characters, who would they be?

Nick Carraway (from The Great Gatsby) because I want to know more of his story, after Gatsby. Hermione Granger (from Harry Potter), because she’s amazing, and, unlike Harry, I’m totally interested in all of the things she read in books. And Patrick from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I want to be his friend, and know more of his story.

2. What book would you want to read again for the first time?

I’ve actually done this! I read Jane Eyre in high school and was so bored with it, I didn’t finish it. So I read it again out of college, not remembering a thing, and loved it. So I actually think it’s possible! (Edit to above question: I want to meet Jane Eyre!) I’m also really excited to read books with my daughter. It may not be my first time reading, say, Harry Potter, but it will be hers. And that’ll be magical.

3. Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Somewhere in between. Mostly a pantser, but I usually have a general idea of the beginning and end. And then, when I’m going crazy with the middle, I like to jot down where I want to go and work backwards, figuring out how to get there.

4. Where is the one place you want to visit most?

In the US: Big Sur. It’s always been a dream to go there.
Outside of the US: India. I’d like to meet my husband’s relatives.

5. If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?

Well, along with being a writer, I’m a full-time librarian. So…that!


LaurenGibaldiLauren Gibaldi is a public librarian who’s been, among other things, a magazine editor, high school English teacher, bookseller, and circus aerialist (seriously). She has a BA in Literature and Master’s in Library and Information Studies. She lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband and daughter.



Huge thanks to Irish Banana Tours for the invite and to Lauren for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out Lauren’s website, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

Definitely check out all of the tour stops and keep scrolling for a giveaway!

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
6/6: Adventures of a Book Junkie – Q&A
6/7: Rants & Raves of a Bibliophile – Review in Photography
6/8: Princessica of Books – Cover Recreation
6/9: Latte Nights Reviews – Review
6/10: A Book & A Latte – How I Write

Week 2:
6/13: Go Read a Book – Review
6/14: Novel Ink – Family Is … Collage
6/15: Live to Read – Review
6/16: The Irish Banana Review – Top 10
6/17: Here’s to Happy Endings – Review

**Good Luck!!**

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4 responses to “The time it was about Autofocus

  1. I think I’ve only seen this book on a couple of other blogs and even then, they are raving about it! I just think the premise is EPICAL! I loved reading about the author’s thoughts while writing it! Being a writer myself, it’s always so inspiring to hear other writers’ thoughts! :)

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. I’ve never read anything by Lauren before, but this book just sounds amazing. I’m not one for most contemporaries but this one sounds like something anyone can enjoy.

  3. danielle hammelef

    This book sounds unique for me–i love that she’s trying to find out more about herself with the school assignment. Excellent cover to match the synopsis too!

  4. Yay for liking this author so much :D Your blog tour post is amazing Stacee. <3 I love love love the interview. Now pretty curious about the book :) Not really my thing, but still. The cover is pretty :D Thank you for sharing about it. <3 Hugs.

    Carina Olsen recently posted: Book Collection #14

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