The time it was about The One Memory of Flora Banks

Posted May 10, 2017 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 5 Comments

Unreliable narrators are my jam and when I read the synopsis of The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr, I was all over it. And when I got the invite for the blog tour, I couldn’t reply fast enough!

Before we get to Emily’s interview, let’s check out the book!

Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Publisher: Philomel
Pub Date: May 2, 2017
Pages: 304
Find it: PRH | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

Sounds good, right?



1. Please give the elevator pitch for TOMoFB.

Flora Banks has no short term memory, until she kisses a boy, and finds she can’t forget it. The only trouble is, he’s gone off to the Arctic. Could she, possibly, go after him?

2. Where did the idea come from? 

It came from the place, first: I was obsessed with the idea of writing a book set in the Arctic in the summer, when the sun never sets. I was meant to be writing something completely different but I couldn’t get the Arctic book out of my head, and in the end I went to Svalbard, Norway, to see what it was like. It was magical beyond my wildest imaginings. The book came out of that trip.

3. Why do you love Flora and why should we root for her?

I love Flora because she’s incredibly brave and quirky. Her personality shines through in everything she does: she’s realised that she has to live in the moment, and she does it wholeheartedly.

4. What was the strangest thing you googled while researching?

So many things! Probably ‘can you scare a polar bear away by firing a gun into the air?’

Google didn’t give me a definitive answer. In the end I had to find someone who knew about such things and ask them (you can).

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene 

It’s a day that Flora spends on a boat, in Svalbard. I did this myself and it was one of the most magical days of my life. I tried to get that across in the book: the absolute silence, when the boat leaves the town, is like nothing else in the world. It made me feel entirely small and insignificant, and I loved being surrounded by water and snowy mountains, with a sighting of distant polar bears. When Flora does that trip she is calm and living in the moment, and it’s her last calm moment before everything unravels for her.

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.

When I got that call about Flora Banks, I was on a train, with hardly any phone reception, between London and my home in Cornwall, 300 miles away. I’d had to stand up for the first half hour as the train was packed and I’d only just made it, after a day in London meeting potential publishers. My phone was out of battery and I’d had to wait until I could get a seat before I could start to charge it. So I’m staring at the phone, and then after a million years it comes back to life, and there’s a call from my agent telling me about the deal she’s just done with Penguin UK. I think I just stared out of the window crying to myself for the next five minutes, and then tried to make my trembly hands work enough to call family and tell them.

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

Can I take my three children? One of them would work out how we could get rescued, another would build a boat, and the third would entertain me by dancing all the time.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber. I adore this book and would happily read it over and over again. It’s the story of a vicar going to a new planet to minister to the local population there, at their request. Meanwhile life on Earth is falling to pieces. It’s a totally unique book.

4. What book character would you want to date and who would you want to be your BFF?

BFF: Katniss please!

When I was at school I wanted to date Mr Knightley from Jane Austen’s Emma. He seemed like a much nicer bet than the Mr Darcy types. I’m not so sure about him now, though. I think he might be a bit disapproving.

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

Just how much editing still lies ahead after the point at which your book is ‘finished’. It’s all good (and editors, in my experience, are right about almost everything) but there is a huge amount of it. There’s an actual edit or two, and then a copy edit, and then a proof read. It means that by the time your book is published you’ve actually written it about five times over.

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

Here’s a confession: I haven’t read the Twilight books! I’m too old to have been in their target audience when they came out (though I do have friends who devoured them as adults), and I’ve never caught up.

If I were Hermione, however, I’d have kept the time turner and sorted the whole Voldemort thing out by the medium of time travel. That would have saved everyone some trouble.


Emily Barr began her career as a journalist at the Guardian before realizing that she was drawn more toward books. After taking a year to go backpacking for a column assignment, she returned home with the idea for her first book, the New York Times bestseller Backpack, and never looked back. She has since written 11 additional books for adults. The One Memory of Flora Banks is her young adult debut. Emily lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children. You can follow her on Twitter @emily_barr.


Huge thanks to Penguin Teen for the invite and to Emily for taking the time!  Keep scrolling for giveaway and definitely check out the rest of the blog tour for extra goodies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 22, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about May 24, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Week One:
May 1 – Butter My Books – Guest Post
May 2 – Novel Novice – Svalbad Travel Guide
May 3 – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Review
May 4 – Pink Polka Dot Books – Review + Favorite Quotes
May 5 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Mood Board

Week Two:
May 8 – Midsummer Reads – Author Q&A
May 9 – Margie’s Must Reads – Review
May 10 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Author Q&A
May 11 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
May 12 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post

Week Three:
May 15 – Fiktshun – Guest Post
May 16 – The Book’s Buzz – Guest Post
May 17 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Flora Banks Inspired Recipe
May 18 – Andi’s ABCs – Flora Banks Bookish DIY
May 19 – In Wonderland – Review

Tags: , , , ,

5 responses to “The time it was about The One Memory of Flora Banks

  1. Kristy Petree

    This sounds like a great read… memory loss and a unique setting! I always love author interviews as well. Thanks for hosting. :)

  2. Julie

    Great interview! I love the question about the weirdest thing Emily Googled while writing this book.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.