Don't Turn Around: Interview with Michelle Gagnon

We are excited to welcome author, Michelle Gagnon, to the nest today. A big thank you also goes out to HarperTeen for inviting us to participate in the Don't Turn Around blog tour. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: How did you come up with the idea for this novel?

Michelle: An editor and I collaborated on the underpinnings of the story; we knew that Noa would wake up on a table with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, and that Peter would have his house broken into after hacking into a website. But from there, it really progressed in fits and starts. I’m not an outliner, so one idea just led to the next. When I sat down to write every day, I rarely had any idea how Noa was going to get out of her latest predicament unscathed—for me, that’s the fun part (while simultaneously being the most terrifying!)

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Can you describe your novel in five words? 

Michelle: Teenage hackers on the run.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What was the last book you read?

Michelle: THE WHITE GLOVE WAR, which is part of Katie Crouch’s “Magnolia League” series. I highly recommend it, Crouch is a terrific writer and this book involves magical realism, sort of a YA version of the Sookie Stackhouse series (but with hoodoo instead of vampires).

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which character is most like you? Why?

Michelle: Peter, definitely, in terms of his sense of humor. Although both he and Noa are amazing
 with computers, and I most definitely am not.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Who are three of your favorite authors?

Michelle: Marcus Zusak – THE BOOK THIEF blew me away. It’s gorgeous, poetic, the character development is phenomenal, and the imagery is mind-blowing.  I almost never re-read books, but I could go back to that one indefinitely. I also thought the Maze Runner series was awe inspiring, and love that James Dashner never shies away from the dark potential of this incredible world he's created. And finally, Karin Slaughter. I pre-order all of her books and dive into them the minute they arrive.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your favorite bird? 

Michelle: I love owls. They’re just so cool. And I kind of wish my head could spin all the way around.
Pick One:
1. Read or Write? Read, I’m embarrassed to say.
2. Fly or Drive? Fly, always, because then I can read a book 
3. Run or Walk? Walk. I only run when I’m being chased.

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa’s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation threatens his life. But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

Filled with action, suspense, and romance, this first book in a new trilogy offers readers nonstop thrills.


  1. Great interview, thanks for sharing! I *really* want to read this, it's definitely the kind of thing I am typically interested in. And Karin Slaughter is one of my favorite authors too, so I really appreciate that about Ms. Gagnon!!


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