WELCOME POST: The People We Choose by Katelyn Detweiler

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The People We ChooseThe People We Choose
by Katelyn Detweiler
Published by Margaret Ferguson Books
Releasing on May 4, 2021
YA FICTION-Contemporary, Romance

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When 17-year-old Calliope meets her new neighbor Max, their connection is instantaneous, but the revelation of her sperm donor’s identity changes everything.

Calliope Silversmith has always had just two friends in her small Pennsylvania town, Ginger and Noah, and she’s fine with that. She’s never wanted anything more than her best friends, her moms, their house in the woods, and their family-run yoga studio—except maybe knowing who her sperm donor is. Her curiosity has been building for years, and she can finally find out this summer when she turns eighteen.

Then Max and his family move into the house across the woods from Calliope, and she immediately feels a special connection with her new neighbor, one that feels different than just friendship. The stability of her longtime trio wavers over the next few weeks as she and Max start to spend more time together.

But when Calliope makes contact with her sperm donor she learns a surprising truth: her donor is Max’s father. How is this even possible?

As she and Max struggle to redefine their friendship now that they know they’re half-siblings, Calliope realizes she has much to gain by recognizing and accepting that family is both the one she has been born into, and the one she chooses to make.

Perfect for readers looking for stories about family dynamics and fans of The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend.
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Katelyn Detweiler was born and raised in Pennsylvania, living in a centuries-old farmhouse surrounded by fields and woods—a setting that fueled her childhood imagination and, many years later, inspired her YA debut, Immaculate. Katelyn is a writer by night (and weekend) and a literary agent by day, representing books for all ages and across all genres. She currently lives, works, and writes in Brooklyn.

Copy of Separators

Congratulations on your new book! What was your inspiration for The People We Choose?

Oh, thank you so much! This idea has been simmering quietly along the edges of my mind for years, as I puzzled through the best, most appropriate way to tell it. But my hope for this story has always been to explore the concept of “family” and the ways that love and genetics are tied together—or not tied together. Who we love, why we love them, and the differences between romantic love, friendship love, and family love—where they intersect, and where they very much divide.

What are you hoping readers take away from your story?

Family isn’t always about the group of people we’re assigned to at random based on birth and shared DNA—it’s the family we choose for ourselves as we live and grow and discover who we really want to be. It’s about finding our people, and the deep sense of connection that has nothing to do with shared blood.

What was your favorite part of writing The People We Choose?

Discovering characters as I go is always a favorite, but I also had the best time building the setting. My main character Calliope Silversmith’s small PA town is very of the place where I grew up, including the old house she shares with her moms in the heart of the woods. Writing a story that takes place there, a wild green space in the throes of summer—the sounds of nature, the smells, the feel, all of it—was so magical and transportive. I felt like I was living in a permanent summer world from my childhood while I was writing and revising.

What is something your publishing journey has taught you?

From working on both sides of the industry—as author and literary agent—the biggest lesson is: PATIENCE. Really. So much of it. Endless amounts. That’s part of the fun of it all, too, though. You never know when good news might land in your inbox and change your day/week/year/life!

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Read! As much as possible, as widely as possible—all different voices, cultures, styles, genres. Know your audience, and what you want your story to add to the larger conversation. It’s also important, though, to write what you love and what excites you personally, because your story should first and foremost be for you and the joy that the process brings. Publishing has many highs and lows, and if you set out to write solely for fame and fortune, you’re likely to burn out before the real journey even begins.

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