One breathtaking secret.
I am so honored to be able to introduce the incredible book The Summer List—releasing June 26— to our readers! I was lucky enough to score an early copy and tore through it this winter, but whoever wins this week’s drawing is golden: this is the perfect book to enjoy lakeside or poolside or seaside with a cool drink in your hand and your best friend next to you. The story of Laura and Casey, two women who were inseparable in high school but haven’t spoken in 17 years, is gripping from the first pages. Laura reluctantly accepts an invitation to reunite for the weekend in their lakeside hometown, where she joins Casey in a scavenger hunt like the ones they did as girls. The clues lead them to their favorite summer haunts, revealing why their friendship fell apart one summer night—and unearthing a stunning family secret.
I’m a sucker for a beautifully written novels about female friendship, and this one delivers laughter, suspense, and and an unforeseen ending, all wrapped up in a gorgeous package. Please meet the author, Amy Mason Doan!
Kimmery Martin: Where and how did you get the idea for The Summer List?
Amy Mason Doan: I was camping by the Oregon coast one summer and a bunch of kids ran up asking for a graham cracker for a scavenger hunt. I’d been half-heartedly plotting a story about two former girlhood friends reuniting after a mysterious rift, and suddenly I saw them going on an adult scavenger hunt together, following a list written by someone who wanted them to reunite. It would be initially awkward and sometimes loopy, but would help them heal old wounds.
KM: No spoiler, but tell us something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket.
AMD: Five of the scavenger hunt clues are physical items and five are Polaroids that Laura and Casey have to take in favorite places from their high school summers.
KM: If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
AMD: I’d spend the day roller-skating with J.B., Laura’s long-lost love. When they’re in high school he works at the old roller rink. He has to wear a silver shirt and run the games—Shoot The Duck, The Dice Game, The Hokey-Pokey. I spent half of my childhood making up skating routines to the Grease and Xanadu soundtracks in my garage in California, so I’m still a pretty mean roller skater.
KM: Tell us a bit about yourself and your path to writing.
AMD: I live in Portland, Oregon with my husband, Mike, my 11-year-old daughter, Miranda, and our rescue tabby cat, Leah Lilikoi McConagall Mason. I went to Journalism school and I’ve worked at a variety of newspapers and magazines up and down the West Coast.
I started writing fiction a few years ago, after I turned 40. I’d always wanted to do it but never pushed through my fears. Then I won this contest and got to fly to the movie premiere of Tiger Eyes and meet Judy Blume, whose books I’ve adored for years. It was the strangest, loveliest turn of events. She was so down-to-earth. It felt like the universe was telling me to stop messing around and write a novel.
KM: Is there a particular book that influenced you the most?
AMD: Jane Eyre. I love a good orphan’s tale.
The Deb Ball will be giving away a signed, finished copy of The Summer List. To enter simply share our post on Facebook or retweet the following:
— The Debutante Ball (@DebutanteBall) June 16, 2018
Amy Mason Doan grew up in Danville, California and now lives in Portland, Oregon.
She’s written for The Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, Forbes, The Orange County Register and other publications. Amy has an M.A. in journalism from Stanford University and a B.A. in English from U.C. Berkeley.