Jason Gurley

By day, I'm a user experience designer; by evenings/weekends, I write novels from my home in Scappoose, Ore. My newest is Awake in the World, published February 2019 by Roaring Brook Press; my previous novel, Eleanor, was published by Crown in 2016 and has since been translated into German, Portuguese, and Turkish. I’m currently working on a new project.

It's a dream, y'all

There are few mail days better than publisher book days. If you've ever had one, you know what I mean. Today's mail day brought a stack of advance reader copies of Awake in the World, my young adult debut novel. An aside: Felicia and Squish often watch little food videos while they eat, and one of their favorite YouTubers recorded herself chowing down on lobster, and uttered: "It's a dream, y'all." Squish repeats this all the time, in the video-lady's Southern drawl, and it's perfect for book mail day. It's a dream, y'all. 

The whole package—cover and interior—was designed by the very talented Aimee Fleck. She did a masterful, masterful job with this book. I'm just floored. 

Awake in the World came to be in a very unexpected way: Connie Hsu, my editor at Roaring Brook, bumped into Eleanor, back when my agent was shopping the novel around to publishers. Though Eleanor went to another publisher, Connie and I were fated to work together again. We began chatting about an idea two summers ago: she brought an idea to the conversation, inspired by a podcast episode that had stuck with her; I'd long ago tucked some notes from that very same episode away as fodder for some future story. I'd never tried to write for young adults, but as it turns out, it's ridiculously fun. I had a first draft in a few months' time, and we've spent the last eighteen months revising it into the book you see in the photos above.  

We're still half a year away from the publication date, of course, but I'm pretty excited to have a few of these in my hands this early. 

One hell of a mail day.

Clear the scene

The books in the drawer