Alyson Derrick on her stunning debut solo novel, Forget Me Not

"It will hopefully smash your heart to pieces and then put it back together again."


Heart shattering, honest and ultimately hopeful, Alyson Derrick’s new YA novel, Forget Me Not, is a stunning story of the true strength of love and finding your way back to someone you thought lost. Forget Me Not belongs to that special group of books that stick with you long after reading and we’re thrilled to have had the chance to talk to Alyson all about how it came to be.

Hi Alyson! It’s such a pleasure to get to chat to you today about the release of your gorgeous solo debut novel, Forget Me Not. For readers not yet acquainted with its premise, what’s one thing you would like them to know about it before reading?

It will hopefully smash your heart to pieces and then put it back together again.

Can you tell us a little about what inspired the story of Forget Me Not?

The town that I grew up in was a huge inspiration. I think Wyatt plays a really important role within the story. Stevie has a real love/hate relationship with this conservative, very rural town that she’s grown up in. And I think I shared a lot of those feeling toward my own hometown when I was Stevie’s age.

Are there any elements of the story that changed between the moment of inspiration and the final edit?

Haha well, for starters, when I first thought up the story, Stevie wasn’t going to survive past chapter 6! It would’ve been a totally different book, and I’m so so SO glad I decided against it.


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Forget Me Not is devastating at times and yet also incredibly hopeful and heart-warming. I can imagine it must have been somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster to write? Are there any scenes that stand out to you as ones that were particularly enjoyable or difficult to write?

Actually, I found that I got really emotional writing the scene where Stevie goes to Dairy Queen with her parents. I mention Carol King in that scene and it just made me super nostalgic for the days when my dad and I would listen to his Carol King cd on a loop.

Forget Me Not is the first book you’ve written on your own, having previously written with your wife. How did the writing experience differ and were there any challenges or perks of solo publishing that surprised you along the way?

It’s definitely a little more pressure! Like if I mess something up, it’s all on me. But luckily my writing partner lives in the same house and is always available for a quick workshop sesh! On the other hand, though, I’ve always been someone who doesn’t typically jive with group projects. So, it was nice with this book to be able to make all my own creative decisions.

Are there any sapphic YA titles you’ve read recently or can’t wait to read that you’d like to use this moment as an opportunity to shout about?

Ooooo. Honestly, the final draft of Rachael’s next book is sitting on my nightstand and I have not been able to read it yet! But I am STOKED. Pride & Prejudice & Pittsburgh coming August 2023!!!

Finally, do you currently have any projects in the works and if so, can you give us any hints as to what we can expect next from your incredible writing?

I am working on something, but I can’t talk about it yet. Sorry!

Get your copy of Forget Me Not by Alyson Derrick here.

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