• The Book Goat

Jennifer Camiccia | The Memory Keeper

The Memory Keeper

by Jennifer Camiccia

All Lulu Carter wants is to be seen. But her parents are lost in their own worlds, and Lulu has learned the hard way that having something as rare as HSAM—the ability to remember almost every single moment in her life—won’t make you popular in school.

At least Lulu has Gram, who knows the truth about Lulu’s memory and loves her all the more for it. But Gram has started becoming absentminded, and the more lost she gets, the more she depends on Lulu…until Lulu realizes her memory holds the very key to fixing Gram’s forgetfulness. Once Lulu learns that trauma can cause amnesia, all she needs to do to cure Gram is hunt down that one painful moment in Gram’s life.

With her friends Olivia and Max, Lulu digs into Gram’s mysterious past. But they soon realize some secrets should stay buried, and Lulu wonders if she ever knew Gram at all. It’s up to Lulu to uncover the truth before the only person who truly sees her slips away.

October 15th, 2019

Introduce yourself and your debut novel!

My name is Jennifer Camiccia and my debut Middle Grade novel is The Memory Keeper out October 15.

What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?

How many incredibly talented writers I’ve had the honor to debut with.

Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!

I’m going to give a shout out to my publishing sibling, Cory Leonardo, and her book The Simple Art of Flying. I loved this book about a cranky parrot and the people and animals in his life.

How long did it take you to write this book?

I had the idea for a couple of years before I wrote the first chapter and the ending. After that, I let it sit for about a year while I finished a YA book. But this story wouldn’t leave me alone so I finally decided to finish it—and that took about four months.

What’s a cool thing about your book that isn’t in the blurb?

Each chapter begins with a tidbit about the brain that ties into the main story.

Describe your main character in 3 words.

Tenacious, loyal, and curious.

What advice would you give to a new writer?

To join a writing group and find critique partners as soon as possible. I really wish I’d done that sooner. You can’t write in a bubble— feedback is necessary for your writing to improve.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

I think of the characters first. I’m more of a plantser than a plotter, and I really enjoy allowing the characters guide the story. I like to do the exercises in Story Genius to help me get the backstory of a character so I can understand why they might react a certain way. It also helps me stay consistent with their actions.

How do you select character names?

Baby name websites or I get them from television or movie characters.

What book or author has most influenced your own writing?

I love so many authors but for middle grade I’d have to say Rebecca Stead. When You Reach me is one of my favorite books of all time. I also love the lyrical and emotional way Jandy Nelson writes.

What are two of your favorite covers of all time?

This question took me such a long time, and I changed my answer four times. There are so many beautiful covers lately, but if I can only pick two: 1) Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman and 2) The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

Share a playlist!

1) Piano Man by Billie Joel

2) White Tiger by Izzy Bizu

3) Take on Me by aha

4) Under Pressure by David Bowie and Queen

5) Brother by Kodaline

6) Never Be The Same by Camila Cabelo

7) Genius by LSD

8) Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw

9) Eternal Flame by The Bangles

Share a picture of your favorite place!

Thanks for interviewing, Jennifer! Your book sounds so sweet and beautiful, and I can't wait to read it on 10/15/19!




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