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2013 Debut Author Bash: Meet Mindy McGinnis, author of Not a Drop to Drink (GIVEAWAY)

Debut Authors Bash at yareads.com

Like many readers, I am obsessed with the apocalypse in any form.  I’m pretty sure my obsession began way back when I read The Stand by Stephen King.  Earlier this year, I was introduced to Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis, a post-apocalyptic thriller that asks us to imagine a world where water is scarce and people are willing to kill for it.  And then one day soon after reading it, they were talking about a nonfiction book entitled Water Wars on NPR. It is possible that one day we may be facing a world not unlike the world that McGinnis imagines in Not a Drop to Drink.  So today, as part of the YA Reads 2013 Debut Authors Bash, we are talking with Mindy McGinnis about her debut ya title Not a Drop to Drink.  Stay tuned for a giveaway at the end.

Mindy McGinnis is an author by night and works in a school library in Ohio by day.  She cans her own food, which should come in handy should the apocalypse ever come. She does have a pond in her backyard.  You can read more about her at her blog Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire (where I stole this picture from). Her debut YA novel is Not a Drop to Drink, coming this month from Harper Teen and I totally recommend it, but since my word has less weight than say author Michael Grant, you should know that he also really recommends it: “A brutally beautiful debut, not to be missed.”

About Not a Drop to Drink
In an all too real future, water is scarce and worth dying to protect.  A girl sits on her roof, binoculars in hand, with her mother.  She can not remember a time from before.  All she knows is this: they must be vigilant because there are those who would do anything to steal their water.  But what is she willing to do to protect it?  Lynn will find out when they start to come.  The signs are there, there is smoke on the horizon.  Strangers are on their way.

September from Katherine Tegen books. ISBN: 978006219850

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Yes! I distinctly remember telling the lady who administered our career assessment tests in 8th grade that I wanted to be a writer. Then my results came back and said I’d be a great cop. Or a museum curator.

How did you come to write a YA novel?

Originally I wanted to write for adults. I have four very miserable and horribly written adult manuscripts under my bed. After years of failing at that I looked around one day and realized that as a YA librarian I was surrounded by my audience 40 hours a week and immersed in the market… why WASN’T I writing YA?

What do you hope teen readers take away from your novel?

There are different levels of NOT A DROP TO DRINK. Someone who comes to it looking for an adventurous read with a strong female protagonist will be thrilled, someone who is looking for big questions about what it means to be human and the cons of isolation will be happy too. J

Would you survive a post apocalyptic world like your book is set in? Have any tips for the rest of us?

Read My Earlier Review

The question of whether or not I’d survive is basically asking if I’d be willing to kill someone else in order to ensure my own survival. And, I just don’t know. I don’t think that’s something you can know about yourself until you’re in the situation. Tips? Learn self-defense, know how to grow your own food, and learn methods of purifying water with natural energy – (hint, SODIS method).

What visions of the future have scared you the most?

This one. It’s an entirely plausible scenario. All of the research I did for DRINK told me to be concerned… very concerned.

Here is a true but funny story.  When I lived in Ohio, it turns out that Mindy lived in the town right next to mine.  We never knew each other.  Ironically, we met after I moved to Texas.  Texas is in a drought, has been since I moved here two years ago.  Everytime I see the dry, cracking grown I think of Not a Drop to Drink, so I made this graphic for Mindy.  You can see it and more on her Pinterest page.
Why do you think post apocalyptic fiction is so hot right now?

I think there’s a lot of doubt in the world right now. I feel like people are questioning and resenting the government, corporations, and political figures more than ever. Seeing characters that stand up to “the man” always makes the little guy feel empowered. In my own book, there is no ruling power – it’s all about straight-up survival. And those stories resonate because I think we all wonder if we could live in a situation like that.

What are you reading and loving right now?

THE GIRL OF FIRE & THORNS trilogy by Rae Carson. Good God, she can write.

What’s next for you as a writer?

Right now, mostly promotion for NOT A DROP TO DRINK. It’s my debut, and I’ve had a TON of support from HarperCollins. I’m throwing myself behind the marketing aspect and focusing on that right now.

What book did they make you read in high school that you simply hated? Loved?

Honestly I didn’t care for To Kill A Mockingbird. I truly didn’t understand what the big deal was. I read it again as an adult and was like, “DEAR GOD this book is AMAZING!!” I think in some ways that book is taught too early. A book I loved… Um, I’m a big nerd. I loved The Odyssey.

What IS your favorite drink?

Truly and honestly, it IS water. I’m an athlete and an outdoors girl, and there is NOTHING like cold water when you need a drink.

Mindy McGinnis is generously giving away 5 swag packs to our readers.  In order to enter to win, please follow the Rafflecopter prompt below.  The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and ends Saturday, October 5th.


  1. I love reading about the Apocalypse!

  2. This book is getting such great early reviews! Can't wait to read it.

  3. I am very intrigued by the story in this book. I can't wait for a chance to read it. Thank you!

  4. I LOVED this book! LOVED!

    Thanks for hosting[=

  5. Thank you for hosting me, displaced Ohioan!! 😉

  6. Man, I can't wait to read Not a Drop to Drink. The cover is awesome and the inside seems to be awesome as well. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the book and reading it!

    Great interview. To Kill a Mockingbird really is an amazing book and I'm so glad Mindy read it again as an adult. 🙂

    Thank you for the great giveaway.

  7. Awesome!

  8. Not having water is a very real (and therefore, fascinating) possibility in a post-apocalyptic setting. I know in my state for a while there was a time when one of the towns ran out of water and it had to be shipped in to them from other areas. It was huge news at the time–imagine if there were no towns to ship it in from.

  9. Nice interview

  10. Water is such an important resource that people in the US take for granted, so I think this will definitely add an interesting air of danger and urgency to the events in this book!

  11. I want to read this soon! 😀

  12. Bookaddict31 says

    Looks like a great read!

  13. I can't wait to read this book, I just ordered it yesterday!<3

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