M.G. Buehrlen: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare Q&A

Posted March 11, 2014 by Sara | Novel Novice 0 Comments

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Today, I’m pleased to present an exclusive Q&A with author M.G. Buehrlen as part of the official blog tour for her new book, The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare, which is in stores now. Learn more about the book and the author below, but first check out our interview:

57 lives of alex wayfareThough set in the present day, 57 LIVES obviously deals a lot with the past. What sort of research did you explore for the historical aspect of this book?

Tons! And then tons more! Actually, a lot of the historical scenes in the book were time periods I had already studied and researched, some in college, some on my own. I chose them in particular because I knew the most about them at the time, and I knew I could really dig in and make those time periods come to life. Now I’m doing even more research to nail the historical periods Alex will be traveling to in Book 2. But that’s OK because I’m a total historyphile. I can’t get enough of it!

How did you choose which parts of history to include in Alex’s past lives?

Not only did I choose points in history I had previously researched, but I chose locations I’ve actually visited. I lived in Chicago for a while, and many of the places mentioned in the book are places I’ve been or worked or lived. I walked those streets myself. Same with rural Missouri and Cincinnati, Ohio. I wanted the reader to really feel like they were there, so I infused my own memories of those places into the narrative to make it feel more real. There’s only so much detail you can include when you’ve never visited a location yourself. You can’t include the smells or the sounds or the exact color of the sunlight (which is different all across the globe) unless you’ve been there and experienced it for yourself.

mg buehrlenAside from writing, you also run the AMAZING website YA Books Central (one of my favorites!) — how do you think being so immersed in the YA lit world helped your writing of 57 LIVES? What (if any) challenges do you think it added to the writing process?

Running a review site like YABC definitely helps me zero in on what kinds of books are selling, as well as which of those books are getting good reader feedback. I can see what readers are railing on over and over again and then avoid those pitfalls in my own writing. It’s extremely helpful! On the other hand, being so immersed in the book world is kind of daunting and can put a damper on creativity. I’m surrounded by authors and books all day, every day. So it starts to seem like everyone’s published a book and getting published isn’t that big of a deal. It isn’t until I talk to someone outside the book world that I realize, hey, getting a book published IS a big deal! I should be super proud of this moment! 🙂

What is next for Alex?

She’s busy adventuring in my draft of Book 2, which isn’t quite finished yet. I’ve got to get a move on it because the book hits shelves Spring 2015. Meep! She’s headed to many more time periods, and she’s about to get smacked with a few more twists she didn’t see coming. The agony!


Favorite decade?

This one. Because that’s when all my dreams came true. *awwwww*

Must-have writing snack?


Favorite Disney movie?

I love so many! But I’d have to say “Robin Hood.”

The beach or the mountains?

Lake Michigan beach, please.

Song that can always get you dancing?


Name 5 things currently on your desk (or in your writing space), and share a photo, if possible

Here’s my YABC desk right naow!

MGB desk(I have the same glass desktop from IKEA!)

Thanks, MG! And here’s more about her book:

One girl. Fifty-seven lives. Endless ways to die.

For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.

Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

About the Author:

When she’s not writing, M.G. moonlights as a web designer and social media/creative director.

She’s the current web ninja lurking behind the hugely popular website YABooksCentral.com,

a social network for YA (and kids!) book lovers. The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare is her debut novel. M.G. lives nestled away in Michigan pines, surrounded by good coffee and good books, with her husband and son and three furbabies. Say hello on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

Connect Online:

Order The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare from these links:

Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Waterstones

Sara | Novel Novice

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