Reynolds holds a degree in English literature from Cleveland State University and has been awarded multiple fellowships, including the diversity award at the New York State Writers Institute at Skidmore College. He has held down many jobs, including, but not limited to, carpet-flooring installer, high-end faucet fixture salesman, intern at NASA Glenn Research Center, night security guard, and — most recently — registered nurse. He now lives and writes full-time in northeast Ohio.
In Opposite of Always, Jack and Kate meet and fall in love immediately at a party, and everything seems perfect until Kate dies. Jack is sent back in time to the moment of their meeting — again and again — to try to prevent her death. Indies Introduce panelists dubbed this YA novel “funny and suspenseful,” (Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop) and “a wonderful love story with hilarity, honesty, and one of the best friendship trifectas ever” (Nichole Cousins, White Birch Books).
Alicia Michielli of Talking Leaves…Books in Buffalo, New York, served on the Indies Introduce panel that selected Reynolds’ book. Here, she asks the author about some of the themes in his debut novel.
Alicia Michielli: Do you or did you have friendships that inspired the ones in the book?
Justin A. Reynolds: My childhood best friends were certainly an inspiration. The way we talked and bantered and supported each other, through all the trials and tribulations of our teen years, will always inform my work.
AM: Do you read your dialogue aloud to make sure it’s both lively and genuine?
JAR: I do! I’m very much about flow and timing in my dialogue, so I definitely read it out loud. I try to make it as authentic as possible, and hearing the language helps achieve that goal.
AM: How do you feel about comparisons of your work to that of other writers?
JAR: I feel great about anything that encourages people to read!
AM: Do you believe time travel is possible?
JAR: I wish I could answer this with a yes, but...I do believe that our ability to move back in time and re-live our stories via memory is an amazing ability. That being said, let’s face it: I’d rather have time-travel.
AM: Do you believe in love at first sight?
JAR: Absolutely! I think there are people out there that, when you see them, you are instantly connected — an undeniable chemistry. This isn’t always a romantic love, though. In fact, more times than not it’s friend-love, which is awesome.
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds (Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062748379, Young Adult, $17.99) On Sale Date: 3/12/2019.
Find out more about the author at justinareynolds.com.
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