THE SUMMER LIST by Amy Mason Doan Interview & Giveaway





PopSugar calls Amy Mason Doan’s debut novel, THE SUMMER LIST (GraydonHouse) one of the “best new books to put in your beach bag.” Time to grab a nice cool beverage.

Laura and Casey were once inseparable: as they floated on their backs in the sunlit lake, as they dreamed about the future under starry skies, and as they teamed up for the wild scavenger hunts in their small California lakeside town. Until one summer night, when a shocking betrayal sent Laura running through the pines, down the dock, and into a new life, leaving Casey and a first love in her wake.

But the past is impossible to escape, and now, after seventeen years away, Laura is pulled home and into a reunion with Casey she can’t resist—one last scavenger hunt. With a twist: this time, the list of clues leads to the settings of their most cherished summer memories. From glistening Jade Cove to the vintage skating rink, each step they take becomes a bittersweet reminder of the friendship they once shared. But just as the game brings Laura and Casey back together, the clues unravel a stunning secret that threatens to tear them apart…

THE SUMMER LIST is a coming of age story that includes all the elements readers hope to find in a novel, fabulous characters, first love and lasting female friendships. It has a kind of “back when…” feel.


We got to ask Amy some questions about her writing and she was gracious to share.

Your inspiration as a writer? Other writing that moves me, song lyrics, artwork, a story someone shares from their childhood. Sometimes it’s a memory of something from my childhood that I can’t seem to shake. I’ve stored up a lot of ideas from my decades as a journalist, interviewing all sorts of people. I’m a magpie, like most writers. I’m always collecting bright bits to use later.

What are you reading now? I just started Curtis Sittenfeld’s short story collection, YOU THINK IT, I’LL SAY IT, and love it. It’s smart and funny and honest.

Explain the enduring interest in mother-daughter relationships in novels. That relationship is so intense. It can define us, whether it’s good, bad, or nonexistent. In THE SUMMER LIST, my main characters live right across the lake from each other—they’re close enough to swim back and forth. And their mothers could not be more different. Laura’s mother is conservative and rigid. She does her baking on Monday and her washing on Tuesday. Across the water, in this funky old summer kids’ cabin called “The Shipwreck,” Laura’s best friend Casey lives with her free-spirited, young single mom. She spins from one hobby to another, and doesn’t judge anyone, and Laura thinks life would be so much better if only she had that mother instead. But would it?

What is it about plot lines that include secrets that attract readers? One of my writing teachers asked our class a few years ago—Why do people read novels? And we all volunteered these complicated answers. Because we want to see ourselves in the story. Because we enjoy exquisitely-crafted language. To escape into another world. And of course all of those are part of it. But nobody said the most obvious thing—Because we want to know what happens next. When there’s a secret, readers want to uncover it. We need to keep going. In THE SUMMER LIST, there are several secrets and twists. The most obvious one is that we don’t know for a long time why Laura and Casey’s friendship ended after high school. And there are other secrets buried deeper in the past. So it’s a novel that will keep readers guessing from page one. But I think the secrets are true to the story, and clues are seeded early on, which makes the “reveals” more satisfying. I want readers to know and care about my characters, so that they feel what Laura and Casey do when they get the answers at the end.

Tell us something about you that would surprise readers. My favorite place to write is in my daughter’s closet. I drag her ratty old beanbag chair in there and shut the door and turn out the light, so it’s like a little sensory-deprivation chamber. I used to fantasize about being a novelist and working at some massive antique desk with a cut-glass vase of flowers on it, maybe a sweeping view of the sea. But when I write I need to tune everything else out except the world of the book.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Amy Mason Doan

AMY MASON DOAN earned a BA in English from UC Berkeley and an MA in journalism from Stanford University, and has written for The Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle, and Forbes, among other publications. She grew up in Danville, California, and now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and daughter. The Summer List is her first novel.

Connect with Amy

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Graydon House, we have one copy of THE SUMMER LIST to giveaway. Just tell us what you love most about summer. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAYS: USA only please

Posted in Uncategorized

36 thoughts on “THE SUMMER LIST by Amy Mason Doan Interview & Giveaway

  1. My favorite thing about summer is having some time to travel. I love it! I’m a full time teacher, so I take advantage of this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What I love most about summer is not having to wear a sweater or a jacket. The garden is filled with color and scents. The sounds of birds bring me joy. Abundance of berries and other fruits in season are enjoyable. I’m happiest when it’s between 60 to 80 degrees. When it gets to upper 90s and triple digits, I’m wishing for fall weather. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love everything about summer, but especially the day my youngest moves back to college, taking his laundry with him


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I live in Florida, summer springs eternal down here. What I do notice and love is the summer vibe in the air, when we tend to become more relaxed and carefree. We spend more time at the pool or the shore, letting our melted Popsicles run down our hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Everything just looks so much prettier in the Summer. I’m from Ireland and it is a beautiful place to live.


  6. The thing that I love most about summer is the more relaxed approach to life. Spending time with my family at the beach with a good book!


  7. I love everything about summer since it is my favorite season. The heat which is soothing, the long days and balmy evenings perfect for walks and enjoying the gorgeous area. Travel to beaches, and new places.


  8. I love watching my son play baseball and going on family outings and enjoying theme parks and water parks. Other than that my really favorite part of summer is when it’s over because I’m not a fan of the heat lol


  9. What I love about summer is being able to be outside in the sunshine, watching my garden grow, all the fresh fruits and vegetables. Longer days and more time for reading. Thank you for the chance.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.