Today I’m going to talk about the swoon-worthy novel Save the Date by Morgan Matson. This was the second Matson book I read, and it was such a sweet read. I found the characters so relatable, and I loved the Grant family so much! If you wanted to know more of my thoughts on this book, be sure to check out my review. I can’t wait for you to read this interview I did with Morgan!
A little about Morgan:
Morgan Matson was born in New York City and grew up there and in Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College as a theater major, but halfway through, switched her focus to writing and never looked back. She received an MFA in Writing for Children from the New School, and then a second MFA in Screenwriting from USC.
She is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, all published by Simon & Schuster.
Want to know more about Save the Date? Here’ the synopsis!
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
Hi, Morgan!! Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me about Save the Date. I can’t wait for everyone else to read it. It was such a fun read!
To start things off, why don’t you start by describing your book in 10 words or less.
Okay, I’ll give it a shot! I don’t write short books, so brevity is always a challenge for me. But how about this:
Wedding disaster, little sister, cute boys, unexpected dog, happy ending?
Perfect!! Weddings are so much fun. What made you want to write about one?
Aren’t they? I feel like there’s so much inherent drama in a wedding! All the family members coming together, and people from two different families joining up. I’ve never been to a wedding where there wasn’t at least one last minute crisis, and so I thought it would be a great setting for a novel. And I also thought it would be fun to write about a wedding not from the POV of the bride or of a planner, but the younger sister, who’s both a part of the wedding and seeing it from the outside. It let me have my (wedding) cake and eat it too!
Charlie’s sister’s wedding goes through quite a few classic wedding disasters. What was the most fun one to write about?
I think the most fun one to write about was the decorations mishap. I thought to myself, what would be the worst event to have your wedding decorations mixed up with? And a nine-year-old’s Australia-themed birthday party seemed to be just the perfect amount of terrible. Nobody wants a wedding with koala decorations!
Yes! That scene was hilarious!! Who doesn’t love koalas anyway 🙂 Do you have a favorite part of a wedding (both fictional and in real life)?
I have two favorite parts of any wedding. The first is the moment when the officiant asks if anyone knows a reason why the couple should not be married, to speak now. The part of me that loves drama is always holding my breath at that moment, even though I’ve never been to a wedding where anyone has ever said anything. But we’ve all seen so many movies and TV shows that we’re primed for high drama at that moment!
And my other favorite is the couples’ first dance. It always makes me well up! I love that moment when these two people, who’ve been through this whole ceremony together, are now able to exhale and dance together as a married couple for the first time ever. In every wedding, you can kind of see the couple look at each other like, “We did it! We’re married!” It’s just my favorite moment.
The dance is so touching! I love it too. I loved the Grant family! They reminded me of mine. Do you have a lot of siblings too? Does the Grant family remind you of your family?
Oh, I’m so glad you liked them! They were such a blast to write. I do not have a lot of siblings – I have just one older brother, so we were a smaller family. But maybe because of that, I always wanted a ton of siblings and a big family. I was even jealous of my friends who had three siblings in their families – it just seemed like there was always more going on!
So the Grant family was more of what I’d imagine a big family to be – lots of coming and going and drama and fights and laughter. I wrote the big family that I always wanted to have! But of course, bits of my family made it in there too – the little sayings and rituals that are totally normal to your family that nobody else understands. My mom, like Mr. Grant, is a really accomplished gardener, so that’s where that came from. And parts of the Grant house, especially the front hall and the kitchen, were based on my family’s home in Connecticut.
I also noticed a lot of Easter eggs hiding within your book. How many did you include? What was your favorite part of writing them in?
Good eye! I love including little Easter eggs in my book – it’s one of my favorite parts of writing a new book, getting to check in with characters from other books. My favorite part was probably getting a bunch of characters from Unexpected Everything in there, especially because in the past, many of my Easter eggs have just been passing references or little hints. When I saw a way to actually have these characters engage with the Grants, in a way that didn’t feel forced, I got really excited. I felt like I actually got to reconnect with the characters from Unexpected Everything, and catch everyone up on what they’d been up to.
There’s also a pretty quick reference to Amy from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, and most of my books now have had a long-running reference to something first set up in Second Chance Summer, and it pops up again here too.
Charlie struggles a lot with change throughout the book, whether it be moving houses or choosing which school to go to in the fall. Is this something you struggle with yourself? How did your own experience help you shape Charlie’s?
This trait, of struggling with change, is absolutely something that Charlie and I both share. I hate change, and have ever since I was little. And Charlie’s feeling regarding going to college in the fall – her ambivalence about it – was my exact same feeling. All my friends were so excited to be going to college and I just didn’t feel that way. It was like I could sense that what we’d had during our high school years was going to be very different very soon and I just wanted to hold onto it a little longer rather than rushing onto the next chapter. But like Charlie, I soon realized that life moves only forward and if you can (it’s hard to do) it’s better to think of change like an exciting adventure rather than something to be dreaded.
But since I had this feeling that I hadn’t seen expressed much in books or movies, I wanted to give this to Charlie – and maybe someone else who feels this same way will see their feelings reflected!
I love this! Thank you so much for your time!
Big shout out to Morgan for being amazing! Her interview was awesome, and I had so much fun coming up with questions. Be sure to check out Save the Date if you haven’t already.