Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana [Interview]

For anyone looking for a nostalgia Disney family vacation, this is where you can find it. This book takes Haley where she is getting dragged on a family trip, to Disney’s Fort Wilderness and somehow like in Hot Tub Time machine -time travel, minus the hot tub…I think- she winds up at Fort Wilderness in the year 1982. What takes place you ask? Haley is frantically trying to get back to her parents in the present time while running into them in the past, and it always helps to find romance in the past too. Where will her heart want to stay most?

This definitely sounds like a book I would read, and yeah I’m going to buy it (once college books have been taken care of first!)

Having the opportunity to sit down with Gaby Triana at the Miami Book Fair International 2014 at MDC’s Wolfson campus was truly a blast. She is such a wonderfully nice person, so easy to talk with it almost feels like she’s one of my girl-friends. Gaby Triana is a young adult author as well as a ghost writer to pay the bills, she was a middle school teacher until 2002. She graduated from FIU & Nova University with a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. Aside form writing full-time she works with SCBWI as the Co-Regional Adviser. She lives in Phoenix Arizona with her family.


Aside from going to University, you also opened a bakery at one point?
“Yeah, I’ve kind of been all over the place as a matter of fact. I’d always been baking my whole life, in 2010 I opened a bakery for three years called ‘Cakes by Gaby.’ We did a lot of high profile cakes, one for Pit Bulls 30th birthday….baby gender revealing cakes, wedding cakes…I tried it for three years, I thought if this hopefully takes off I could have someone else take over, or sell the business…”

You are here at the Book Fair talking about our new book Summer of Yesterday, what can you tell me about it?
“Its my fifth young adult novel, released in June published by Simon & Schuster for teens. Its a fun summer book, it’s a fun quick beech read. At Disney World’s camp Wildness, she’s with her family over the fourth of July weekend and she would rather be with her friends but her families making her go since she’s recovering from a seizure and her families keeping an eye on her. She waders off and stumbles onto River Country, with a group of kids. She starts to have another seizure, she wakes up from it to discover shes still at Fort Wilderness but it’s now 1982, 32 years in the past! There’s some love to be had but the dilemma is still how to get home to her worried parents or stay in the 80s with a boy she hardly knows… Lots of fun 80s references, the clothes and its Disney of yesteryear.”

I asked about her past students, “I do keep in touch with my past students, who are now in middle school and high school. Some of them have read it, I keep in touch through twitter and Facebook, many of them were my earliest test subjects. I made sure not to tell them it was mine though, to keep it from being biased. All my books are young adults, early high school the characters all range from 15-18.”

How did you get into writing, did you always enjoy it?
“I [have] always loved to write, from as early as 3rd grade…they told me I was going to be an author when I grew up. In middle school and high school I would submit lots of writing and [relieve] lots of awards and get first prize at the Book Fair and the Youth Fair…I was always into it, I didn’t write my first book until I was 24, I was teaching.”

Gaby Triana is truly, a wonderful woman who is actively in love with her work at The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is a dedicated mother to her children while writing full-time. While she is away from her family on book tours or traveling for work she always speaks fondly of missing her family during her travels. She is genuinely a nice woman, very easy to talk to and would make a fast friend with her smile. I’d like to thank Gaby for taking the time to sit with me at the 31st annual Miami Book Fair International, at MDC Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami, FL.


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