I recently read Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin and absolutely fell in love with the world and the characters. It’s about two childhood friends, Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick, who live in hippie community tucked in the mountains of North Carolina. A series of events bring the two closer, until they find themselves seeking solace in each other. It’s such a beautiful coming-of-age story that portrays friendship and familial love in a breathtaking way. It’s a perfect read for Jandy Nelson fans.
Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren’t particularly close–at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.
But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.
Paintbrush releases July 11 (tomorrow)!!!
Check out my review of Paintbrush here!
I want to thank Blaze Publishing for generously offering me the opportunity to interview Ms Bucchin. So without further ado, here’s my interview with the lovely Hannah Bucchin 😍
- How did you come up with the idea of the Indian Paintbrush Community Village?
This community was largely inspired by place – specifically Asheville, NC and the mountains surrounding it. I currently live in Asheville, and I love the unique culture here – part hippie, part country, all southern. The Indian Paintbrush Community Village for Sustainable Living is a product of my imagination that was inspired by my time in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- Was there an alternate ending for the story?
At one point I was considering an ending where Josie and Mitchell parted ways at the end. However, I quickly abandoned that idea because I’m sucker for a happy ending. I couldn’t do that to my characters!
- Do you think Cord and Leah would’ve pulled it off? Would you please write a book about them if you think they would? Pretty please?
You’re not the first reader to ask me that! When I started writing Paintbrush I had absolutely no plans or ideas to get Cord and Leah together. But the more I kept writing, the more I realized that they would actually be pretty funny together. Still, I have no immediate plans to write a book about them…but I never say never.
- Do you think your book has a lesson or a moral of some sorts?
I’m not sure Paintbrush has a distinct lesson or moral, but it definitely has a theme. I’ve always struggled between my love for adventure and travel and my love for my home and family. I can never decide if I want to be out exploring the world or curled up on the couch with a book. Finding this balance – between staying connected to your home and your roots while still pushing your limits and finding yourself – was a major theme that I tried to explore throughout Paintbrush. I’m not sure the book gives a right or wrong answer, though – I hope each reader finds their own interpretation!
- Any favorite YA authors?
So many! In high school I loved Judy Blume, Ann Brashares, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (The Alice Books!), and Sarah Dessen. Recently I’ve loved everything Rainbow Rowell has written, as well as Nicola Yoon, Jandy Nelson, and Jeff Zentner. I’m not usually a big fantasy reader, but Sarah J Maas is amazing.
- I know Paintbrush hasn’t even been published yet, but is there something you’re working on at the moment?
I can’t reveal too much detail now, but my current WIP takes place in a small town on the coast of Maine and follows the story of two very different sisters as they try to fix their broken relationship over the course of a summer.
- Do you put yourself in your characters at all? If so, which character from Paintbrush do you see yourself in the most?
Josie isn’t exactly based on me, but she’s definitely the character I see myself in the most. Many of the feelings she struggles with throughout the story (anxiety about her future, apprehension about falling in love, appreciation for her home) were heavily influenced by moments in my own life.
- Would you consider writing books outside the YA genre? Like fantasy, new adult…
Maybe someday! Contemporary YA is the genre that feels most genuinely and truly me, but I never rule anything out. Especially fantasy – I love the idea of building a brand new world.
- What inspired you to start writing? Have you always known you’d become an author?
I’ve been writing since the first grade! I’m not sure I’ve always known I’d be an author, but I’ve always hoped. My love of writing started as a direct result of my love for reading. I loved the stories I read so much that I wanted to create stories, too.
- If you could do a collaboration with any author you want, who would it be?
So hard to pick. I love the spirit and soul of Jandy Nelson’s writing, the humor and wit in John Green’s writing, Rainbow Rowell’s awesome use of parentheses, the feelings of nostalgia Sarah Dessen creates. I’d be lucky to collaborate with any of them!
Hannah Bucchin has spent her life falling in love with beautiful places, both real and fictional. She grew up in charming Bethlehem, PA, went to college in sunny Chapel Hill, NC, spent a summer studying wildlife in Tanzania, volunteered on organic farms across New Zealand, and hiked all over Acadia National Park in Maine. When not writing, reading, or adventuring, she likes to daydream about the dog she’ll adopt someday, listen to music from the sixties, and exchange ridiculous texts with her parents and siblings.