Q&A with Amy Rose Capetta, Author of The Lost Coast

Young adult author Amy Rose Capetta knows how to write engaging, fantastic stories. Her work has earned multiple starred reviews and has even won a Kirkus Best YA Book of the Year (for The Brilliant Death). In fact, her latest release, The Lost Coast, has received a starred review Booklist; they describe it as “a slow-burning, mystical, and romantic character study.”

We caught up with Amy Rose Capetta to learn a little bit more about her and her new (audio)book!


Tell us a little about your book/this book.
The Lost Coast is about a girl named Danny who’s drawn to the redwood forests of Northern California by a spell, which was done by a group of queer teen witches who call themselves the Grays. They believe Danny can help them find their friend, a powerful witch named Imogen who’s gone magically missing from her own body. Instead, Danny finds a boy with a redwood branch through his heart.

This book is a magical mystery, but at its heart it’s about finding your place, your people, and your power. (There’s some serious romance, too!)

Our theme this month is growth. Growing up, what was your favorite (audio)book?
I didn’t have many audiobooks in my life growing up, but I was a theater kid and I was obsessed with the idea of reading and performing books aloud. I wrote scripts and basically made my own audiobook versions of several favorites, including Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery and The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.

Amy Rose Capetta author of The Lost Coast

Author Amy Rose Capetta in the Redwood Forest.

Is there a character or situation that you’ve written about that you feel contributed to your growth personally or professionally?
Writing about so many aspects of queerness and witchy-ness was definitely a recipe for personal growth. These are parts of myself that I’m always exploring. For me, and I think for many folks, it’s not a single moment of discovery or coming out; it’s a continual process of coming into your own. I wanted a story that gives an expansive feeling, leaving room for figuring yourself out more and more as you go. In many ways the process is just as exciting, daunting, and magical as stepping into the woods.

Related to that, what was the most challenging character or scene you wrote in The Lost Coast and why was it a challenge?
The most challenging character to write in The Lost Coast was definitely Imogen. She’s gone missing from her body so we rarely see her personality on the page, yet she’s the center of the story in many ways.

At first, the pieces of her that the reader encounters are little splinters from so many different perspectives. It’s like a shattered mirror with pieces missing. There’s so much mystery around Imogen yet as the book progresses you have to get the full picture of who she is; I didn’t want it to be oversimplified in any way.
It took a while for me to discover what Imogen’s secrets truly were—but when I did, the whole story exploded.

What are you most excited to hear when you listen to your audiobook?
I received my audiobook copies on the eve of the book coming out which was a wonderful way to celebrate! I’m most excited about the dual narrators. This book has point of view sections from Danny and the Grays, but it also has narration by other groups: the students at their high school, the redwoods in the forest, and a group of ravens. There’s something magical about having more than one voice to explore all of these perspectives and what they weave into the story. And I love the idea of Danny’s voice standing alone because Danny feels on the outside of the Grays and their world at first. And then she’s so completely drawn in—just like I hope the listener will be!


Learn more about The Lost Coast and listen to a clip:

The Lost Coast

The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods. Amy Rose Capetta’s tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.