Why did you name your main character (in If I Stay) Mia? Is there a story behind it?
There is a story behind it. In the original draft of If I Stay, Mia's name was not mentioned until about 40 pages in, when the social worker says it. So I was already well into the story before I had to name her.
I decided to call her Mia because it was already clear that the story was about music and about death and about the Pacific Northwest, and it reminded me of the musician Mia Zapata, who'd been the lead singer of a Seattle band called The Gits. Zapata and The Gits had been getting a lot of buzz—and then she was murdered. The case remain unsolved for a decade. Anyhow, I named my Mia for that Mia.