I was lucky enough to be invited to participate on the first loves blog tour for some of Bloomsbury’s newest titles. I was tasked with coming up with a question that all five authors could answer and I’m excited to share with everyone the great author responses I got!
Does writing about young/first love & the associating experiences stir up feelings of your own? What do you think is the hardest aspect to capture so that readers can connect with the story?
Hardest part for me is showing why these two characters should fall for each other. What about them connects and repels? My latest book probably has more “insta love” then anything else I’ve written, but I was still very conscious of the WHY these two are falling for each other. And by the way, the easiest part? Writing the banter. I have to cut pages of banter in my books. I love writing conversation much more than kissing scenes.
Ooh, interesting. The thing that I always come back to is how consuming those feelings were. I love my husband (who I started dating in HS) in this deep but very…secure, steady way now. But, in high school, I loved him in this sometimes-couldn’t-think-straight way. (Don’t get me wrong; I was still a functional person, hardworking student, committed friend, etc.) But I was just…infatuated. It turns out there were very real connections beneath that infatuation. At the time, though…it was so overpowering! I think I always want to capture the newness and excitement but in a realistic way that doesn’t feel like instalove.
Sky’s story in Searching For Sky is very different than my own. She grew up on Island, a deserted island in the South Pacific with River, who at first she views as her best friend and then eventually starts to realize he’s more. When they are rescued and brought back to California, they’re forcibly separated and all she wants is to find her way back to him and their home on Island. When I was in high school, my boyfriend was two years older than me and he left for college four hours away just as I was starting my junior year. So yes, I definitely remember the feelings of separation and anxiety and sadness at being (what felt like at the time) forced apart from the person I was in love with. Eventually we ended up at the same college, and now we’re married, so it all worked out in the end for me, but writing about Sky and River did bring up some of those feelings.
Absolutely. I think that’s one thing I love about writing YA so much. I get to look back on what it was like to have those intense first feelings, and write them in to stories with different characters and situations. I write in first person point of view, so one of the things I’m careful about is portraying my main character’s thoughts and emotions in a realistic way without being eye-rollingly dramatic.
Yes! I’ve been in love with my husband so long, I sometimes forget how it feels to actually FALL for someone for the first time. The flirting, the swooning, the falling, it’s fun to relive it again and again through my characters. As far as the hardest aspect, I think it’s in creating a love interest that the reader will fall for as well. The thing with loving someone is that you can think they are perfect, but they’re really just perfect FOR YOU. So I have to strike a careful balance of giving him strong characteristics that fit my protagonist, AND making sure a reader who isn’t into motocross (YOU WISH), or horror movies (FOOL ME TWICE) or whatnot will still fall in love with him.
Want to visit more stops on the tour? (I know, of course you do!!) Below is the blog schedule to follow along.
Blog Tour Schedule
Addicted Readers 5/6
Anna Reads 5/7
Fic Fare 5/8
Andi’s ABCs 5/9
Gone Pecan (me!) 5/15
A Backwards Story 5/16
Dear Teen Me: Emery 5/19
Dear Teen Me: Lindsey 5/20
Dear Teen Me: Kristin 5/21
Dear Teen Me: Jillian 5/22
Dear Teen Me: Mandy 5/23
UK: Fiction Fascination (Fool Me Twice) 5/26
UK: Book Passion for Life (Wish You Were Italian) 5/27
UK: Bloggers[heart]Books (Searching for Sky) 5/28
AUS: Behind the Pages (Searching for Sky) 5/28
AUS: Fictional Thoughts (Wish You Were Italian) 5/29
AUS: She Known As Jess (Fool Me Twice) 5/30