Before I go any further if you want to win an e-copy of this YA-Romance all you have to do is drop a comment below this post and I will randomly draw a winner from the names on November 22! ** Canada Only! **
You have two opportunities to enter – on this Q&A with the author or on my earlier post where I Reviewed Kissing Frogs.
Now back to the matter at hand: Kissing Frogs is a contemporary YA Romance story and I had the chance to ask Alisha Sevigny a few questions as part of this Blog Tour:
- The set-up of Jess’ preferred life is subtle but easy to imagine from all your description – how did you capture the ambiance (such as it is) of high school?
I literally just imagined myself back in my old high school. Despite what the calendar says, it really doesn’t feel all that long ago! I put myself back in front of my locker, pictured Miles as my boyfriend and went from there.
- Lol; maybe its because I don’t LIKE to imagine myself back in high school that I am so in awe of your ability to do that! I love that Jess applies her ‘book smarts’ to becoming popular – does that strategy come from personal experience?
Not really. I got good grades, had some good friends, but never considered myself as particularly “popular”. I feel like I came into my own in university, where I was free to be who I really was, if that makes sense. In high school you’re assigned these roles and it’s easy to find yourself playing that part, even if it’s not who you really are. That’s one of the messages in the book, that you shouldn’t let others define you.
3. Amen sister. I love that quote by the way: “In high school you’re assigned these roles,” it is so true. Now, everyone has that boy who bugged them in middle school as a way to communicate that they liked you – how did you take on writing that story arc specifically? Moving Travis from annoyance to interest?
This took several rewrites to strike the right balance of moving Travis from annoying to possible love interest. In previous drafts, he was a bit more of a pain in Jess’s behind, and they were more antagonistic towards each other. However after one of my early draft readers commented, “I have a hard time picturing these two together,” I decided to soften both characters and have them start to get along a bit earlier in the book.
- I think it worked! Now, I feel like you’re sneaking a bunch of educational information about animals, conservation and Panama into the pages of this book – plan or nice side effect?
A bit of both! I wanted to really give the reader a feel for Panama. Personally, I love reading books that take place in exotic locales. It’s like traveling from the comfort of your couch (or wherever you read). The conservation information is a key component of the story but I wanted to incorporate it in a way where it didn’t detract from a fun read. Anything that was included, I made sure it served the story. I actually ended up cutting a lot of description as well as a few scenes that didn’t do so. For example, there was a scene when the kids go into Panama City to Casco Viejo (the funky historical district) and even check out the Panama Canal, but I cut it because in the end it wasn’t entirely necessary to the story.
- Well a section I am so glad you didn’t cut was your epilogue — it was NECESSARY. I was actually sort of freaking out when the book ended without telling us if Jess made it into Berkeley. Why did you choose to do it as an epilogue rather than wrapping it into the last chapter of the book?
Honestly, it just felt right to have it as an epilogue. Originally, the whole book took place in Panama (except that final scene) so it felt like it was a bit removed from the story, which I felt had been tied up on another continent. In addition, it hints at a sequel, and an epilogue is a good place to do that.