July 25, 2016

Interview with Kristin Rae, Author of What You Always Wanted

The Author

Lover of books, music, movies, crafty things, and chocolate. My contemporary YA novels WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN, and WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED are out now from Bloomsbury. Represented by Marietta Zacker of the Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.

The Books

The summer before senior year of high school. It’s supposed to be one of the biggest summers of her life, but Pippa is headed to an art program she has no interest in. The one saving grace is it’s in Italy. And when the opportunity strikes, she decides to ditch the program and travel Italy accomplishing her own list of goals. Things like swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, eating a whole pizza in one sitting…and falling in love with an Italian boy!

As she explores the famous cities of Rome and Pompeii, Pippa finds herself falling for two boys: a local guy she knows is nothing but trouble and a cute American archaeology student who keeps disappearing and reappearing at the strangest moments. Will Pippa find her true love before her parents find out the truth about her summer program?

Theatre girl Maddie Brooks has always had high standards for guys. But she has yet to find one who can live up to the classic Hollywood heartthrobs, especially the dreamy song-and-dance man Gene Kelly. When Maddie begins to carpool with Jesse Morales, her new neighbor and star pitcher of the baseball team, she’s struck by his wit, good looks, and love for his family—but a guy so into sports is definitely not her style. Then Maddie discovers that Jesse was raised as a dancer and still practices in the community theatre’s dance studio to keep in shape. Perhaps her perfect dream guy exists after all! But when it becomes clear that baseball—not dance—is Jesse’s passion, can Maddie find a way to let her dream guy go and appreciate the charms of the amazing guy in front of her?

The Interview

Emma: What's your favorite part of writing contemporary YA fiction?
Kristin: I love writing the emotional stuff that comes with crushes and first loves and disappointments and new friendships and hard mother-daughter conversations. 

Emma: What would happen if Pippa and Maddie hung out?
Kristin: I think Pippa would enjoy taking Maddie out for a Chiara style makeover and for-fun photoshoot, then they'd watch classic movies and eat cupcakes (yellow cake with chocolate frosting). 

Emma: I love Darren and Jesse. What's your secret for creating such swoonworthy boys?
Kristin: Thank you! I try not to depend entirely on looks for the attraction. Obviously my MC is going to find the love interest appealing, but there should be more to them. A swoon-worthy boy should make you laugh, and make you think about things you may not normally think about. I like them to have their own moments of realistic awkwardness too. And, like Pippa, I like the good boys. :) 

Emma: Where would you love to travel and what would you do?
Kristin: I've been fortunate to travel to some great places already including Italy, Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, and various other beautiful places in the US, but I'd love to see Scotland and real castles, England and all the famous movie and mini-series shooting locations (like Bath!), Canada (anywhere!), and I'd always go back to Italy. 

Emma: What's the best part of traveling?
Kristin: I'm a total tourist when I travel. I take a million pictures, even of random little details because I find everything inspiring with a potential story behind it. And I eat ALL THE FOOD. I'm just fascinated with the idea of traveling. How we can wake up in our own bed and fall asleep that same night somewhere completely different! We're very spoiled by modern transportation. 

Emma: In honor of Maddie, classic movies or live theater?
Kristin: Depends on my mood (and the money in my wallet). 

Emma: If Maddie and/or Pippa were putting together summer playlists, what artists would they likely include?
Kristin: Maddie would load that playlist with Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and Ella Fitzgerald. Pippa listens to artists like Mindy Gledhill, Eisley, Sucré, The Honey Trees, Colbie Caillat, Copeland, The Civil Wars, and Joy Williams' solo stuff. 

Emma: What are some YA titles you'd love to recommend?
Kristin: The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis, The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski, Map to the Stars by Jen Malone, Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan
Emma: I hadn't heard of The Sweetest Thing before, and I just added it to my TBR list!

Emma: And now my standard question: what's your favorite fairytale and why?
Kristin: Oh wow, that's hard! I'm such a Disney child, so their adaptations are what come to mind first. And considering when I was in second grade I thought I was going to turn into a mermaid and have to be carried around in a tank of water for the rest of my life, I'll say The Little Mermaid. 

You can find Kristin and her books at the links below:
Kristin's website: http://www.kristinrae.com/
Wish You Were Italian at Read Between the Lynes: http://www.readbetweenthelynes.com/book/9781619632868
What You Always Wanted at Read Between the Lynes: http://www.readbetweenthelynes.com/book/9781619633452

1 comment:

  1. I've only read What You Always Wanted so far, but Copeland, Eisley, Sucre, and The Honey Trees are some of my favorite artists so it looks like I need to pick up Wish You Were Italian asap.


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