Hi friends! I am really, really thrilled to be back today with another blog post in my brand new feature, “A Talk With”!
In case you missed it, “A Talk With” is a brand new feature here on Drizzle & Hurricane Books, where I will invite young adult book authors to chat with me about their upcoming books, share their writing tips and tricks and more!
Today on the blog, I am honored to have the debut author Kara McDowell. Her upcoming book, Just For Clicks, was one of my most anticipated reads of the entire year and, well, all of my expectations were completely met while reading this book. If you’ll have to wait another 24 hours for my actual review, read on to hear about the author’s inspirations, characters and book recommendations!
1. The inspiration from Just For Clicks comes from your own experience as a mommy/lifestyle blogger : how much of Ashley Dixon’s experience and Claire and Poppy’s did you drew from that?
My time blogging was certainly the inspiration for my story, but because my blogging was on a much smaller scale than Ashley’s, and because I quit when my boys were just toddlers, not much of the book is drawn from personal experiences. The story is, however, inspired by many of the famous mommy bloggers and influencers that are popular on social media today.
2. Just For Clicks possesses one of the best , complex and realistic characters and relationships between them, from mother to daughter, to sisters, to romantic relationship. What is your secret to crafting realistic characters and relationships?
Thank you so much! That is such a compliment. I worked really hard to show the ups and downs that naturally come with all close relationships. Claire’s twin sister Poppy is her best friend, but I wanted them to fight like sisters, and sometimes sisters fight dirty, because they know exactly what to say to hurt you the most.
As Claire and Rafael become friends, they’re keeping secrets from each other. It was important to me that they both make mistakes, as all real people do, and that they both know how to apologize when they’re wrong.
The relationship between Claire and her Mom was the easiest for me to write. I’ve been a teenager girl who feels stifled by her Mom, and I’m now a parent who understands how much I love my children. It wasn’t a stretch for me to put myself in both their shoes and feel their emotions.
3. From what I’ve gathered, you always dreamed of being a writer, so I can’t help but be curious… what is one of your strangest book idea you’ve ever had or drafted?
Ooh, that’s a good question. Unfortunately my answer isn’t all that creative! The first book I ever drafted was a dystopian about three teens crossing the Arizona desert without any water. And there was a love triangle! (Of course there was a love triangle.)
4. How did you celebrate your book’s publication and… can we expect more stories from you soon? (I need more! :))
I’m celebrating with a launch party at my local Independent bookstore. And treat! Always treats. I don’t have any book news to share yet, but I’m always writing! Hopefully I’ll be able to share more stories soon!
1. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
There’s hardly anywhere in the world that I don’t want to visit, but Italy is at the top of my list. I would love to see the canals in Venice, the history in Rome, and the architecture in Florence. And Milan! I want to tour the whole country.
2. What’s the latest book you’ve read that you’d recommend?
The Wicked King by Holly Black. Of course, if you’re new to the series, you have to start with The Cruel Prince, which was one of my favorite reads last year. They surprised me in the absolute best way. I cannot count the number of times I gasped while reading!
3. One tv show you could binge-watch forever and ever?
Ahh! I hate having to pick just one, but if you insist, I’ll say Parks & Rec.
4. Can you share one line from your upcoming book, or one of your works, that you’re particularly proud of?
“I’m not ready for him to discover the truth about me.
It’s nice to have a secret. For once, I get to decide what story to tell and when to tell it. Even if that story requires a few lies along the way.”
This line appears early in the book and I love it because it perfectly highlights one of the major conflicts in the book: the divide between Claire’s online persona and her true self.
Thank you so, so much Kara, for taking the time to chat with me about your upcoming book, it was such an honor to have you!! Friends, make sure to read on for more info about the book!
📖 More about Just For Clicks
Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.
Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they’re expected to contribute by building their own brand.
Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as ‘just Claire’? And what should Claire do about Mom’s old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don’t sound like Mom’s perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .
📖 More about the author, Kara McDowell
Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.
Stay tuned for my full review of Just For Clicks, tomorrow on Friday, February 8th!
Do you want to read Just For Clicks? Did you read it already?
If you could pick one place to visit in the world, would you pick Italy just as well? Let me know your thoughts about the interview in comments!