Hi friends! Another week, another Talk With and today, I’m very excited to chat with a wonderful debut author whose book I LOVED, yay!!
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!
Kristina Forest’s upcoming book, I Wanna Be Where You Are, is a little gem and the diverse romcom we’ve all been waiting for. Today, I’m very, very excited to chat with the author about her debut, her writing, dancing, music and more, so keep on reading!
1. How does it feel to be a debut author? What are some things that surprised you about this entire publishing adventure?
Being a debut author is really exciting. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, so it still feels a little surreal that I have an actual book coming out soon.
I work in publishing, so there isn’t much that surprised me about the adventure overall. In most cases, I knew what to expect.
2. I Wanna Be Where You Are is a contemporary lover’s dream (me!!) and so many other young people’s dream, too, to see themselves featured and represented through your diverse cast of main characters. What inspired you to write this story in particular and is there any moment where you felt like this story was “it”, the one that would be published?
I really just wanted to write the story I didn’t have as a teen myself. I wanted to see a Black girl follow her dreams, have an adventure and fall in love.
After I graduated from my Creative Writing MFA program, I knew I wanted to seriously give a shot to querying and becoming published. I’d come up with three different book ideas, and I sat down and decided which one I wanted to move forward with. Ultimately, I chose I Wanna Be Where You Are, which at the time was called The Pointe Of Everything, because I felt like it was the most on brand for me: romantic, commercial, and lots of heart. It also seemed like it would be the most fun to draft.
3. Dancing is a big part of your debut book and, from what I’ve gathered, is / was also a big part of your life. Were you inspired by your dancing experience when you wrote this book particularly? How did your own experience with dancing shaped Chloe’s story?
I knew that I wanted Chloe to have a creative passion, and following this passion would be critical for her. I’d gone through a few different options (pianist, musician, etc), but I would have to do research for those passions, and I don’t like to do a lot of research. (It was one of my least favorite things about school). I started dancing when I was eight years old, so it felt like a natural decision to make Chloe a dancer as well.
Chloe’s experience with ballet definitely differs from my own experience. Chloe is pre-professional, which means she has ballet almost every day. I only had ballet a few times a week, and once I became a senior in high school, I knew I didn’t want to pursue ballet professionally. However, sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I did stick with ballet. I guess that also inspired Chloe’s story as well.
4. Can you share with us some songs that would be on your I Wanna Be Where You Are playlist?
There’s a playlist at the end of the book, actually! Also, Chloe makes lots of playlists for different things: dancing, driving, cleaning her room, deep conditioning her hair. She’s constantly listening to music. Here are some of the songs I listened to while drafting:
5. Is there anything you can tell us about a potential upcoming book 2 ?
I’m afraid I can’t say too much about it at this point! But I can say I’m currently working hard on the draft, and that it will be another love story. 🙂
1. Are there any fellow #novel19s and debuts that you really loved and would like everyone to read?
Yes! I’ve read and loved HOT DOG GIRL by Jennifer Dugan (April 30th), NOCTURNA by Maya Motayne (May 7th), and COLOR ME IN by Natasha Diaz (August 20th).
2. What would be your dream road-trip like? Where would you go? 🙂
I’d really like to take a roadtrip through Europe. Or maybe Greece. Somewhere abroad.
3. Can you share one line of I Wanna Be Where You Are with us?
Of course! Here’s the opening line:
“Here’s something you should know about me: I’m a terrible daughter.”
Thank you so, SO much for taking the time to chat with me about your upcoming book, Kristina! I really hope this all made you very, very impatient to read and support the author’s debut, trust me, it is absolutely brilliant and it releases on June 4th!
📖 More about I Wanna Be Where You Are
When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast―two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.
Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.
🎁 Preorder I Wanna Be Where You Are! (US only)
If you preorder I Wanna Be Where You Are, you can receive all of these absolutely ADORABLE swag:
- 1 Chloe and Eli 5×7 print (original art by Alex Cabal)
- 1 Chloe enamel pin (designed by Alex Cabal)
- 1 Bookmark (designed by Diana Sousa)
You can also make a recommendation for purchase at your library and receive a Chloe and Eli print, as well as a bookmark!
This campaign is open for US only and opened until June, 11th, 2019. More information here.
📖 More about the author, Kristina Forest
Kristina Forest loves to dance and thought one day she’d be a choreographer. But then she decided she loved writing more. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Children at The New School and works in children’s books publishing. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with two huge bookshelves. I Wanna Be Where You Are is her first novel.
Find Kristina Forest on:
Do you want to read I Wanna Be Where You Are? Did you read it already?
What are some of your favorite romances? Let me know your thoughts and recommendations in comments!