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Well, I’m just full of Bloghop goodness this week, aren’t I? This is the last one, I promise, but what can I say? I love talking about my own writing and I love Jani Grey, who tagged me (not at alllll under duress, except maybe), so here’s my Next Big Thing! (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.)

And yes, I know you’re supposed to do this for a finished ms, but I’m gonna be a bit of a Bloghop rebel and use it for my current WIP instead!

What is the working title of your book?

JUST VISITING

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I for real do not remember. I wish I did. I don’t even know what made me think of college visits as a setting/theme in the first place, but as soon as I did, I just latched on!

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary YA

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is literally the first book I’ve ever been able to answer this for, for some reason, so that’s exciting!

Yes, she’s 26, but I totally bought Dreama Walker as a high schooler quite recently on The Good Wife, and she’s so close to how I picture one of my MCs, Reagan Forrester. Reagan is tiny and blond with huge eyes that dominate her face. (Though Rae’s are brown. This decision was admittedly partially influenced by a friend’s 4-year-old daughter, who is the other half of my mental Reagan picture.)

In total God’s-honest truth, my other MC, Victoria Reyes, was imagined as looking like the person from whom I nabbed her last name – Alisa Reyes, from All That, circa 1998. I’m pretty sure she’s too old for this now, so, sure, let’s go with Selena Gomez.

To me, my third major character, Dev (aka Dave) is Raymond Ablack, but he has better hair, I swear. Or at least Reagan certainly thinks so!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Hahahaha I suck at these so much. Here’s the one on my website:

College visits are the perfect excuse for polar-opposite best friends Reagan and Victoria to get out of their tiny rural town, but the things they learn about themselves and each other in the process have them reconsidering whether they’re really ready to leave home and childhood behind.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Well, I’m represented by an agent, so I hope she likes it!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Still working on it – like I said, Bloghop rebel 😉 I’ve actually been working on it for months, on and off. I took a break from it completely to write my last ms, THE BOOK OF ESTHER, and now that that’s done I’m hoping to finish JUST VISITING by February.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I literally just read HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by Sara Zarr and it has a lot in common with it, most notably a girl from an impoverished background (Reagan hails from a trailer park, and yes, SUCH A RUSH is on my TBR!) and a dual-POV in which you really get insight into the characters from the other one’s view. Of course it also has the college-visit aspects, which includes road-trip aspects, and those are things I know are out there (at least the latter, really) but haven’t read read much of. Yet.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Isn’t this kinda the same as “where’d the idea come from”? Still don’t know, but my CPs Valerie and Marieke have definitely inspired me to keep going with it!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I think “relationship” books have kind of been lacking in YA. Not romantic ones, but real friendship books, where the girls aren’t frenemies but actual best friends who are like family to each other, and what that means when life comes to a crossroads and you realize you may not be – or you don’t have to be – who you always thought you were. I also really, really love the romance in this one. I think the romances where you see the friendship develop before the couple really gets together are the best, because those are the ones you see lasting past The End.

So, that’s JUST VISITING, and if it sounds good to you, well, I hope you get to read it someday!

Take it away, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Megan Orsini, Kate Michael, Kathleen Doyle, and Jessie Devine!

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