Time for a YA contemporary romance spotlight!
Sara Jo Cluff over at Monster Ivy Publishing was so sweet to chat with me all about her novel, The Kiss List, which is amazing! (I am so excited to gush about it tomorrow!)
Today we’re reminiscing Sara’s high school life and what she would do with her characters if they met up!
Check out her book below and then let’s dive in! 😀
About the Book
Kissing: A glorious pastime.
High school student Camille Collins’ favorite hobby is kissing her boyfriend, Dylan. Dylan’s a decent guy, but he’s got his sights on something more. So he dumps Camille and spreads a rumor that she’s a bad kisser.
With the help of BFFs Hayley and Kaitlyn, Camille devises a perfect plan to prove Dylan wrong—a kiss list. Perfect kisses with a few of the hottest guys in school would leave too much evidence for anyone to deny.
Camille can’t wait for the flirting and freedom to begin, but with the sudden hate from her former softball teammates, social media blow-ups, and a distant mom, things aren’t turning out as fun as she’d hoped, making her wonder if creating the kiss list was a form of social suicide.
Sara Jo Cluff’s The Kiss List explores finding and losing yourself in relationships, when to set healthy boundaries, and how to forgive others.
For fans of Easy A and Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss.
– Hi Sara! I am SO excited to be chatting with you! Let’s “dive in” to your past, shall we? 😉 (No worries! Nothing relating to kissing! LOL!) What are some of your favorite high school memories?
I lived about ten minutes away from Disneyland and my friends and I had annual passes. We hung out there so much, sometimes not even going on rides, but just enjoying the people and atmosphere! We were also twenty minutes from the beach, so bonfires at night were my favorite. Somehow, hot dogs and roasted marshmallows taste better on the sand. 🙂
– That sounds AMAZING!!! And super fun! I absolutely loved the softball aspect of this story, The Kiss List! Did you play any softball in high school or after?
Nope. Everyone in my family played baseball or softball … except me! I always say my older siblings stole all the athletic genes and left me with the creative ones. But, my summers were spent at the ballpark watching someone play, so there’s so much nostalgia in the game of baseball for me.
– Aww! That sounds special! Now that we’ve dived into your past, how about we do the same with The Kiss List? 😉 Were there any “hard parts” for you to write when drafting/editing this story? Though The Kiss List was hilarious, I was caught off guard by how many different aspects hit me (such as the bullying and poor choices that Camille makes).
TKL was actually one of my easier books to write. It just flowed out of me. I wrote a book a few years back where I poured out my past and really dove deep into the bad things that happened to me in high school, causing so many emotions from me. So now that it’s out of me, it made TKL a breeze in a sense. I was ready to tackle the difficult topics and saw them with growth and meaning instead of dread.
– I admire you! I don’t know if I would have been able to tackle some of the same things you did! I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite, BUT I wonder who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with? What would you guys do?
Definitely Liam. In a heartbeat. We’d go see movies, drink Cherry Cokes, and eat all the caramel popcorn we could get our hands on!
– That would be an epic night and I could imagine one full of laughter! If you invited Camille and her friends over to your place for dinner and a movie (think Girl’s Night Out!), what would you cook for everyone and what movie would you guys watch?
I’m not the greatest cook, but I do love making homemade tacos, so I’d go with that. Tacos are always delicious! The movie would probably depend on the mood. But I’d probably pick Easy A or go back into time and make them watch Now and Then. My friends and I watched that movie alllll the time.
– I second this! I love tacos and it is a common meal in our home! Both of those picks sound delightful! Lastly, I love this cover! It’s so pink! Did you always want the cover to be pink?
Pink just seemed fitting to the title. I always pictured something either pink or red, and Cammie Larsen really hit the nail on the head with this cover! Fun fact: The cover was originally going to have a check mark in the box, and I was talking with my sweet fifteen-year-old neighbor and she suggested lips instead. So, a quick shoutout to Hadley!! (who is older than 15 now 🙂 )
– That is really cool to know! Thanks so much for chatting with me, Sara! This is such a wonderful story! 😀
About the Author
Sara Jo Cluff is a YA contemporary author. She grew up in Yorba Linda, California, but now resides in snowy Utah with her husband. She is an avid reader, jigsaw puzzle enthusiast, Netflix addict, and a member of the #PepperPack. Her writing is basically fueled by Dr Pepper.
You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @sarajocluff. Check out www.sarajocluff.com for news and events.