I’m so excited to have Kelly on the blog today to talk about her new book, Just Like the Movies, as part of the official blog tour hosted by Bloomsbury Children’s! This book is absolutely adorable (keep an eye out for my raving review next week!), and so is the author. I had so much fun learning more about her and her book. Before we jump in to the interview, let me give you some info on the book. And make sure you get to the very bottom of the post so you can enter the giveaway for a finished copy of Just Like the Movies!
Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
Published by Walker Books for young Readers on July 22, 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
Source: From the Publisher
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Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.
Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend.
While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?
Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.
TARG: Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions today, Kelly!
KF: Thanks so much for having me, Jana.
TARG: If you only had five words (or less) to sell your book to a potential reader, how would you describe it to them?
KF: Friendship’s it’s own happy ending.
TARG: Oh, I absolutely love that! I love books with a strong friendship element, and Just Like the Movies definitely has that.
One can only assume you had specific movies in mind while you were writing. You mention quite a few throughout the book itself, but which movie(s) made you go: “I’ve got to write this book.”
KF: I think Say Anything is the biggest reason – that boombox scene is iconic – but also a lot of movies that didn’t make the cut were movies I loved and wanted to “live” in. Movies like French Kiss or Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion were movies that I saw during high school and thought, “Oh, that could never happen.” Adult Kelly thought, “Wait… what if it could…?”
TARG: I’ve actually never seen Say Anything, but you’ve got me wanting to! It sounds super sweet and romantic.
Just Like the Movies features two girls who are very different from one another, but bond over their love of romantic movies. You’ve got Marijke, an outgoing track star with a sexy boyfriend and Lily, a shy, studious wallflower. Which one of these girls do you see yourself in?
KF: Lily. So much of Lily is me. Which is funny, because I wasn’t exactly quiet or anything in high school. But the sarcastic snark, the biting wit – that’s me to a fault. Like Lily, I’ve used that to keep people entertained, but at a distance.
TARG: I also identified a lot with Lily as I was reading. I’ve always been the quiet, organized type, but I can whip out a little one-liner or a sarcastic comment every now and then and make people laugh. I was also the girl in school people looked over, or even through. I loved Lily a lot because I saw her living my life.
Anyone who follows your blog knows you’re a total foodie (and your debut novel, Taste Test, definitely confirms it.) Lily mentions that she loves the Saturday morning tradition of peanut butter pancakes with bananas for breakfast. Does a recipe for these exist? She also says she loves to cook for her family. What other kinds of things does Lily cook?
KF: I’m sure a recipe exists! I don’t have one, but they sound way too delicious not to be a real thing. ☺ I don’t know if Lily is much of a cook besides the basics – she’s pretty great at ordering pizza, though! (Joe Lombardi, on the other hand? He’s one of those guys I can imagine has some great date night staple recipes under his belt to impress the ladies – like Pasta Carbonara or Shrimp Scampi.)
TARG: Ahh, Joe. I love Joe a lot! And I can totally see him whipping up some yummy Italian.
Which Just Like the Movies scene was your favorite one to write? Why?
KF: I love writing climactic scenes in most cases, although I really loved writing the preface/beginning part of JLTM when the girls are in Tommy’s yard. It was the very first thing I wrote for the book and I felt their friendship starting to root in that section. Oh, and I loved writing Marijke’s running scenes. Chapter One specifically.
TARG: What’s your favorite quote from Just Like the Movies? Why?
KF: From page 269 – the last Marijke section:
“And there it is – the last aspect of the perfect movie romance: chemistry. It’s the one thing that the movies capture that real life has in common. It’s the one thing you can’t fake, because it’s as certain as science.”
TARG: I highlighted that quote! It’s definitely one of my favorites as well.
Just Like the Movies comes off as being a light contemporary romance, but there are some heavier issues and a lot of feelings. What do you hope readers take away from this story?
KF: This is a great question. In the end, this story is about relationships with other people and how we value ourselves in our relationships – romantic and friend-oriented. Marjike and Lily both make choices based on what other people – boys, in particular – might think of them. By the end of the book, both of them have learned that their opinions of themselves are the ones that matter the most. If I could hope for anything of my readers, it would be that they recognize and appreciate that growth.
TARG: Mission accomplished, Kelly! I loved watching these girls grow in their relationships with each other, as well as with the boys. And I particularly loved watching them stand up for themselves, because that’s something high school girls (and even adult women!) just don’t do enough of.
By nature, writers are extremely passionate about their craft. What has becoming an author done for you as a person?
KF: Becoming an author, specifically, has made me far more thick-skinned. And a little more patient. It’s given me the opportunity to leave something behind and it’s made me stronger. It’s made me both exceedingly happy and extremely miserable – sometimes at the same time.
TARG: I love that. I know I’ve done things in my life that have made me a strong version of who I was, and they are some of my most rewarding experiences.
Finally, do you have a love story worthy of the movies?
KF: I think every love story is worthy of a movie – it’s love, man. It’s the exception. It’s the reason to get out of bed. I met my husband when we were basically kids. Thirteen years later, he still makes me laugh until I snort coffee and makes me so mad that I want to punch holes in everything we own. He’s given me the most beautiful little boy and the most beautiful life. And almost none of our story would fit within the parameters of a romantic comedy. But, you know what? Every single second of it has been love. We are the lucky ones. And I wish everyone – everyone – that kind of imperfect, infuriating, frustrating, intoxicating, endless love. It’s why those movies are made in the first place.
TARG: *swoon* I don’t even know how to respond to that statement! I hope I find your kind of love one day for myself.
Thanks so much, again, Kelly! It has been a lot of fun getting to know you today. I absolutely adored Just Like the Movies, and can’t wait for your next book, The People vs. Cecelia Price!
Meet the Author
Kelly Fiore has a BA in English from Salisbury University and an MFA in Poetry from West Virginia University. She received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2005 and 2009. Kelly’s poetry has appeared in Small Spiral Notebook, Samzidada, Mid Atlantic Review, Connotation Press, and the Grolier Annual Review. Her first young adult novel, Taste Test, was released in August 2013 from Bloomsbury USA. Forthcoming books include Just Like the Movies, again from Bloomsbury, in 2014 and The People Vs. Cecelia Price from HarperTeen in 2015.
Kelly teaches college composition in Maryland, where she lives with her husband and son.
Connect with Kelly!
Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook | Goodreads
The wonderful people of Bloomsbury Children’s have a great giveaway for you! Enter below for a chance to win a finished copy of Just Like the Movies! USA only, please.
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