Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Wendy Higgins, YABC's Author of the Week!!
When seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe gets cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved, then watches her parents' marriage crumble, she decides to forget about relationships and turn the tables on the boys of the world. It’s time to take what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, and bad boys—their lips are all on her agenda, and it's time to collect.
Zae proposes a contest with her friends to see who can kiss the most boys during spring break. But what starts as a harmless competition leads to a downward spiral she can’t seem to break free of. As family, academic, friend, and guy drama come to a head, Zae is forced to face the reasons behind her boy angst, and starts to wonder if she was wrong about the male race...or at least some of them.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Kiss Collector is loosely based on a lot of anecdotes from my teen years. Zae's emotions about her parents splitting up is very much how I felt (although the details of her parents' reasons are nothing like my parents). Zae's friendships are very much like my friendships. I was a cheerleader, and we were silly, fun girls who loved each other and were fiercely protective of one another. I wanted to show cheerleaders the way I know them, and try to break that "bitchy cheerleader" stereotype. I clearly remember the angst and self-consciousness I felt as a teen, so I wanted to channel that into my story.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
First came the idea, then the title, then the novel. I knew it was going to be about a girl who was super angry at the male race, and wanted to get back at them by using them for kisses. But I also knew things were going to get complicated and emotional, and she was going to have to come to terms with some hard truths.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
The scenes between Zae and her little brother, Zeb, are close to my heart (one in particular when he came to see her at her job at the mall.) Growing up, it was just me and my little brother, so writing their relationship brought back many of the feelings I had. We were always each other's biggest cheerleaders, and also kept each other accountable for our mistakes. Even now as grown adults with kids of our own, I have such a soft spot for my brother.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
"Success" is subjective. It's important for me to stay in a positive frame of mind and never take the good moments for granted. Ultimately nobody, not even a literary agent or publisher, is going to advocate for me. I have to be my own best advocate.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I think the Kiss Collector is so incredibly cute. And HarperCollins let me pick the pictures of the boys, so that was fun!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2019?
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2018?
For adult romance, PESTILENCE by Laura Thalassa. HIDDEN SAGA by Amy Patrick.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I'm working on a heavily romantic Greek mythology called SOUL IN DARKNESS about the story of Cupid and Psyche, which comes out February 12, 2019.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Revising! The first draft is sooo hard. I love the revising aspect because that's when I get to add the details and layers that bring the story and characters to life.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Empathy. But like many superpowers, it has its downside. It can hurt to feel so strongly for everyone, to the point where the hurts of the world weigh on your shoulder. I just try to do what I can, where I can, when I can, to help.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Yes! I have become obsessed with Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan's Purse. You pack shoeboxes for children and they are shipped worldwide. You can even pay for shipping and have your package tracked so you know exactly what city/country it went to.
By: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: December 18th, 2018
One winner will receive one signed paperback copy of Kiss Collector with Kiss mints, a bookmark,
and Maybelline SuperStay lipstick (kiss proof!) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*