Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: I Never (Laura Hopper)
Laura Hopper has worked in the film industry and is currently a book editor.
I Never is her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her family.
Meet I Never!
Janey King’s priorities used to be clear: track, school, friends, and family. But when seventeen-year-old Janey learns that her seemingly happy parents are getting divorced, her world starts to shift. Back at school, Luke Hallstrom, an adorable senior, pursues Janey, and she realizes that she has two new priorities to consider: love and sex.
Inspired by Judy Blume’s classic Forever, I Never features a perfect, delicious, almost-to-good-to-be-true high school relationship . . . and it doesn’t shy away from the details. Destined to be passed from teen to teen, this is a young adult debut that will get readers talking.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I was working as a manager for screenwriters and authors. Since I wasn’t officially a writer, I pitched all of my ideas to other people to execute. When I had the idea for I NEVER, it was the first time I thought, I might be able to write this myself. I had never put pen to paper before, but I was up for the challenge.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Luke. I love Luke. I wish I knew Luke in high school. I hope my son will be like Luke and that my daughter will meet a boy like Luke. I feel about Luke the way I feel about Jake Ryan whenever I watch “Sixteen Candles.”
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came way before the title. It was untitled for a long time. I then noticed how often Janey, the narrator, says, “I never.” She says it about the feelings she has and the steps she takes with Luke, her parents, and her friends. It’s a book about firsts, so there are a lot of occasions where our protagonist is faced with something she’s never done before.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I am most proud of the scene where Janey and Luke first have sex. I really wanted it be the depiction of the perfect first time, while still feeling realistic. Hopefully it’s not a mere fantasy that the first time is perfect. Everyone remembers their first time, so it would be ideal if it’s something to look back on with no regrets.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I had so many doubts while writing this book. Writing is a lonely business – sitting at your computer, alone with the thoughts in your head. It’s easy to dip into insecurity and a doom-and-gloom attitude. Am I writing something of value? Will anyone like this book? Will it ever see the light of day? I learned to trust my instincts and finish what I start. Because trust me, there were times I thought about abandoning ship. I learned that it pays to take risks. If you don’t take risks, you’ll never know what you’re really capable of.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love that the cover doesn’t give anything away. It’s a bit of a Trojan Horse. Young people will be comfortable checking it out of a library, or buying it at a bookstore, or carrying it around. It’s also just really pretty and kind of retro.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
Little Fireflies Everywhere by Celeste Ng
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2016?
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I hope a new idea will take hold of me the way I NEVER did so that I can attempt to do this again. But in the meantime, I won’t quit my day job.
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
If your first time is in the past and it wasn’t the story you would have written for yourself, you have the opportunity for a do-over. Everyone deserves a do-over now and then.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
I don’t want to give anything away, but there is a tough mother/daughter scene that puts Janey and her mom’s relationship to the test. I wanted Janey’s mom to be flawed but still likeable. As we grow up, our relationships with our parents shift and there are often some pretty significant bumps in the road where we have to acknowledge that our moms (and dads) are human beings with human needs, something we don’t realize when we’re small.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Sloan. Sloan has big feelings. Again, I didn’t want readers to find her selfish or unlikeable, but I wanted to address some real high school subjects with Sloan. Sloan is a loyal friend, but she is high maintenance. I think we all have at least one friend like Sloan.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Drafting is more challenging, revising is more fun. Staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen can be daunting. You know the scene you want to write, but it can be hard to choreograph it from scratch. However, when you get it, when it comes to you, there’s nothing more satisfying. By the same token, when you have an epiphany about a revision or someone gives you a great note, it’s gratifying to see your character, or your scene, or your plotting, improve.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I have boundless energy. My husband calls me the energizer bunny. I’m in constant motion from the time I wake up in the morning until the time I go to sleep at night. But I always sleep like a baby!
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
There’s an organization I’ve recently discovered and think is doing great work. It’s called Culture Reframed and their mission is to provide education and support to promote healthy child and youth development, relationships and sexuality in the digital age. In other words, it’s an effort to address the harmful effects of porn, particularly on young boys.
By: Laura Hopper
Publishing Date: November 7th, 2017
Publisher: HMH BYR
Three winners will receive a copy of I Never (Laura Hopper) ~ US Only
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I believe that any book that talks about a high-school romance and calls the male love object "Luke" has its finger on the pulse of life as it is lived today! It's like Bollywood movies calling their heroes "Raj Malhotra"!