Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Mia Kerick for stopping by today.
Title: Love Spell
Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Strutting his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug orange tuxedo as this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon feels so very right to Chance César, and yet he knows it should feel so very wrong.
As far back as he can remember, Chance has been “caught between genders.” (It’s quite a touchy subject; so don’t ask him about it.) However, he does not question his sexual orientation. Chance has no doubt about his gayness—he is very much out of the closet at his rural New Hampshire high school, where the other students avoid the kid they refer to as “girl-boy.”
But at the local Harvest Moon Festival, when Chance, the Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper Donahue, the Pumpkin Carving King, sparks fly. So Chance sets out, with the help of his BFF, Emily, to make “Jazz” Donahue his man.
An article in an online women’s magazine, Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love with You (with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure), becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.
Quirky, comical, definitely flamboyant, and with an inner core of poignancy, Love Spell celebrates the diversity of a gender-fluid teen.
We are here today to talk about Love Spell.
Hello, and thank you for welcoming me to your blog to talk about my new release- YA CONTEMPORARY ROMANTIC COMEDY, Love Spell!! Prism is always so supportive of me as a writer, and I want you to know I appreciate it.
What can you tell us about it?
In Love Spell, I take a new look at gender. For many of us, gender is rather cut and dry—as in, I am a man or I am a woman. But it is not that way at all for Chance César, who has struggled as long as he can remember with a sense that at times, he is a girl, and at other times he is a boy, and at still at other times, he is something between boy and girl, that he cannot label. And he never knows how he will feel, in terms of gender, when he wakes up in the morning. With the backdrop of a seemingly frivolous story of love and friendship, Chance explores his gender identity crisis.
Tell us more about Chance and Jasper?
Chance is definitely one of my all-time favorite characters to create and bring to life. He is snarky and sassy and smart, which he uses to cover his vulnerability. He fears his enemies (and there are quite a few kids at school who would like nothing better than to see him cry), yet will spit in their face rather than run away from them. Some might call Chance his own worst enemy, but Chance would say he is just fighting for his survival. He is dramatic and colorful and flamboyant and lives with the belief that the world will try to tear him down—so bring it on! You could call Jasper (Jazz) Chance’s opposite. He is quiet, but not shy, and rather secure in who he is and where he is going in life, He just doesn’t have a lot to say. Some might say he isn’t “the sharpest tool in the shed” but Chance would just reply, “still waters run totes deep.” Jazz is honest and earnest and real. He hides nothing from the world, and lives with a hope that the world will treat him right.
What about In the Love Spell makes you the proudest?
I think it is very funny. VERY FUNNY. When my editor read it, he wrote “hilarious” over and over again, and that stoked my ego. (Honest Momma Mia) Now, I’m not saying that Love Spell’s theme is not important, because it is. But in fiction, how you deliver an important idea is every bit as important as the idea itself. And I am thrilled with my humorous delivery—plus it was so much fun to write.
Why pumpkins and pumpkin festival? Do you have a favorite pumpkin dessert?
First, I am not a huge pumpkin fan, in terms of pumpkin-flavoring. But I will not refuse a big slice of pumpkin cheesecake if offered. Try me. The whole pumpkin thing just fit so perfectly with the humorous angle I used to tell the story. (Don’t you think there is something kind of funny about a pumpkin? I promise I won’t tell anybody.) First of all, I needed a reason for a festival with a beauty queen and the setting was central New Hampshire—I thought pumpkins fit the bill! And I wanted to bring outrageous colors to the reader’s mind, and yes, neon orange works incredibly well. I had so much fun researching pumpkin carving designs—believe me, I have some amazing ideas for Halloween this year. I wanted the book to take place in the late fall when kids are applying to colleges. It all just fit together.
Do you take a break from a first draft to get distance from it, or dive right into editing, or edit heavily as you write?
I am not a very patient person. That said, you can probably imagine that I am not one to take a lengthy (mature-person’s) break that could give me some perspective, when I’ve finished my first draft. Nope. I am off to the editing races barely five minutes after the first draft is complete. However, my editors know that I tend to make (too many) changes during the editorial process. (Sorry, Louis <3)
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Be you. That’s it. The books I am most proud of and connected to are the most “me.”
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
I am reading Cody Kennedy’s Slaying Isidore’s Dragons, which is freaking amazing, and my next book will be Brian Katcher’s Almost Perfect. Can’t wait!!
Rapid Fire Time
- Kanye or Beck? Beck
- Rain or snow? snow
- Red Heads or Blondes? Red…no, blonde, no red…. Um, strawberry blonde
- Winter or Summer Olympics? Hmmm….. I always played “Olympic gymnastics” with my Barbie Dolls and never played “Olympic slalom skiing” so I guess Summer Olympics
- Ketchup or Mustard? They must go together; I dislike each of them individually
- Caramel or Chocolate? OMG Chocolate
- Santa Claus or Easter Bunny? Santa, fo sho
- hot air balloon or blimp? A tough one… but hot air balloon
- Salty or Sugary? SUGARY
- TV or movies? TV- baseball and crime only
What are you working on? What is next?
I am currently working on a book that is NOTHING LIKE LOVE SPELL in that it is a tear jerker/heart breaker. Like Us Three… But if I tell you its name, you know, I’d have to kill you, and though I like to watch crime on TV, I do not want to participate in one.
Not to say that I kept my phone basically right beneath my chin for the next four days, but I kept my phone basically right beneath my chin for the next four days. Yes, I was oh-so-pathetically waiting for his call, which I am aware fully explains the need for the phrase “get a life.” But Jazz hadn’t been at school on the Thursday or Friday after he had called and cancelled our playdate, and now it’s Sunday night, and I still haven’t heard from him. And although I’m frustrated that all of my elaborate plans to make him fall head over heels in love with moi have apparently tanked, I’m also growing genuinely concerned.
That’s when my cell phone, which I placed on my chest before I lay down on my now “love-spell-pink” wrapped mattress, starts singing Express Yourself.
“Yo.” I don’t check the number. It’s Emmy—who else would it be?
“Hi, Chance.” The deep voice is so not Emmy’s.
Yaaassss!!! This is what ninety-nine percent of my insides shout. One percent says quietly, “It’s about frigging time you called, asshole.”
But my voice is calm. “Jasper,” I say blandly. In my opinion, he hasn’t earned the right to be called Jazz any longer.
“Um, sorry, no. It’s Jazz.”
I try not to roll my eyes even though I know he won’t see, but it’s an epic fail. “Whatever.”
“I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch for a couple days. My mom’s been real sick. I was lookin’ after her, gettin’ her to the doctor, goin’ to the pharmacy, bringing JoJo back and forth to school, and stuff.”
“Mom caught JoJo’s strep throat and had to go to the ER because she couldn’t even swallow.” He stops talking for a second and then clears his voice. “Alls she could do was spit into a rag whenever she needed to swallow.”
Well, that’s definitely TMI, but I get the fucker-nelly revolting picture. “I’m sorry.”
“Not your fault, dude.”
And then there’s silence.
“Gonna take JoJo to the library after school tomorrow. But first I gotta stop by the cable company and pay up or we’re gonna lose our TV and internet at home. They already warned us like twice.”
“Want me to pick up Yolo at school and take her to the library?” I’m so freaking pissed off at him. Why am I offering to save his ass again?
“That’s cool of you to offer, but there’s a bus she can take to the library from her school. Could ya be waiting for her at the library, in case I get held up?”
“Of course.” I’m a Class A sucker.
“You’re such a cool pal.” Ugh—so not what I’m going for.
“I’m not gonna be at lunch tomorrow seein’ as I’ll probably be collecting my makeup work. So, I’ll see ya at the library. ‘Kay?”
I don’t say kkkk cuz it’s not even slightly cool. “Sure. The libes after school, it is.”
“Thank you, bro,” Jazz offers.
One more silence, and then I say, “Later.”
I have research to do.
About the Author
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, CoolDudes Publishing, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Stop by Mia’s Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind. Find Mia on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6474518.Mia.Kerick
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Tour Dates & Stops:
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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