Hello everyone! Today we have a special treat – an interview with Kaitlyn Hill, the author of Not Here to Stay Friends. This interview is part of the blog tour for Not Here to Stay Friends, brought to you by TBR & Beyond Tours.Not Here to Stay Friends by Kaitlyn Hill
Published by Delacorte Press on 04/04/2023
Genres: YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
Buy on: Amazon CA // Amazon US // Author Direct // Barnes & Noble // The Broken Binding
This friends-to-lovers spin on The Bachelor follows two childhood besties reuniting to spend the summer in L.A. after five years apart—but when they both get involved with a teen reality dating show, their lives take an unexpected turn for the unreal.
Sloane McKinney feels like a background character in her own life. But this summer will be different, because she’s spending it with her childhood best friend, Liam Daniels, in her dream city, Los Angeles. Sure, she’s surprised to find that Liam just happens to have had a Hot Guy glow-up since she last saw him, but so what? A little attraction won’t ruin her plans for their fun—and completely platonic—reunion.
What might, however, is that Liam has been roped into working for his producer dad’s new teen reality dating show, Aspen Woods’s Future Leading Lady. Liam figures Sloane can still hang out with him on set while he fetches coffee for the film crew, or whatever it is that production assistants do. Except it turns out the show is one contestant short . . . and Sloane is the perfect last-minute addition.
Once cameras are rolling, the whirlwind of dating teen heartthrob Aspen Woods feels way more real than Sloane expected, and Liam doesn’t exactly enjoy watching it all unfold. But it’s behind the scenes where the drama really picks up. . . .
Because wanting to kiss your best friend? That’s a plot twist neither Sloane nor Liam ever saw coming.
Do you plan to read reviews of “Not Here to Stay Friends” and if you do, how will you
respond to negative reviews?
I generally don’t seek out reviews! They’re a space meant for readers, and I respect reviewers’ right to share opinions freely while also protecting myself from having to take in a whole spectrum of opinions on work that’s already out in the world.
What was your favorite book as a child and do you think it influenced “Not Here to Stay
Growing up, I was obsessed with Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series, about an all girls spy school. While I’ve yet to write anything as cool as spies, I think the element of an ensemble cast of girls who lift each other up–even in an environment as intense and traditionally set up for conflict as a reality show set–definitely comes through in NHTSF! Carter also writes the swooniest male leads/love interests, which probably plays a role in how I develop male characters like Liam. ☺️
What did you listen to (if anything) while writing “Not Here to Stay Friends”?
I’m the type to listen to one or two albums on repeat until I’m sick of them, and the early stages of this book definitely came together in my folklore/evermore phase! I love the way Taylor Swift tells stories in those albums, and the general vibe is chill enough that I could listen to it while writing without getting too distracted.
Did you encounter any writer’s block with “Not Here to Stay Friends” and if so, how did you get yourself going again?
I usually hit a wall at some point (or multiple points) in everything I write, but I’ve found the important thing for me is not to lose momentum. I can and do take breaks and recharge from time to time, but if I feel myself extending the break beyond what I need just out of laziness, I make myself go back to the project and write whatever I can on it, even if it isn’t great. The longer I go without writing, the harder it is to get back into it!
Have you made any literary pilgrimages? (Visiting a favorite author’s home town, doing in-person research for the setting of a novel, visiting the setting of a favorite novel, etc.)
I need to do more! I haven’t really done any intentionally, but when I lived in Seattle, I went to Olympic National Park and passed through Forks, Washington, of Twilight fame! It’s an incredibly beautiful area, even if you’re not into the Twilight things. In the future, I’d love to go to some author-owned bookstores, like Nora Roberts’s or Judy Blume’s.
Name three authors whose books you love and/or three authors you just can’t get into.
I could give a long list of authors I love, but I think every YA romance lover should be reading Elise Bryant, Samantha Markum, and Rachel Lynn Solomon!