My Interview with Sarah Billington
Today on Jessica's Bookworld we welcome author of The Kiss Off and Over it, Sarah Billington. Welcome to Jessica's Bookworld Sarah.
First off congratulations on the release of your second book Over it. You must be thrilled?
Thank you so much! I am awash with a million emotions. Did I forget anything I wanted to put in there (yes)? Is it as funny as The Kiss Off (majority says yes)? am I going to get negative reviews even though you're proud of it (are you stupid? Uh...YES) It's all rather scary and exciting at the same time, this releasing a new book into the wild thing. But I'm proud of all the hard work I put
For those of us who haven't read The Kiss Off or over it what can we expect?Yikes, I am the worst at describing my own books. It truly is a skill that I haven't mastered yet. The Kiss Off is about Poppy, a 16-year-old, impulsive, accident prone YouTuber who writes songs as her way of expressing herself and puts them up online. She writes a song about her cheating ex-boyfriend called The Kiss Off (are you surprised) which goes viral and a local band, The Academy of Lies ask if they can play it at their next show. Poppy thinks she's rebounding with Ty, the lead singer, but it ends up growing into a whole lot more as his band hits the big time with The Kiss Off and her relationships with both Ty and her ex, Cam, become national celebrity news.
Over It follows on from The Kiss Off a couple of months later during the summer as Poppy and her friends head to Bay Fest, a summer music festival to see Academy of Lies play and everything that can go wrong does go wrong, including cat fights, a stalker and a race against the clock to make the most of an opportunity of a lifetime. It was pretty fun to write.
What made you decide to write the Kiss off series?The story of Poppy's writing getting the attention of a local band and then exploding and going viral was actually a subplot of a different book I was writing but then scrapped in order to focus on this story. In THAT book, Poppy was a blogger writing all about the kids at school and giving unsolicited, very bad social advice. It was a smaller book, in which she became infamous at her school and in her town - not the whole world! I wanted the plot to be bigger, and this music angle and rock star boyfriend worked out really well. I love that your favourite bands these days post so much behind the scenes content on YouTube, or if they don't, then the programs they do interviews on post it. A peek into the lifestyles of the rich and famous is really accessible these days, so I used that and wanted to recreate the feel of it in my books. It's not always as glamorous as we think it is.
When I wrote The Kiss Off, I didn't intend for there to be a sequel, so it's very much a standalone novel. I WANTED there to be a sequel, I really like the world I've created and the people in it, but it had to be the right story. It took me awhile to find it but Over It is the end result. And the rough idea for the third book as well, don't worry!
Who is your favourite character/s in the Kiss Off series and why?
Oooh, goood question! It's interesting actually. I have a soft spot for a supporting character. I love Vanya, the level-headed, focused and NOT boy crazy one of the girls. She's a bit of an old soul. I wanted to give her a part in Over It but she would have been extraneous to all the shenanigans, so, sadly, she had to go. If she was a real person, I think she'd go far in life. Be president one day if she wanted to. Though I don't think she wants to, I think she's more interested in the film industry; editing, special effects makeup, maybe try her hand at screenwriting one day. I also like Archie from Academy of Lies (the band, for those of you who need reminding) who is pretty much a minor character. I have a deleted scene from The Kiss Off in which the girls go to Archie's place and watch the band rehearse in the garage that I wish I could have used somewhere. Alas, it didn't make the cut.
How did you decide on the cover's for your books?
The Kiss Off series aren't SOLELY romances, they're a lot bigger to me than just the couple, so I wanted to make the covers big, and representative of the excitement that (I hope) you'll find inside, and I thought concert audiences are perfect representations of that. The covers don't show the funny that's also inside, but I guess that's a pleasant surprise when reading.
Would you classify The Kiss Off as New Adult or Young Adult and why?
Young Adult, definitely. Yes, there are mature themes, there's some bad language, some pretty frank girl talk and sexual REFERENCES, but it's still pretty safe for youngER readers (but I wouldn't be recommending it for 10-year-olds. YoungER. Not young). Poppy's sixteen, and she's pretty immature with a strong familial support in the form of a pair of protective parents - sometimes overly so. I don't think family tends to play a big role in New Adult novels, and protagonists seem (to me) to be a bit more experienced in life than Poppy is. The Kiss Off is a coming of age series in which Poppy learns by making mistakes, and boy does she make a lot of them.
Are you nervous of what people will think of where you take the storyline?
In all honesty, yes, yes I am. One reason the book was released later than I had intended was because I had a bunch of directions I wanted to take the plot and I honestly didn't know which one was the best. I tossed and turned but eventually I had to just pick one and stick with it and hope my readers like it (and understand why it has to happen!) as much as I do.
What inspired you to become an author and have you always wanted to be one?
I have always always wanted to be an author. I don't know what else I would do if I wasn't in the publishing industry. Actually, no, that's not true. I would either work in the entertainment industry or with animals. I don't know what my first inspiration was, I do know that I read John Marsden's Tomorrow When the War Began series in primary school and was blown away. I wanted to do THAT. And I have been filling notebooks and computer hard drives with stories ever since.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Jessica, for taking part in the tour and thanks for the great questions!
Thankyou so much for letting Jessica's Bookworld be apart of your blog tour.
THE KISS OFF
When sixteen year old Poppy Douglas writes a song about her ex-boyfriend Cam and ex-friend Nikki, she has no idea that her heartbreak is about to go global.
A local band picks up her song from Youtube and soon she's along for the ride with her own fanbase as they blow up on the local club scene and hit the international charts. Though it turns out leaving Cam behind isn't as easy as she had hoped.
Tangled in a web of unfinished homework, ill-considered sexting and a new lead-singer boyfriend, Poppy has a choice to make between the ex that inspired it all and the rock God whose poster lines the inside of half the lockers at school. But as she struggles to keep her emotional dirty laundry private, she learns that the truth can be hard to find when your life is in the headlines.
OVER IT (THE KISS OFF 2)
Warning: Sexual References, occasional coarse language.
Teen Youtube song writing sensation Poppy Douglas's lead singer boyfriend Ty's been criss-crossing the country and living it up on tour for months while Poppy has been stuck in the boring suburbs, finishing out the school year.
But it's Summer now, and the best thing just happened: Poppy's royalties for writing the hit song The Kiss Off just came in. She's minted, and she knows just what she's going to blow it on.
Ty's band Academy of Lies are headlining a summer music festival, and Poppy is taking her girlfriends along for the best weekend of their lives. It's all organized: the weekend is going to be full of camping under the stars, backstage passes, VIP rooms and partying like rock stars, not to mention some long awaited one-on-one time with America's favorite front man.
Except, when someone drops out of the trip and Poppy takes the opportunity to mend a broken friendship, it doesn't quite go according to plan. And when she meets her boyfriend's BFF from another band, the paparazzi form their own totally wrong conclusions. There's also the matter of Ty's 'super fan' stalker, but the less said about her the better.
The biggest test of all comes in the form of an opportunity too good to pass up. But will insecurities and jealousy stand in Poppy's way? Can Poppy and Ty's relationship even survive it?
Life is about to get much more complicated for Poppy Douglas, but what can you expect when your boyfriend is a rock star?
Sarah Billington is an Australian writer and editor who likes to write stories with love, laughs, suspense and zombies. Sometimes all in the same story. Her favouritest thing to write about are those horrendously awkward moments that come with being a teenager. Or a human being. Sarah was extremely accident-prone and klutzy as a kid and teen, so her cup runneth over with experiences of horrendously awkward moments to draw from in her writing. Thankfully, she has grown out of her klutziness. Mostly. She is, however, still an embarrassment.
She loves a variety of random things, which include Swing Dancing, Ice Hockey, Roller Derby and is a bit obsessive about paranormal investigation shows and channel E!.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKITY LINKS!
PURCHASE LINKS (I don’t know which ones you want so here’s a stack of them. J)
Book Depository – The Kiss Off only, Over It coming soon!
Fishpond – The Kiss Off only, Over It coming soon!