Hi everybody! Today starts the first ever blog tour that I organized! I am very honored to be hosting this blog tour for Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington, and I am super excited to see everybody’s posts. In just a few days, I will be in our nation’s capital (so looking forward to it) and this blog tour is the perfect way to start off the week. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you will keep up with all our tour stops. There is also a giveaway for a finished copy of Love Songs & Other Lies and a swag bag, so don’t miss out on that!
About the Book
Title: Love Songs & Other Lies
Author: Jessica Pennington
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Synopsis: Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.
1. It is so great to be kicking off the Love Songs & Other Lies Blog Tour with you, Jess! Your debut YA contemporary romance novel is set to release on April 24th from Tor Teen, and it follows the romance between Vee Miller and Cam Fuller, two teens who fell in love two years ago but split after a stunning heartbreak. Since the main characters are a part of a band called Your Future X, have you yourself ever been in a band before? If you could be in one, what part or instrumental would you play, and what genre of music would you perform?
One of my friends in high school was in a band, so that’s the closest I’ve ever come! But I love music, so if I had the talent (which I don’t) I would definitely be a singer and guitarist. I have the heart of a musician, but I definitely don’t have the talent!
2. Love Songs & Other Lies is set in two alternating points of view between Vee and Cam and two alternating time periods called Then and Now. What was the biggest challenge of writing in this format, switching between two characters and between two years ago and the present? Why did you decide to build up to the heartbreak and the ultimate resolution at the same time, and what effect does this create for readers?
The hardest part was staying in the voice between characters, and keeping in the emotional arc of each timeline. For the characters, I tended to write scenes in chunks, staying in the same POV for as long as possible. And between timelines it was a little easier, because I didn’t set out to write a dual timeline novel. I had written most of the THEN timeline before realizing that the story was going to continue! So I wrote the two timelines separately for the most part, but then I had to make lots of changes to make sure that it wasn’t jarring for readers to switch from one to the other, and to make sure the plot points all weaved together so that each timeline was supporting the other. Making all of that work was actually a ton of fun for someone like me who is very Type-A and loves organization; it was like a giant puzzle.
3. Music is a prominent aspect of the entire novel. How big is music in your life? What are some of your favorite songs?
If I’m awake, I’m usually listening to music. And I especially love lyrics—lyrics are usually what will pull me to a new genre of music. I love all sorts of music: The Avett Brothers, The Chainsmokers, Taylor Swift, Train, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons. Pop and folk are my two biggest these days!
4. What is the ideal time and place to read Love Songs & Other Lies?
I personally love reading at night, because everything feels more emotional!
5. Would you consider yourself to be more like Vee or Cam? What personality traits and personal experiences do you share with each protagonist?
I’m definitely most like Vee. She had a lot more of my characteristics when I started the book, but as I figured out who she was and what made up her story, most of that was stripped away. But her tendency to cry easily is definitely a leftover trait of mine. I can cry just seeing someone else cry, and especially if I see someone achieving their dream or accomplishing something.
6. How did you first get into YA contemporary as a writer? What inspired you center your debut novel around love, lies, and music?
I didn’t set out to be a YA writer, or even an author, honestly. But that’s what I like to read, so it as natural to write in that genre when I started writing fiction! I also didn’t set out to write about love, lies or music—okay, well maybe the love part. The whole book started from my writing a breakup scene and then things happened really organically from there. But when I started writing the book I didn’t even know Cam and Vee were going to be musicians. This is a horrible answer, sorry! But it’s true, their characters really just came together piece by piece and since I love music, it was a natural setting for me to throw them into, when it came down to figuring out how they’d eventually meet!
7. Why do you love writing? When did you first have a love for writing, and how was it formed?
I love that it feels like getting to live another life. I love getting to step into the shoes of my characters, and experience the things that they’re experiencing.
8. What are your favorite books, genres, and authors? Which ones have impacted you and your writing style the most?
I love all contemporary young adult, but I devour romance. I love Katie McGarry, Katy Upperman, Katie Cotugno–I swear I don’t have a thing for the name Katie—Gayle Forman, Jenny Han.
9. What do you do when you’re not writing? Is writing a part-time or full-time job?
I’m a stay at home mom to a 2.5 year old, and I also own an event design company—I’ve been a wedding planner for the last ten years and I also do floral design. So I have several full-time jobs!
10. What makes you the proudest being a debut author, especially since your first book is about to be released into the world?
Honestly, I went into the whole process with really low expectations because I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t want to assume anything. I feel really lucky that my book is coming out. I feel even luckier that my publisher Tor Teen has been absolutely fantastic in supporting it. I’ve been really grateful for every little victory—getting on “must read” lists, getting good reviews from librarians, seeing readers share pictures on IG saying how much they love it—I try to celebrate every little thing, because it’s such a cool experience and I’m honestly so thankful (and quite shocked) that I’m lucky enough to get to experience it. I’ve had a really wonderful debut experience, I have no complaints!
11. What are you currently working on? Are there any secrets you could share about your upcoming novels?
I’m about to get copyedits on my second book, WHEN SUMMER ENDS, which is out April 2019. I’m so excited for this book, because it’s very much a love-letter to Michigan summers and learning to find a new path and pursue new dreams. After Love Songs & Other Lies, I sort of felt like I could never write anything more personal
12. Before you go, would you like to share any advice you have to any aspiring authors or writers?
No matter what stage you’re in, find a tribe of people who support you—it will make all the difference!
Thanks so much, Jessica, for coming onto the blog!! It’s so great to have you, and I’m honored to be organizing this tour for you!
- 1 winner will receive a signed hardcover of LOVE SONGS & OTHER LIES along with a swag bag filled with a t-shirt, bookmark, stickers, buttons, etc.
- US only, 18+ or with parental permission
- Rest of the rules are included inside the Rafflecopter giveaway
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My Fangirl Chronicles – Excerpt
A Blunt Book Blog – Review
BookishBitsBlog – Guest Post
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The Candid Cover – Interview
Belle’s Archive – Review
The Cursed Books – Playlist
The Heart of a Book Blogger – Aesthetic
Portrait of a Book – Aesthetic
Vicky Who Reads – Review
The Mind of a Book Dragon – Interview
Boundless Bookaholic – Review
Claerie’s Tales – Fanfiction
Librarian Laura – Interview and Excerpt
About the Author
Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. She lives in a Michigan beach town suspiciously similar to the one in her books, where she’s currently finishing her second novel, WHEN SUMMER ENDS, out April 2019.
Are you excited for Love Songs & Other Lies? Do you like YA contemporary romances?
Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!