When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.
But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.
Can you tell us about your debut, Summer of Supernovas, in 40 words or less?
Zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle’s on a twenty-two day quest for love. But cosmic chaos ensues when she finds her perfect match, only to discover she’s head-over-vintage-heels for her astrological downfall. A story of loss + yearning + belief systems challenged.
What was your favorite scene to write?
Ah, that would be the opening water tower scene. I challenged myself to imagine the most dramatic, ridiculous, and embarrassing way you could meet a cute guy. Then I wrote that. Interestingly, it’s also one of the scenes that underwent the least amount of changes during the editorial process.
What was the hardest scene to edit out?
Hmm . . . You know? I didn’t actually have to cut any scenes. I DID, however, end up adding a scene. It features Wil and her best friend Irina at Wil’s favorite vintage shop—The Rusted Zipper—where they have a battle of Butt Ugly outfits. Not gonna say who wins, but it was a fierce competition.
Do you have a favorite scene or quote from Summer of Supernovas?
“…if time were really measured in grains of sand, I would take this grain and flatten it. Stretch it as far as physics allowed, let myself bask in this feeling. Forever and ever and ever.”
If you had to give SoS a theme song, what would you choose?
Oh gosh, this is like trying to pick a favorite organ! I have over fifty songs on the SoS playlist and each one has been vital for different reasons. But two that immediately spring to mind are: Trying to Put Your Heart Back Together by Slow Runner (for the opening scene), and Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine (for the closing scene).
Are you currently working on anything else?
This is where I laugh diabolically while twirling my pretend mustache and pointing at my previous answer. Yes, I’m currently cooking up a companion novel that follows a very key character from Supernovas, along with an entire cast of quirky new ones. Because I do not believe in beige characters. *grins*
Are we going to see any hunky guys in SoS?
You bet! Annnnnd you’ve got OPTIONS for your book boyfriends! There’s Grant, the sensitive, soulful guitar player who hails from the wrong side of the astrological chart. Then there’s Seth, who’s adventurous, wildly romantic, and quite literally sweeps Wil off her feet. Plus there are other sexy sidekicks like Manny—Grant’s wingman—a terminal flirt with a heart of gold.
What is the best book you’ve read recently?
I have been thriving on a steady diet of 2016 debuts, and let me just say, the talent is epic! I recently finished The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood—a phenomenal read! It’s a gorgeous (and often humorous) journey through grief, first love, and the seasons of friendship. And did I mention the wormholes and snags in the space-time continuum? That too.
I love funny. Funny ha-ha and funny weird. I also adore books that have kissy bits because love makes life’s pointy edges more smooth. Cats, music, and lattes happen regularly in my home. Once upon a time I refueled helicopters for the US Army and threw live grenades. Now I throw words.
My Golden Heart-winning debut YA novel, SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS, comes out from Random House/Crown May 2016.