Gena and Finn would have never met but for their mutual love for the popular show Up Below. Regardless of their differences—Gena is a recent high school graduate whose social life largely takes place online, while Finn is in her early twenties, job hunting and contemplating marriage with her longtime boyfriend—the two girls realize that the bond between them transcends fanfiction. When disaster strikes and Gena’s world turns upside down, only Finn can save her, and that, too, comes with a price. Told through emails, text messages, journal entries, and blog posts, Gena/Finn is a story of friendship and love in the digital age.
What was your favorite scene to write?
We have several. The scenes at the Up Below convention were a lot of fun. We also both enjoyed when we had chances to write characters other than Gena or Finn, such as Charlie, Tylergirl93 and the other fangirls, and Gena’s school friends.
I absolutely ADORE the LGBTQ books coming out in the YAsphere this year. I feel like while we’ve definitely been introduced to them, they’re starting to play a more dominant and important role in today’s YA lit. What has your experience been like getting an LGBTQ book published in the YA world? Has it mostly been positive?
Yeah, the publishing world is very receptive to and even excited about LGBTQ books right now. Readers also seem to respond really well to them. If anything, the response to GENA/FINN has been that people wish we’d put more focus on the queer aspect of the book!
I mostly read adult LGBTQ books, so it’s a relatively new genre for me in the YA world. Do you have any additional recommendations??
MY HEARTBEAT by Garret Freymann-Weyr, LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW by David Levithan, ASK THE PASSENGERS by A.S. King, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST by Emily M. Danforth, UNDER THE LIGHTS by Dahlia Adler, WE ARE THE ANTS by Shawn Hutchinson.
Are you currently working on anything else?
We both have books coming out late next year. Hannah’s is a rollicking sea adventure featuring monsters and pirates, and Kat’s is a high school-based story of gender politics and social intrigue.
There are two of you, which is sometimes weird for me (I’m sorry if it seems like I’m only addressing one of you!) What has it been like to co-write a book? Would you say that it’s more difficult or more easy?
It’s weird for us that there are two of us too! For us, cowriting was definitely easier than solo work. But it’s like doing group projects in school. It depends on who you’re working with and what the project is. If you pick the wrong partner, cowriting would probably be a huge headache.
What is Gena’s favorite thing about Finn?
How relaxed she is. Gena is younger than Finn, so it’s nice for her to see someone a little older who doesn’t have everything figured out and is still (relatively) okay.
What is Finn’s favorite thing about Gena?
That she knows what she wants and is unafraid to go for it.
If Finn and Gena had to dress up in a couples costume for Halloween, what would they go as?
They would be Jake and Tyler, of course. And you could be Evanson and be in their cosplay.
Hannah Moskowitz is the acclaimed author of numerous middle grade and young adult novels, including A History of Glitter and Blood. She lives in New York City.
Kat Helgeson writes young adult novels and lives in Chicago with her husband and a healthy preoccupation with fictional characters.
Hanna and Kat first met online in a fan fiction forum for the TV show Supernatural, and IRL at a fan con.