Welcome to the next stop on the blog tour for The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo! I loved her book I Believe in a Thing Called Love. I’m reading this one now and loving it as well! Today I have an interview with the author. Read on for more about the book…
About the Book:
From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.
The Way You Make me Feel is your sophomore novel. How was the process for it different than your debut? (Anything surprising? Harder? Easier?)
It’s actually my third novel! My debut was Since You Asked and it was a hugely different process from the next two. It was written in this blissful bubble where I could believe I was the best writer in the world, haha. Writing on a deadline post-publication is a whole other world but I think I’ve grown so much and the process is both easier and harder because of it. Easier because my writing muscles have gotten stronger. Drafting is a much easier beast to tackle, now. Harder because you have lots of critics in your head and their voices can make it more difficult to concentrate. (Note from Heidi: I am so sorry. I cannot believe I forgot about Since You Asked! I am so embarrassed! You should check it out!)
Your main character Clara is a prankster. What do you think are the key elements to pulling off a good prank?
I think it has to hit a personal pet peeve or dislike by the person you’re pranking. And I always like pranks to be good-natured, the ones that actually upset people are not cool!
I love the way you develop different types of relationships in your stories (friends, family, romance…) Do you have a favorite type to write? Why?
I love writing friendships the most—the banter between friends that imply so much history, which I think is often the case with friendships in high school. When I was a teenager, my friendships were what kept me afloat. I had no romances (well, other than petting my J.C. Chasez poster lovingly) and a fraught relationship with my parents, so my world revolved around my friends. All my books have strong friendships and it’s something I really value.
Most YA novels deal with coming of age in some way. The events in The Way You Make Me Feel really have Clara learning a lot about herself and how she sees the world around her. Were there any events/books/media/etc… that shaped you as a young adult?
I don’t know if I had a specific coming-of-age moment…I do recall when I was actually going through growing pains—I grew about 4 inches over one summer and my legs were in agony. And I remember being stuck in bed and not being able to attend my great aunt’s funeral because of it. And it would have been my first funeral. When I think about that day, it was just a surreal juxtaposition of physical and emotional growth and I feel like sometimes growing older is kind of like that—everything hits at once.
If you could go back and give your teen self any one piece of advice, what would it be?
Do things even if you’re bad at them at first. I was so easily discouraged by that as a teen. Now I know that some of the hardest things to learn and do end up being the most rewarding. That sounds preachy and boring but it’s true! I promise, young people!
What draws you to writing realistic, contemporary stories?
One, I feel like my writing voice is naturally suited for it. Two, while I love reading fantasy, historical, and other non-realistic contemporary, I am TERRIBLE at things like world-building! And as a kid, my favorite books, the ones that stuck with me forever, were the contemporary books. I don’t doubt that is a huge factor in why I am so comfortable and happy in this space.
I’m always looking for recommendations of books/TV/Movies/etc… What have you been loving lately? Or, what would you recommend to people who love your books and want something similar?
My favorite TV show for the past few years is New Girl, a bunch of friends having funny banter, so no brainer there. I also recently went on a weird twitter rave about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. It’s SO funny, you guys. For those who love my books, please check out books by Amy Spalding, Morgan Matson, and Aminah Mae Safi’s upcoming debut, Not the Girls You’re Looking For.
About the Author:
Maurene Goo grew up in a Los Angeles suburb surrounded by floral wallpaper and piles of books. She studied communication at UC San Diego and then later received a Masters in publishing, writing, and literature at Emerson College. Before publishing her first book, Since You Asked, she worked in both textbook and art book publishing. She also has very strong feelings about tacos and houseplants and lives in Los Angeles.