Today I sat down with author Kylie Kaemke to talk about the release of her first book “Heavy Hearts“! We had a lot of fun chatting and Kylie has decided to gift us with a Kindle E-book Copy of “Heavy Hearts” to giveaway! I read the book last week and loved it! Check out our interview below and then enter to win your copy! If you don’t want to wait, You can click HERE to order it from Amazon!
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Okay so the obligatory author question: What inspired you to write Heavy Hearts?
I wouldn’t really call it inspiration, but awhile back I was talking with one of my co-workers about the movie ‘The Host’ and she was saying how all these movies always have love triangles. She said “I want a really ridiculous story with a love square” and since at the time I was attempting to write weekly short stories I told her I’d write it for her. The only problem was I couldn’t stop writing, and soon enough a joke turned into something serious and I couldn’t stop.
That leads me to my next question… It’s obviously not a Love Triangle. So, “Love Square” is your official term for the situation going on in Heavy Hearts?
At first we were calling is a box, but that made me picture Lucy, Simon, Malcolm, and Finn all stuck in a box together so I quickly stopped calling it that. So yes, “Love Square” it is.
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I like it! I think it’s appropriate!
What Genre do you consider Heavy Hearts to be in?
I started with the intention of it being Young Adult. I love YA and would love to be an author of the genre. But I given the age of the characters, especially in the present tense portions of the books, I felt like some of the scenes had to be more New Adult than YA. But I also didn’t want it to be full blown NA or anywhere near Erotica (not that I don’t love my Fifty ;P) So it’s really tough to pinpoint an exact genre. I’ve been calling it Chick-Lit, I’ve been calling it New Adult, and I’ve been just calling it Romance. I think it pulls great qualities from each genre. My book is divergent… 😉
Haha I think that’s perfect! So, one of my pet peeves when reading a book is research into Places etc where the story takes place. I’m not familiar with any of the area’s in your book (Sadly), So I have no clue how true to life any of it is. But was that a concern of yours? Did you do a lot of research concerning that? Aka New York, London etc.
For London I did a ton of research. I looked up prices for attractions, times things opened and closed, details on what certain things included. I looked at endless amounts of google images trying to put myself into these settings and even inside the hotel rooms. I even had a friend from the UK read it and make sure I didn’t sound like and idiot with the slang or places. She helped a lot. Turns out you shouldn’t use google for everything. For New York I didn’t get as detailed. I knew right off the bat I had wanted a setting in the Hamptons (I was watching a lot of Revenge at the time) and I did go as far as using google maps to find streets and pin point where exactly the end scene would happen on a route back to Cherry Valley. For Cherry Valley I at first didn’t know it existed. We have a Cherry Valley here near me and I always pass the town sign on my way to school and I love the name. Then I looked up rural areas in New York to get a feel for the landscape and lo and behold Cherry Valley, NY exists. The land that Lucy’s families ranch sits on does exist, but I did add my own touches to it. I had a lot of fun researching these places.
Love that! So does the London Eye really allow you to rent the pods?!
Because that would pretty much be amazing
Yep. The Cupid Package exists. It’s very expensive. It’s been awhile since I checked but it’s way out of my price range. I found some of the most adorable wedding photos taken in the pods. Crazy how romantic ferris wheels are. hehe
Haha True Story! Okay so did you have any personal experiences that transferred over to paper when telling this story?
Not at all.. I know that’s like an important thing, to write what you know and pull from your own life, but this was pure fiction. The only thing I have in common with any of my characters is that my father is an alcoholic, so I know how fun that can be for Finn.
Speaking of Finn, it is implied but never confirmed that Finn had some sort of mental illness. Did you diagnose him in your head?
He does have a diagnosis, and it will come out in his companion novella, which will pick up just after Lucy leaves Cherry Valley and then jump ahead to when he goes back to her in the Hamptons. His story is filled with a sort of scary darkness where Heavy Hearts is light and fun. He already brings things down at certain points in the book, I didn’t want his internal struggle to take away from what I really wanted the book to be. But I also had to get his own thoughts out of my head. I have pages and pages of just Finn, so that will be something to look out for in the future.
That is definitely something to look forward to! Okay So I grew up with Horses and was a Horse nerd, What made you want to include them into Lucy’s life?
Before I even started I had already picked out who these men were going to be. This also goes back to the chat I had with my co-worker before starting. Her one demand was sexy British nerdy type – Simon. And I wanted a sexy rich “Christian Grey” type (minus the bondage) – Malcolm. So I had to fill in the that third character and while I didn’t want to be cliche, I also did want to be. So sexy cowboy came to mind. And I’m sorry, but a hot guy on a horse is delicious. So I figured giving the Whitten’s a ranch house with horses would be a great way to get Finn in her life.
So if you could dream cast a movie version of Heavy Hearts… Who would your picks be?
I’ve been asked this so many times and you’d think I would have a definitive answer by now, but I have zero clue. I don’t think I’d want them to be big name actors. Although my friend really wants Simon to be Andrew Garfield, and I’m not going to object to that! As for Malcolm I tend to lead toward a more Zac Efron type, like all suited up with his hair looking good and such. Then for Finn I just draw blanks. I kid around and say I want Ben Lamb to be Finn, but that’s just mostly me being a fangirl. Then for Lucy, I just draw a total blank.
Which author Inspires you the most?
I actually have an “Inspiration Shelf” in my living room bookshelf. It consists of Veronica Roth, Tahereh Mafi, Augesten Burroughs, and new this year Lindsay Cummings. Each of them have different reasons for being on my shelf. Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors, A Wolf at the Table) has been inspiring me since High School. I almost wrote memoirs because of him, but I’m not quite old enough for that. And even though I don’t write anywhere near his style or genre I strive to be him. Odd, I know. Veronica Roth (Divergent) she doesn’t neccesarily inspire me as herself, but the story she wrote and the message behind it completely changed the way I saw things and pushed me over my fear of failure so that I could do this. Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me) is the one who inspires me through her words more than the story itself. Her style is beautiful and I can never get her words out of my head. And Lindsay Cummings (The Murder Complex) is new to the list as of about halfway through writing Heavy Hearts, but that doesn’t make her any less inspiring. I’ve been following her journey through getting published via social media and to see her and all she does on almost a daily basis pushes me to keep going even when I feel like giving up.
Okay last question, Were you a book nerd from a young age and if so what were your favorite books or series?
I’ve always liked to read, but I would say that I reach true book nerd status about two years ago. Before then I was just a casual reader. Catcher in the Rye will always go down as an ultimate favorite and was the only book in school that I voluntarily read more than once. Like a lot of friends I’ve made in social media Twilight was my first real series that I got into and was just so excited to read, then that opened doors and slowly I started reading more and more until one day I just wasn’t happy if I didn’t have a book on my nightstand, or in my purse, or somewhere floating around the house with a bookmark in it. I love what reading has taught me and I hope one day I can write something that gives others the same feeling.