I’m happy to introduce a new author, Charvet Clark, here on my blog today. She has a new YA book she’d like to tell you about.
Thank you, Jan, for allowing me to take over your blog to talk about my new book. I deeply appreciate it.
I started writing Kiss Kiss For Real in 2013. It was born from my giving up on the first “novel” I wrote in 2010. Everyone knows an author’s first novel (not necessarily published) sucks, and the same is true for me. Then, I thought of a new concept based on a writing article I read where they suggested taking a life experience that didn’t turn out the way you wanted and writing the ending the way you wished had happened. I took that, ran with it, and the storyline for Kiss Kiss For Real was born. There are many personal experiences in the book with details and people’s names altered to protect privacy and to make the story more readable.
I don’t remember how long it took me to finish KK4R – probably a few months since I was a wife, mom of two, and struggling with depression and anxiety. At this time I started querying agents for a second time. With my first crappy novel, I queried 40+ literary agents and got turned down by all of them. It got the same results the second time around with KK4R, but I stopped querying at about 20+ agents. Rejection gets old and wears you out. So I asked my family to stop bugging me about submitting to more agents, that I was just going to sit on KK4R for a while.
Turns out this is part of my unique author “process” where I just sit on my work and let it marinate for a while. When I went back and looked at KK4R much later, I read it with fresh eyes and realized it was so, SO not ready to publish. So I edited again and again for years, working on my craft as something to occupy myself with in between subbing part-time at the middle school, being a mom, and being a wife.
In 2019, I came across a local writer’s group. It was so close I couldn’t use distance as an excuse to not check it out. When I worked up the guts to go (I was still dealing with major anxiety and depression at the time) I decided to go without makeup to appear as if I didn’t care. Because if I cared too much and put too much effort in, then I’d have further to fall when they told me my work sucked, or, just as bad, I wasn’t a real writer yet (imposter syndrome, anyone?). I also showed up empty-handed and asked if I could just hang out and see what I thought of things. There was no way I wasn’t going to feel these people out a little before I just started sharing my precious work with them.
They turned out to be really lovely people that I immediately connected with. When I came home my family was awaiting my field report and I told them I had found my tribe! That was the first time I met my now publisher, Diane Windsor of Motina Books. After meeting a few times, Diane asked if she could read the first chapter or two of KK4R. I agreed and emailed them to her. Then everything just came together from there. She liked my writing style, the title, and the premise of Kiss Kiss For Real, and thought it was a great fit for commercial YA romance.
And so, this book was born.
Mean Girls meets The Kissing Booth!
Kiss Kiss For Real is a fun slow-burn teen romance. Hang on for the ride as you find out how the good girl gets the “bad” boy!
It takes you through a roller coaster school year of catfights, hot guys, chickening out, sneaking around, secret admirers, making friends, and losing a few. Join Diana as she tries to stay sane, look her cutest, figure out who she is, and what her heart wants in the midst of it all.
It’s the 1991-92 school year. Kind, unassuming, academic princess Diana Prescott has recently moved in next door to the hottest, most intimidating guy at her new school, Rico Alvarez. They couldn’t seem to be more different, so when friendship blossoms between them it inevitably causes a multitude of drama. For the first time, Diana experiences bullying and sexual harassment — discovering her own personal and ethical boundaries the hard way.
When it seems like things between her and Rico are ruined, a shocking incident involving Diana reunites them as friends and allies. But is that all they’ll ever be?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Charvet (pronounced shar-vay) Clark grew up in the Puget Sound area of Washington State either daydreaming, singing, or talking too much in school, usually directed all imaginative play with friends and cousins, and excelled at most creative endeavors. She was blessed with an elementary school librarian for a grandma and so was raised on a steady diet of high-quality children’s literature.
Her writing career began in the sixth grade when her teacher submitted her short story for a Young Writer’s competition, and she won. From that time on, while in school, her English teachers loved her, especially when she actually got an assignment turned in. Several of them encouraged her to pursue writing as a career. But Charvet didn’t listen. She thought grown-up careers were supposed to be hard and complicated – that those who were paid for their imagination were only the elite and lucky few.
Today, Charvet knows better. She frequently still gets lost in thought as characters and their stories introduce themselves while she’s in the middle of adulting, and does her best to do them justice in her writing. She’s a sucker for sweet romance in any genre, going to the movies, chocolate, cheesy junior high-level humor, shopping, music, art, and fattening coconut milk mocha lattes. She currently lives in the Dallas, Texas area with her husband, teenage son, and daughter, two big dorky dogs, a diva rabbit, and one intense crazy black cat.
Sign up for my author newsletter at charvetclark.com and you’ll receive the FREE mini prequel to Kiss Kiss For Real titled Patricia Meets Craig. It’s the story of how Diana’s mom and stepdad meet, fall in love, and find their happily-ever-after.
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