It’s All About the Book…
Please tell us about your current or upcoming release.
My Summer Roommate is about Chloe who needs a place to crash for the summer before college. When Chris offers, she moves in with him. It’s just for two months, no biggie. But soon she realizes she may have made a mistake. He is too perfect; a former snowboarder, laid-back and kind to boot, and he’s smitten with her. But she’s got trust issues and a relationship feels daunting. When he keeps trying to win her over, the temptation becomes overwhelming.
Just as she gives in and decides it’s not worth fighting their emotions anymore, Chris reveals he’s made a stupid mistake which might ruin Chloe’s trust in him and tear them apart.
What is this book’s genre? Is this the genre you usually write in? Are there any genres you haven’t written that you’d like to try?
My Summer Roommate is a young adult contemporary romance. It’s my second one, and I’m currently working on my third. As for genres I’d like to write - I’ve always admired mystery and crime story writers because those stories are so complex. Since I’m not much of a plotter, I doubt I could ever write anything that complicated, but I’d like to try.
What inspired you to write this book?
Chloe was a side character in my first novel, Letting Go. She was such a compelling individual that I had to write her story. I also wanted to challenge the romance novel stereotype that it’s the boys who are afraid of commitment. Those two sources of inspiration then joined together to form this novel.
How did you pick its title? Did it come first or did you have to write the story first?
Ah, titles are the worst! This novel was initially titled A Pretty Big Love. During the editing process, the editor and I together decided it needed a different title. It was then that it became My Summer Roommate. So, thank you, JC Chute!
How did you create your characters? Did you use any real life people in their making?
Like I said, Chloe appeared first in Letting Go. I wrote her as a sort of contrast to Isabelle, the protagonist. More than emulating any real person, I was trying to base both Isabelle’s and Chloe’s characters on how people might respond to having too many responsibilities early on in their lives. So I created a pair of friends, basically coming from a similar family background, but reacting differently to it. They were sort of my guinea pigs. But no real animals or people got hurt during my experiments. ;-)
Who is your favorite character of this book and why?
Very difficult to choose, because I love Chris, too. But Chloe is the heroine, she’s the one who has to go through a big transformation between the point we meet her and the ending of the novel. She’s gutsy and positive; she wants to be a better person, which I think is very important.
What is your favorite part of this book? Can you share an excerpt from that part?
My favorite part of the book is the first half when Chloe and Chris are getting to know each other and it very quickly becomes obvious that Chris is quite smitten with her while she fights his every attempt at winning her. Here’s a short excerpt from the scene where they’re cleaning the apartment they share (told from Chris’s perspective):
“Can we at least have a break? Something to eat and catch our breath?”
“Now?” She looks around for a clock, then digs her phone out of her pocket and checks the time. “It’s barely eleven.” She says it in a ‘why the fuck would you want a break after only two hours of cleaning’ way.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to look like a douche, like I want her to do all the work while I rest. But this is my place, so …
“How about we have a drink?” she says, and smiles. All that frowning and seriousness is gone, and I think if she smiled at me like that and asked me to run up and down the stairs with one of those heavy-ass boxes on my back, I’d do it. Cause that smile does weird things to me. I mean, I’ve always known she was hot, like in a real woman sort of hot, not the simpering femme fatale wannabes hot. Which is not hot, at all. I mean … You know what I mean? She’s like curl-your-toes, let-me-be-your-slave sort of hot.
But yeah … I think she expects me to answer her and be a normally functioning human being so I should stop having those thoughts.
What was the hardest part of this book to write? Can you share an excerpt from that part?
The hardest part was certainly the angsty part towards the end. That was the most emotionally intense part and that’s always difficult to write.
It’s been thirteen days, and I count them like a lovesick idiot. Which is, I guess, what I am. But still, you know … It’s humiliating. It’s distracting me at work. Salvo’s given me a dressing-down twice this week. I messed up four deliveries. Needless to say, I didn’t get any tips for that.
Every morning, Sal’s trying to convince me to take a box of croissants to Izzy’s and try to talk to Chloe. I think my love life is beginning to substitute for his soap operas, which is just tragic. I’m not convinced his idea is a good one. I think trying to talk to her when she obviously doesn’t want to talk to me would only make it worse.
I can avoid her, but there’s nothing I can do to stop feeling like this. Nothing I can do to stop thinking about her the way I imagine alcoholics think about their next drink, even dream about it.
I fucked up. What pisses me off is that it wasn’t even deliberate. That bet was an act of total idiocy. My only excuse is that I made it when I still thought I didn’t have the slightest chance with Chloe. I would never have done it otherwise. I don’t sleep with girls for bets, for chrissakes. Especially not with Chloe. She wasn’t even just a girl. She was different. She was supposed to be my girl.
Did you have any special rhythm or quirks while writing this?
Not really, no. I don’t have any special routines or quirks. Every time I sit down to write, it’s different. I improvise.
Is this a stand-alone book or is it part of a series? If so, we want to hear about it and what’s next in the series. If not a series, what comes next to be released?
This is a companion book to Letting Go. That one was Isabelle’s story, while My Summer Roommate is Chloe’s story. I don’t plan any other books in this series. But I’m working on my next YA. This one, however, doesn’t focus so much on romance, bu
t on the main character’s attempts to fix her relationship with her mother.
I’d like to thank you for hosting me today. It’s been fun. J
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Bridie Hall sold her first story at fourteen. Since then, she has written dozens more, translated books, studied writing, and started writing novels. Her days revolve around stories and words, her sleepless nights involve plotting and inventing fascinating new characters. The only activity that takes up more of her time than writing, is reading.
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