*My Calendar Girls post will be up most likely on Thursday. I’m still working on being off my slump. So, I’m back – kind of?*
I’m so, so excited today to bring to you an interview with the wonderful Kat Colmer. She is a brand new book coming out today, and it sounds like it is going to be going to be a good one. It plays on one of our favorite YA tropes – friends to lovers – and it has some of the coolest mythology. Plus, Colmer is SUPER nice, and her favorite princess is EPIC. Let’s celebrate her release day with some epic q & a and even more cool fun facts!
About the Book
Love curses don’t exist. At least that’s what Jonas, master of the meaningless hookup, tells himself when a letter warns him he’s an Eros Guardian cursed to endure a test of true love or forever be alone. His levelheaded longtime friend Cora figures it’s a revenge prank by an ex. The way Jonas stamps each girlfriend with a weeklong use-by date, it serves him right.
But when an impulsive kiss between the two friends reveals potential for more, Cora becomes the target of the Groth Maar: demons sent to wipe out the Eros Guardian line. And suddenly the curse becomes dangerously real.
Breaking the curse means Jonas’s biggest challenge yet. Failure guarantees Cora’s death. But success may cost him his own life…and the loss of his carefully guarded heart to the one girl far too sensible to fall for him.
Since this is Book Princess Reviews, I have to ask: who is your favorite Princess and why?
Easy! It has to be Moana. Firstly, because of her Polynesian heritage and its links to Maori culture (We Aussies like to support our New Zealand neighbors wherever we can, unless it comes to rugby!), but also because of Moana’s strong, adventurous, and brave character. She’s the kind of princess I’d like my daughter to look up to.
Your mythology is so intriguing in the novel. Our hero, Jonas, is descended from the Eros Guardian line- where he is cursed to endure a test of true love or forever be alone. How did you come up with this and develop your concept?
The Eros Guardian idea came about when I read the tragic tale of Amnon and Tamar, an Old Testament story in which King David’s beautiful daughter Tamar is shamed and cast out of her father’s palace, all because her half brother Amnon felt she was his for the taking. Tamar goes mad thanks to the ordeal. About here’s where my writer brain sat up and asked, “Wait, what if she didn’t go mad? What if she got mad instead?” That day the Love’s Mortal Coil curse was born, and relationship phobic Jonas was chosen as the present day Eros Guardian who had to live it out. Key scenes started to play out in my head, and soon after I had a rough plot nutted out. I still have the smudged pencil-drawn grid I used to plot the first draft of the story. Somewhere…
In your book, Jonas ends up kissing his best friend, Cora, and accidentally dooming her to become a target of the Groth Maar: demons sent to wipe out the Eros Guardian line. Best friends to lover trope is one of my favorite YA tropes. Do you have any? And how much fun was it to develop their relationship?
Best friends to lovers is also one of my favorite YA tropes, maybe because I feel the most solid relationships are built on a foundation of friendship first and chemistry second. I love following two characters on that awkward, sometimes unsettling, journey where they discover they’re starting to see their friend in a not-so-platonic light. Jonas and Cora have a strong, mutually respectful, friendship to build a romantic attraction on, so I had lots to play with as I set them up to battle demons along with their attraction for one another. Still, at times I wanted to grab them by the shoulders and yell, “What are you waiting for? You’d be so good together!”
Another trope I quite like is enemies to lovers. There’s so much fun to be had building on the pre-existing tension between the hero and heroine thanks to their initial dislike of one another. Watching them slowly realize how wrong or unfair they were in their judgement of the other is always hugely satisfying.
I was reading in your bio that you’re not only a writer but also a teacher and reader of YA fiction. What are some of your favorite YA titles? And did it help you when writing this book?
Where do I start? I’m a high school teacher-librarian, so I have access to a LOT of books. A bit of a dream job, really, but it does make picking favorites very hard. I generally love anything that Katie McGarry, Simone Elkeles, Maggie Stiefvater, and Melina Marchetta write. There is one YA novel – or rather series – that springs to mind when people ask which book helped or was somehow inspirational in writing The Third Kiss, and that’s Paula Weston’s Rephaim series. It’s a fallen angel story set in Australia aimed at upper YA readers. No holds barred action, fantastic plot line with lots of twists and turns, and a to-die-for romance between the main characters Gaby and Rafa. (Um, Mandy really wants to read this now.)
It says on Goodreads that this is #1 of the series, Love’s Mortal Coil. Any plans for a second one or any other works?
Yes, I’m currently writing book 2 in the series, which, as you may have guessed, is Leo and Beth’s story – because some curses are harder than others to stamp out.
- A friend of mine makes replica weaponry, so I had a Sword of Absolom made, which features in The Third Kiss. Here’s a picture (see above)!
- The kiss in chapter 16 is an award winner! It won first place in the Romance Writer’s of Australia First Kiss competition in 2014.
- I love the trailer music production duo Two Steps From Hell, and listened to their epic music while writing the fight scenes in The Third Kiss.
- English is my third language. Polish and German are number one and two.
- Tim Tams feature in the book because they’re my favorite biscuit! Apparently Walmart in the US stocks them if you’re keen to try some.
About This Wonderful Author
Kat Colmer is a Sydney-based Young and New Adult author who writes coming-of-age stories with humor and heart. The recipient of several writing awards, she has won the Romance Writers of Australia First Kiss contest, as well as the Romance Writers of America On the Far Side contest for her debut Young Adult Paranormal Romance.
Kat has a Master of Education in Teacher Librarianship and loves working with teens and young adults. When not writing, teaching, or reading the latest in YA fiction, Kat spends time with her husband and two children.
What do you think? Do you share our love of friends to lover tropes? Doesn’t her mythology just seem so cool? Was that not a super leading question? Let’s discuss in the comments below!