(The above picture was created via PicMonkey for the purpose of this post.)
As you already know I recently read and loved Margo Rabb’s Kissing In America. So much so that the moment I was done reading it I had to e-mail Margo to see if she would be willing to answer a few questions about writing, books, and of course Kissing in America.
I’m so happy to welcome Margo to the BookBandit Blog and to feature her as a part of this Boys of Summer feature!
BookBandit Blog (BB): What was the inspiration behind your book Kissing in America
Margo Rabb (MR): In many ways, Kissing in America is a love letter to who I was as a teen – a grief-filled girl who desperately wanted to find love, and even more than that, to understand it. Writing the novel was a long process – I started the first draft in 2008 – and a labor of love. Eva, the narrator finds solace in many of the things that comforted and helped me when I was her age: poetry, which I loved to write and read; travel (I spent half of my teen years on buses and trains); and feminism, which I first learned about as a teen, and which changed the way I thought of myself and what I dreamed my life could be.
BB: How was writing Kissing In America different from writing your first book, Cures for Heartbreak?
MR: I wrote Cures for Heartbreak as a series of connected short stories that I later wove together as a novel, so it’s different from Kissing in America, which I plotted out more thoroughly. As I wrote Kissing in America, I came up with a storyboard using index cards, and I kept the storyboard on the wall of my offices as I wrote.
BB: If you had to describe Kissing in America in three words, what three words would use?
MR: Friendship, love, & power.
BB: Romance novels play a big role in Kissing in America. So, it kind of begs the question: what are some of your favorite romance novels?
MR: Like Eva, I love cowboy romances — my favorite is Sandra Brown’s Texas Sage — it’s a lot of fun.
BB: Besides the romance novels, poetry also plays a major role in the book – what is your favorite poem featured in the book? And why did you choose the poems that you did?
MR: I love all the poems in the book, and I loved weaving them into the story. If I had to pick a favorite, I think it would be Marie Howe’s What the Living Do, which can be read here.
BB: What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
MR: Never give up! A writing career is a difficult one, and it means enduring lots and lots of rejections. A big part of your job as a writer — perhaps the biggest part — is just keeping the faith and showing up every day and getting the work done. But after all is said and done, it’s absolutely worth it.