[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Christine Riccio and ask her five(ish) questions. Christine’s novel ‘Again, But Better‘ is out May 7th!]
Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel Again, But Better?
Christine: Again, But Better was inspired by my own introverted life struggles during college. We’re faced with so many potentially-life-changing scary opportunities when we’re young, and so often we clam up and are too terrified to take them. A huge drive behind writing Again, But Better was to hopefully, help inspire people hop out of their comfort zones and step into something new!
What character do you most relate to and why?
Oh definitely Shane! Her story is the one I needed in college. I was in such a lonely, insecure place when it comes to friends and romance, and I didn’t have anyone in my life who was feeling the same way. I ended up studying abroad my junior year of university, and it is hands down, the most pivotal, life changing thing I’ve done in my 28.5 years thus far.
Why do you feel young adult books are so popular and have such a voice right now?
Because young adult books show us that we’re not alone. We’re not alone in our passionate angst, in our romantic melodramas, in our fears and insecurities. Humans always want to be seen, but it’s especially true during that young adult era of our lives: that time when adulthood brandy new, and extra scary and nothing like we expect it to be!
We all want to know that our problems can be solved, and our issues can be conquered — and young adult books show us just that. They’re hopeful and empowering and when they catch you at that pivotal time in your teens, your early twenties, when they catch you when you need them the most, they’re magic. Books become more than books. They’re part of your infrastructure. They’re pieces of what makes you, you. And when something has that big of an impact on your life, you yell about it from the rooftops.
Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.
Again, But Better is a coming of age rom-com about a college student, Shane. She’s going into year three of college and she’s managed to to back herself into a friendless, romance-less, life corner, and, she’s not a fan. She wants that life changing university experience that adults have talked about all her life. And so, she decides she’s going to study abroad in London, give this whole college thing another try, and do it better this time. Maybe leave the safety of her dorm and actually try talking to people. What should you expect? Anxiety ridden romance, travel, lots of humor, and a touch of magic! It’s a story about second chances and being brave enough to try again, even after you’ve royally shit the bed.
What’s next for you in the book world?
As always I’m going to be making bookish videos on my youtube channel! But as far as writing goes, next up for me is another contemporary novel. I’m currently in the outlining process! This next story I want to tell is a whole new challenge, and I’m so excited to tackle it.
What’s your favorite writing method that you follow for inspiration?
I’m not sure I have a favorite writing method yet! I wrote the first draft of Again, But Better using the NanoWrimo schedule – bang out 50,000 words in 30 days! It worked really well to help me get the first draft of the story on paper. But my process for this second novel has been completely different! So, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll sort out a favorite eventually, but right now I feel like I’m still experimenting.