[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Cameron Lund and ask her five(ish) questions. Cameron’s novel ‘The Best Laid Plans‘ is out April 7th!]
Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
Cameron Lund: I’ve always been a huge fan of rom-coms, so I wanted to write one that felt personal to me. I was that girl in high school who was never quite sure where she measured up, who felt like she was falling behind all of her friends in so many ways. But in talking to my friends recently about our experiences back then, it turns out all of us felt this way. I wanted to write a story for that girl–to show her that she’s okay going at her own pace and being true to herself. There’s so much media about boys trying to lose their virginity, but not as much about the female experience (although luckily, it’s getting more common!). I wanted to write some of the honest, realistic, funny conversations about sex that I was having with my friends when I was seventeen. And then of course, I love a swoony friends-to-lovers romance, so I’ve always wanted to write one of my own!
What character do you most relate to and why?
I relate to Keely in so many ways. All of the insecurities and anxieties she feels about sex are pulled straight from my own inner monologue as a teenager. There are other similarities too–I always felt slightly out of place around my friends, like I was the least cool one allowed at the lunch table; was only comfortable being my weird goofy self around a select few people. But they’re all little bits of me! I’m a musical theatre obsessive like Ava, love a punny joke like Andrew, share a bit of a Slytherin side with Danielle.
Why do you feel books with powerful and relatable characters are so popular and have such a voice right now?
I think we’re finally in a place–especially with this political climate–where people are sick of seeing the same harmful stereotypes over and over again in what they read and watch. I’ve been happy to find more books that do away with anti-feminist tropes, and appreciate reading about female characters that are more nuanced. It’s common in older rom-coms for the foil character–the other woman the romantic lead has his eye on–to be presented as a one-dimensional mean-girl type (think You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift). It was important to me that all of my characters felt like fully formed people with their own wants and desires, and I’ve been very thankful to notice more of this trend happening in other media. Of course, publishing still has a long way to go in terms of diversity, but we’re hopefully headed in the right direction.
Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.
The Best Laid Plans is about a high school senior who is trying to figure out if she’s ready to have sex for the first time. She’s nervous because all her friends have first time horror stories, and she wants to find someone she likes and trusts. When she meets a student at the local college who gets her old movie references and looks just like James Dean, he feels like a fresh start–but soon she lets her insecurities get in the way. Instead of being honest about her lack of experience, she comes up with a plan: ask her childhood best friend Andrew to sleep with her first and teach her everything he knows. It’s a swoony romance, but also a coming-of-age story as Keely discovers what she actually wants and learns to take charge of her life and decisions.
What’s next for you in the book world?
I can’t say much about my next novel because it hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I do have another book coming out next year! You can expect more of all the things I love to write about–complicated female friendships, morally gray characters, comedies of errors, awkward attempts at flirting, swoony romance, and LOTS of sexual tension.
Who is your favorite writer right now and why?
Oh boy, this one changes all the time! It’s pretty impossible to choose just one. I think Mackenzi Lee is a genius–her books are a perfect mix of adventure, romance, and witty banter. I also think Elana K Arnold is incredible; the last page of Damsel destroyed me. I devoured Red, White, & Royal Blue last year and can’t wait to see what Casey Mcquiston does next.