Last week I reviewed First There Was Forever by Juliana Romano, a fantastic contemporary read that’s perfect for spring and summer. To follow up, I have a Q&A with the author!
A big thank you to Juliana Romano for answering my questions and Penguin Random House for the opportunity!
Where did the idea for the novel come from?
I love stories about forbidden love and also stories about friendship, so I knew I wanted to write about both of those things. And Lima, Hailey and Nate made the perfect love triangle to explore. Also, I knew I wanted to write a book from the point of view of a girl who is struggling with how to be a good person.
How much of the story did you have in mind when you started writing and how much did it change?
The writing changed but the story didn’t, if that makes sense! I knew where I wanted Lima and Hailey to end up, both with regard to each other and with regard to Nate. And I knew that I wanted Lima to get involved with some dangerous older kids. That said, I worked on the book for a long time and the writing evolved a lot over the years because I wanted to create a certain tone and atmosphere and make the pacing feel right. But at its core, the story did not change.
Where do you like to write? Did you ever spend time outside while working on your novel? Your descriptions of the ocean and the sky are so vivid that I felt like I was there looking at everything.
I love the beach and the sun and the sky, but I’m an indoor kind of person at heart! I get too distracted working outside, so I always work inside and just try to visualize the outdoors.
Did you see any traits of yourself or your own friends popping up in the characters of Lima and Hailey?
Yes! When I was working on the book all the time, I saw Lima and Hailey in every one of my friends and myself. It was like “Oh that’s so Hailey” or “That’s so Lima.” But the characters weren’t actually based on any individuals or on myself, but more a combination of lots of people.
PS – Check out my review of the book!
// Voting for May’s book club pick is open!