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Debut Author Interview: Kristy Boyce and Hot British Boyfriend Giveaway

Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Kristy Boyce here to share about her YA contemporary Hot British Boyfriend. It sounds like a fun, sweet romance story set in a great setting—England.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

After a horrifying public rejection by her crush, Ellie Nichols does what any girl would do: she flees the country. To be more precise, she joins her high school’s study abroad trip to England. While most of her classmates are there to take honors courses and pad their college applications, Ellie is on a quest to rebuild her reputation and self-confidence. And nothing is more of a confidence booster than getting a hot British boyfriend.

When Ellie meets Will, a gorgeous and charming Brit, she vows to avoid making the same mistakes as she did with the last guy she liked. Which is why she strikes up a bargain with Dev, an overachieving classmate who she’s never clicked with, but who does seem to know a lot about the things Will is interested in—if he helps her win over her crush, then she’ll help him win over his.

But even as Ellie embarks on a whirlwind romance, one that takes her on adventures to some of England’s most beautiful places, she still needs to figure out if this is actually the answer to all her problems…and whether the perfect boyfriend is actually the perfect boy for her. 

Follower News

Jemi Fraser has a new adult romance, Reaching for Trust: Bloo Moo #6, releasing. Here’s a blurb and a

few links:

Reaching For Trust: Bloo Moose #6

One scared pop singer in disguise.

One burned-out lawyer opening a sugar shack.

Two newcomers to Bloo Moose who don’t realize the past is hunting them.

 Amazon  Apple Barnes and Noble Kobo Google Play

Bookbub Goodreads Website

Rebecca Rector has released a new picture book, Squish Squash Squished! Here’s a blurb and a few links:

When Max and Molly complain about being squished in the back seat of their gracious-spacious automobile, Mom invites their animal neighbors to ride along. They’d better figure out what to do before they’re truly SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED!




 Interview With Kristy Boyce

Hi Kristy! Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

Like many of us, I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school. However, growing up, I never met other writers or learned how one became a published author. To me it seemed like an impossible dream so I treated it like one.

When I went to college I found social psychology and fell in love with it. I continued on to earn my Ph.D., and then began teaching at the university level, but I never lost my love for writing. I promised myself that once I finished my dissertation I would finally pursue the secret dream I’d always had. And I did!

2. That’s great that you committed to follow your dreams. Where did you get the idea for Hot British Boyfriend?

One of my inspirations came from a question on a psychology exam that I wrote. I was testing on the dueling motives we have to be liked and to be truly known (which are sometimes mutually exclusive) and I thought it would be fun to explore that in a YA. I’ve also always loved England and traveling so I pulled that passion into the book.

3. That is a very unique way to come up with a story idea. It shows how ideas are everywhere. It can be easy to build up the stakes and conflicts to make a story a page turner in a YA fantasy, mystery, or thriller. How do you do that in a YA contemporary romance like yours?

I’m biased, but I feel like the stakes can be incredibly high in YA romance. Especially as a teenager, what could possibly be worse than being rejected or dumped by someone you love? Or sharing your heart with someone only to find out that the other person isn’t interested? You might not be trying to save the whole world, but you’re trying to save your world, and that can feel extremely important.

 As long as the reader empathizes with the character and wants them to be happy, a YA romance can be a page turner as the reader rushes to find out how the character will get their happily ever after.

4. There are a number of other things going on in your story that also make it sound interesting, like the setting in England and seeing her go to school there, Ellie’s interest in gardening, and her attempts to understand cricket. What made you decide on adding things like this to your story to make it a richer one?

Even though I write YA romances, the books are never only about romance. In this book, there’s a

deeper arc of Ellie coming to appreciate herself and feeling comfortable sharing that version of herself with others. I wanted to find ways to show this, so her struggles with academics and her gardening demonstrate how she’d grown throughout the book.  

5. Talk a little bit about the romance in your story and choices you made when showing Ellie’s romantic scenes. What tips do you have us for the rest of us?

Hot British Boyfriend definitely uses the “friends-to-lovers” trope…or maybe “indifferent acquaintances-to-lovers” trope would be better wording!

I know I like to write about characters who, at least at first, appear to have opposite personalities. For instance, Ellie and Dev don’t think about the future in the same way or have the same priorities. This can lead to really fun dialogue between characters and it can also show character growth as the two learn and grow due to their connection.

Of course, it can be tricky because I don’t want one of my characters to feel like they have to change for the other. Instead, I like the idea of both characters becoming better versions of themselves with the other’s encouragement.

6. I really like the trope you used rather than an instant love one. You also are a senior lecturer at Ohio State University and have a family. How do you find time to get enough writing done and the marketing you need to do in your busy life?

It’s definitely challenging, particularly with the pandemic! During the days I’ve been helping my son with virtual school and working on my own online classes. I am a night owl so I usually write in the evenings after my son goes to bed.

It can be hard to balance writing with marketing, and that’s something that I’m still working on. Right now I’m giving myself permission to prioritize marketing over writing since my debut is coming out, but soon I’ll flip back to writing most evenings.

7. You have been seriously writing since 2008. Share about how you stuck with it and got your agent, Tara Gonzalez, and your publishing contract.

Yes, it’s been a long road with a lot of rejections. Hot British Boyfriend is the fourth novel I’ve written and the third that I queried. The first time I queried HBB I got full requests followed by rejections. I didn’t know how to improve the book and was about to give up on it, but then I decided to enter PitchWars. My wonderful mentors, Carrie Allen and Sabrina Lotfi, chose me and I’m forever grateful to them. They helped me to rework the novel and Tara requested it during the 2019 PitchWars agent showcase and signed me after.

I did a few small edits with Tara and then we went on sub in late summer 2019. I was very lucky that I was not on sub for long before we got an offer from Catherine Wallace at HarperTeen. That call is one I’ll never forget!

8. I’ve interviewed a lot of authors who said that the Pitch Wars helped them get published. How are you marketing your book given the pandemic?

Honestly, I’m just trying to do things that I enjoy. I ran a preorder campaign because I always wanted to do that and it was a lot of fun to see the entries coming in from around the country and world! I’ve been doing blog interviews, a panel for my local SCBWI group, and trying to get my book in front of lots of bookstagrammers. I’m not sure that there’s a perfect way to market right now (or ever) so I figure I should do things that bring me joy!

9. What are you working on now? If you are writing a book under contract, what has that experience been like?

Right now I’m on sub with a new YA contemporary romance and I’m going to start drafting a another new book soon. It’ll be nice to get back to writing.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Kristy. You can find Kristy at https://www.kristyboyceauthor.com/ She’s also on twitter: @KristyLBoyce and Instagram @kristylboyce

Giveaway Details


Kristy has generously offered a hardback of Hot British Boyfriend for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by February 20th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

 If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This giveaway is U.S. 

Upcoming Interviews and Giveaways

Wednesday, February 10th I have an agent spotlight interview with Abigail Frank and a query critique giveaway

Monday, February 15th I have an interview with debut author Emily Victoria and a giveaway of her YA fantasy This Golden Flame

Tuesday, February 16th I’m participating in the Wish Big Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, February 17th I have an agent spotlight interview with Pam Gruber and a query critique giveaway

Monday, February 22th I have a guest post by debut author Sam Taylor and her agent Allison Hellegers and a giveaway of Sam’s YA fantasy We Are the Fire and a query critique giveaway by Allison

Hope to see you on Wednesday!




Beth said...

Congratulations to Jemi! Woo-hoo!

nashvillecats2 said...

Good review Natalie, congrats also to Jemi.

Take care.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Better versions of ourselves is what all of us hope to become, so it's fitting in your story.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congratulations to both Jemi and Kristy!

Having an agent who edits before subs is always nice!

Computer Tutor said...

The book sounds delightful. "Friends-to-lovers” trope"--that seems perfect for YA.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Nice premise, Kristy. Great for a YA audience. I love the cover! And bravo for getting your Ph.D. All the luck with this new release. I enjoyed the interview, Natalie. I usually do. Thanks for sharing this with your followers. Have a beautiful week!

Megan said...

This book looks delightful!!
(Not entering the giveaway) :)

Liz A. said...

Sounds like a great book. It's interesting how a couple disparate ideas can come together to form a whole story.

Fundy Blue said...

Sounds like a fun book, and I'm glad that it combines romance with Ellie coming to appreciate herself and feeling comfortable sharing herself with others. Of course, my first question is what happens when Ellie has to return home? Good luck with your book Kristy. I enjoy your interviews, as always, Natalie!

Jenni said...

This sounds like such a fun book! Can't wait to read it! I love that Kristy chose to go the friends first route instead of insta-love. And I can see how social psychology would be a great inspiration for novels.
Thanks for a great interview, Natalie!

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.

ken ohl said...

email subscriber congrats

Melissa Miles said...

I've been intrigued by this book since I first heard the title! What a great story line.

kristi o. said...

The book sounds great! I love all things England and YA romance! What a great combo! :)

Danielle H. said...

This book is a must read for me. I asked my library to order it and they did, so I have a hold placed on it to hopefully be a first reader. I think the way the idea came for this book is truly unique. My neighbors are from England, so that makes this book extra fun for me. I shared on tumblr: https://yesreaderwriterpoetmusician.tumblr.com/post/642665470201315328/debut-author-interview-kristy-boyce-and-hot

DMS said...

This sounds like an exciting read. Fun to read the interview and learn more about Kristy and where the idea for the book came from. I have always wanted to visit England.

Best of luck to Kristy.

Sandra Cox said...

Hot British Boyfriend sounds both fun and intriguing.
Trust and Squish also sound good.
Natalie, I hope you have a pleasant, productive week.
Stay safe. Be well.

tetewa said...

Would love to get a copy!

Ilona Bray said...

Giving away a Hot British Boyfriend? Count me in!

Debra Branigan said...

I enjoyed the interview with Kristy Boyce. The book sounds like a gem to read and it will be added to my TBR for sure. Best wishes on the novel. I shared on twitter.

Jessica Lawson said...

This sounds like such a fun book!

Stephanie Owen said...

Congratulations on your new book! Hot British Boyfriend sounds like my cup of tea. owens@wsd3.org

Angie Quantrell said...

Congratulations! To all three authors!

I will tweet this post. :)