Author Interview: Sunny Song will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park
We are thrilled to share with you our recent interview with Suzanne Park, who’s recently released book, Sunny Song will Never Be Famous, which is promoting a break from social media, and boy does that sounds nice right about now, when everything in life has been on screens.
I am happy to report that you can join in an activation on instagram and you could win prizes so check out BookCrushin’s instagram on Monday June 14th to #SignOffForSunnySong
Sunny Song Will Never Be Famousby Suzanne Park
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire, SourcebooksFire
on June 1, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
A social media influencer is shipped off to a digital detox summer camp in this funny coming-of-age story, perfect for fans of Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty and Love and Gelato.
Sunny Song's Big Summer Goals:
1) Make Rafael Kim my boyfriend (finally!)
2) Hit 100K followers (almost there…)
3) Have the best last summer of high school ever
Not on Sunny's list: accidentally filming a PG-13 cooking video that goes viral (#browniegate). Extremely not on her list: being shipped off to a digital detox farm camp in Iowa (IOWA??) for a whole month. She's traded in her WiFi connection for a butter churn, and if she wants any shot at growing her social media platform this summer, she'll need to find a way back online.
But between some unexpected friendships and an alarmingly cute farm boy, Sunny might be surprised by the connections she makes when she's forced to disconnect.
What’s one thing you want audiences to know that you won’t find in the synopsis?
How much research went into this book is probably not something that’s apparent from the book descriptions. I read tech articles, listened to business podcasts, read tech company financial statements and books like DIGITAL MINIMALISM, ESSENTIALISM, HOW TO BREAK UP WITH YOUR PHONE and ATOMIC HABITS. These books are tech and/or business-focused ones that teens don’t typically read and I distilled some of the main points and themes from these readings and included them in SUNNY SONG in a way that I hope can help teens think about their media usage. When you better understand the tech companies’ motivations behind the technology, you may pause to think as you’re swiping and scrolling, “is this benefiting me, or them?” I also read Laura Ingalls Wilder novels, Charlotte’s Web and Anne of Green Gables to get the farm setting right.
Sunny Song has big social media goals. How have you structured your online presence? Are there parts of Sunny’s story that resonate with your experience?
My online presence is mainly centered on Instagram and Twitter. You’ll also see me pop in on Facebook, LinkedIn and Clubhouse on occasion. Sunny and other social media influencers at the digital detox camp talk about the frustrations they face as “always on” personas. There’s one scene where one camper explains how he feels behind all the time, and as soon as he feels good about one platform, a new one pops up and he has to worry about building an audience over again. I definitely feel this: when I first started on Instagram, Snapchat exploded…and then TikTok and Clubhouse entered the scene right after that. I made a conscious decision to just stay where I’m most comfortable, and that’s IG and Twitter (though Clubhouse is growing on me!)
You write both YA and adult romance stories. How does your writing experience differ between the two?
My writing process doesn’t change much between YA and adult. As you know from the previous answer, I seem to dive head first into doing research with almost everything I write, whether it’s about gaming, or zombies or farms! I do focus hard on voice and try to accurately reflect the views of teens and adults given realistic life experiences of my characters. So my teens stumble through life and figure lots of things out for themselves. My adults will have more life experiences yet may have more deeply ingrained beliefs or misbeliefs that guide their decisions and actions.
A fellow author recently asked me if I thought YA used more casual language vs. adult, and I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately. For my characters, I’d say yes, mainly because the adult books I write are more mature in content and the stories focus on the main character’s career paths, and as such they’re around other adults who are coworkers or business partners and this sometimes requires more formality in their interactions.