Blog Tour, Interview & Giveaway: Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura
We are celebrating Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura, which is available now! We are thrilled to be a part of the blog tour and host an interview with Sara! Check out all the cuteness of this sports romance and be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway below!
Every Reason We Shouldn't (Every Reason We Shouldn't, #1)by Sara Fujimura
Published by: Tor Teen
on March 3, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Bookshop, IndieBound, iTunes, Book Depository, Amazon
Warning: Contains family expectations, delightful banter, great romantic tension, skating (all kinds!), Korean pastries, and all the feels.
Fifteen-year-old, biracial figure skater Olivia Kennedy’s Olympic dreams have ended. She's bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of an athlete... until Jonah Choi starts training at her family's struggling rink. Jonah's driven, talented, going for the Olympics in speed skating, completely annoying… and totally gorgeous. Between teasing Jonah, helping her best friend try out for roller derby, figuring out life as a normal teen and keeping the family business running, Olivia's got her hands full. But will rivalry bring her closer to Jonah, or drive them apart?
Every Reason We Shouldn't by Sara Fujimura is a charming multicultural romance perfect for the many fans of Jenny Han and Rainbow Rowell.
What was the inspiration for the sports theme & all the skating?
Apolo Ohno’s autobiography ZERO REGRETS. I was specifically fascinated by the account of his teenage years. Ohno was at the crossroads of his career and had a tough decision to make. Should he walk away from the sport with the wins he already had and be a “normal teen”? Or, should he press on to see if he could make it to the Olympics even though it would come with a high physical and emotional cost? Spoiler alert: Ohno has eight Olympic medals in short track speed skating. I think he made the right choice. Jonah’s character came to me first, and Apolo Ohno very much influenced him. I saved the crossroads story for Olivia, though. I have two ultra-talented girls (now young women) in my life, and I got to see—thanks to their moms—what it’s like to be that one-in-a-million teen and all the unique challenges that come with being that high level of an athlete/performer. One is a dancer and the other a singer, but I wanted a girl who was into ice sports to work better with Jonah’s character.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I do! When I’m writing a new book, I write it on my Chromebook downstairs. Once the first draft is solid, then I move upstairs to my office and revise it on my regular laptop. I like to light a candle, pull out my designated notebook for the project, and listen to either rain or waves or the soundtrack I created for the project.
What advice would you want teens reading Every Reason We Shouldn’t to take away from the story?
You too WILL come to a crossroads in your life somewhere between 17-21 years old. It may completely yank the rug out from under you and make you question your whole identity. The choice might be made for you (like Mack not getting into Stanford) or you may make the decision to start down a different but similar path (like Egg auditioning for Olympians on Ice), or you may choose to press on to see if you can make it to the top even though it’s hard (like Apolo Ohno). Even if you don’t dream of dancing on Broadway or playing for the NBA or having a hit record, know that at some point you and your dream are going to come to a crossroads. You will have to decide: Is it time to let this dream go, or do I push on even though it currently is bringing me nothing but heartache? Good luck and give yourself some grace. The one good thing about age is that you can look back and see how all the dots connected perfectly to bring you exactly where you needed to be.
What kind of snack is your go-to when writing?
I try not to snack while I’m doing my everyday writing. That said, all bets are off when I’m in crunch mode (*rim shot*) and on deadline. I like to make homemade hot chocolate with squirty whipped cream on top to sip when my brain craves extra carbs.
How was your experience going from indie publishing to traditional?
I don’t think it was that much different. It was just on a much bigger scale with more people involved. The putting together of the book part was very similar. I’ve always used developmental editors, copy editors, and specialists for my indie books. I am not a visually artistic person (though my bullet journal is cute with all the washi tape), so I hired a graphic artist to design my covers and interior art. She also formatted my first two books, TANABATA WISH and BREATHE. The biggest difference was being able to have an audiobook right away and also the ability to sell translation rights. Indie authors can do it (Phoenix YA author and friend Ginger Scott is crushing it), but it is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. All authors have to do marketing, but I’m lucky to have a publicist to help do things (like getting a review on NPR) that would be difficult to impossible for me to do. One interesting twist courtesy of COVID19: It doesn’t matter if you are the big fish or the minnow in your publisher’s pond. Heck, you might even be a rogue octopus doing your own thing completely solo. Nobody can do book tours, speaking gigs, conference signings, or anything in person right now, so how do you help the perfect reader find your book? That’s the question my YA Mastermind group here in Phoenix has been talking about a lot lately. My best piece of advice for writers right now is to keep creating and banking new ideas.
Did you write ERWS anticipating it was going to have a sequel to it?
I like to write complete stories with realistic, satisfying, hopeful endings. I always leave a little wiggle room for a possible sequel, though.
How was it to debut right at the time the pandemic was shutting down the country?
Awful. The good news is that ERWS just squeaked under the COVID19 bar. The bad news is that all of my spring and summer 2020 events were canceled, and even the fall ones look iffy. The silver lining is that because I’m a creative entrepreneur, I’m used to doing most of my own marketing (rogue octopus, FTW!) I doubled-down on the things that worked for the last two books plus strategized with Tor Teen’s publicist to try some new things. It took me a few weeks to get over my disappointment and get my feet under me, but now I’m leaning into creating the next book. All I can control right now is the way I show up, so I’m following my own previous advice to keep creating and banking new ideas.
I feel like contemporary writing may change due to the world we live in now, have you edited your next novel due to current events?
I wrote the book I’m revising now back in November 2019, so I’m going to leave it as it is. Ah, the good ole days! The next YA book coming down the pike is still in the Big Idea stage. I will definitely be making changes to better reflect our new normal. Once we figure out what that is, of course.
What other new releases are you reading and recommending these days?
After COVID19 hit, I found I couldn’t read (or write or concentrate or pretty much do anything) for a while. Slowly as I started writing, I started reading again. Mostly I’ve been reading nonfiction books for adults. Now that I can read again, though still at a slower pace than usual, I’m looking forward to diving into my embarrassingly large TBR pile. Next up: Fellow Phoenix author and friend Amy Trueblood’s ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE (YA Historical Fiction). The YA book I’m most looking forward to reading later this summer is Sandhya Menon’s 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY. I loved all of Menon’s other books in the Dimple Universe, so I can’t wait to read this one.
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