Christine Miles - An "Outbreak" of Broken Hearts
Christine Miles loves writing and reading so much she’s a middle school language arts teacher, and has two degrees in English and Creative Writing. She lives in the Denver area. When not teaching or writing, she enjoys reading super swoony romances with sassy heroines and adorkable heroes, listening to music and traveling...Day road trips totally count. As our Author of the Day, Miles tells us all about her book, Me, Shakespeare and the Anti-Love Club.
Please give us a short introduction to what Me, Shakespeare and the Anti-Love Club is about.
Kassidy, a heartbroken and spurned teenage girl, starts an Anti-Love Club in response to an "outbreak" of broken hearts at her high school. But when the boy who broke her heart is cast with her in Romeo and Juliet, and later joins her club, truths are revealed--even an ugly truth about herself--and she has some big decisions to make.
What inspired you to write about an Anti-Love Club?
It all began with, what if a 16-year-old girl had her heart broken by the boy of her dreams? Followed closely by, what if there was an "outbreak" of broken hearts at her school? After that, the story started to take shape.
Who is Kassidy and what makes her so special?
Kassidy is the heroine of the story. What I love most about her is that she's fearless, and incredibly loyal to her friends and family. She's a strong, female character, which I feel is so important in YA.
Why did you bring Shakespeare into the story?
At the time this story began to evolve in my head, I was teaching my Romeo and Juliet unit. I had a few students interested in pursuing acting. The unit was so much fun, I decided to make Kassidy an aspiring actress who loves Shakespeare, and Romeo and Juliet.
Readers found the characters to be very relatable. How did you pull this off?
Teaching teenagers. Lol! But I'm also an avid reader of YA, specifically YA romance. I know that's also helped me as a writer of teen fiction.
Do you have a favorite line from the book, and can you explain what that line means to you?
I don't have a favorite line, but one of my favorite scenes is the Anti-Love Club's first activity outside of school. But that's all I'm going to say. I don't want to give anything away!
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
What I love most about writing YA, and this age group is that teenagers are figuring out who they are and what kind of people they want to be. And I bring this into all of my books. They're not just romances; my characters face the challenges that today's teens face.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love the pre-writing phase, getting the stories out of my head and onto the computer, editing, etc. There isn't a part of the writing process I don't love.
When you start on a new book, what is the first thing you do?
I establish character names, then do character sketches for each. Once I have their motivations and arc set, I (roughly) plot out major points in the story.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I'm a morning writer; sometimes painfully early, too. Because of that and also being a teacher, my writing is limited to mostly weekends and school breaks. So, I'll go weeks without a day off, but it's worth it.
What are you working on right now?
I'll be releasing the 5th and final book in this series--Me, Shakespeare and the Anti-Love Club is Book One--on June 2. After I take some much-needed time off this summer, I'll start my next YA series that will be romance with a hint of fantasy. I'm super excited about it, too!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
They can follow me on Instagram: @christinemilesauthor