5 Questions with Miranda Kenneally

5quests

1)      I have read and loved all of your books (as you know) starting with the first, Catching Jordan. In all of your past books there has been a sort of theme in them that is missing from your newest book Jesse’s Girl. What made you decide to focus on music instead of using sports this time around? Was it the characters that made you do it or did you just go in that direction organically?

headphones-1920-1080-wallpaperI just really love listening to music and performing, and I’ve wanted to write a book about music for a while. For this book, the plot definitely came first and the characters second.

 

2)      Maya is also a very different kind of character. She marches to the beat of her own drum and doesn’t fit in with what you would think of when you talk Nashville music scene. Why did you decide to make her style different than what was expected?

MI0003201089Maya loves 80’s music like Queen and Madonna. I made her this way because she and Jesse needed some friction between them when it comes to music (he loves country and the good ole boys). I love Queen and Madonna personally, so that is how Maya came to be. 🙂  Also, as you can see when reading the book, Maya’s ex-bandmates are very hoity-toity when it comes to music. They make fun of Maya for liking 80’s music, which is so lame and happens far too often in real life. With this book I want to show readers that they can listen to whatever they want.

 

3)      Speaking of Maya, she is connected to a high profile character (and one of my personal favorites) from one of your other books. How do you decide what characters you will use from other books? How do you keep it all straight when you are writing?

mirandaTough question! In some of my past books, I have briefly mentioned minor characters. I didn’t do this with the expectation they might become someone big later on. However, it has been nice to use those people briefly mentioned to create characters like Maya (Sam Henry’s younger sister) and Jeremiah (from Breathe, Annie, Breathe). To keep it all straight, sometimes I have to go back and read my past books, which makes me cringe! I just want to edit everything. 

 

4)      Let’s talk about Jesse. Poor misunderstood, lonely, adorable Jesse. What was your inspiration for him? How did you do you research for a musician?

waffle-house-sign-484I just sort of made Jesse up as I went along! In terms of research, I attended lots of music festivals, contests, and events when I was younger and I performed in a show choir that travelled all over the place, so I know what it’s like being onstage. Being from Tennessee, I’ve actually met several country stars, so I used those experiences to develop Jesse’s life and attitude. One time I met LeAnn Rimes in a Waffle House and she got mad at me for interrupting her eating hashbrowns. At the time, I was angry with her because she kind of snubbed me, but as I got older I realized she just wanted to eat, not talk to fans. Still, being a famous country star comes with having to deal with fans.

 

5)      And as a practice when I interview an author I end with the same question. Since I’m also a clothing and accessory fanatic, what is the one clothing item or accessory you can’t live without (and no margaritas don’t count as an accessory. 😉 )?

classic-margarita1_png_1280x800_q85C’mon, I can’t have even one margarita?? Fine, I can’t live without a Tory Burch tote to carry all my stuff around. Like my credit card, which I use to purchase margaritas. 🙂

 

A huge thanks to Miranda for stopping by and answering these. Jesse’s Girl is out in store on Tuesday July 7th. Make sure you check out my review HERE and enter to win one of Miranda’s books.

*click on the pictures for links to the source.

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Blog Tour: Jesse’s Girl – Miranda Kenneally (giveaway)

 Blog Tour: Jesse’s Girl – Miranda Kenneally (giveaway)Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #6
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: July 7th 2015
Buy on Amazon
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four-half-stars

Practice Makes Perfect.Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I don’t deny the fact that I am a lucky girl. I got to read Jesse’s Girl for the first time when it was in draft form and wasn’t even called Jesse’s Girl. I fell in love with it then but I wanted to wait to review it until I had done a reread. Honestly, though, it didn’t matter. The book was awesome in draft and awesome in a final copy. Miranda Kenneally once again does what she does best and gives you awesome boys, wicked cool girls and a story that will keep you invested ill the end. Not to mention the laughs.

Jesse’s Girl is about Maya Henry (if you read Catching Jordan there is a reason the name seems familiar) a punk rock girl in a country world. Maya has dreams of being a famous punk rocker some day but those are few and far between in her hometown in Tennessee. When Maya is given the chance to shadow Jesse Scott, country music God, for one day she feels like this is her chance to see how the business works. Too bad Jesse doesn’t trust anyone, as they are all looking for something, and makes that very clear to Maya off the bat. Even with their differences, the two spend a day together that changes them both in a way they never expected.

If you have read a Kenneally book before you know they usually involve some kind of sport. Football, running, softball…they have all played a role in the past Hundred Oaks books. Jesse’s Girl is different in that case.  Instead of using a sport Miranda went with music and it worked for this story. I think the magic of two different music styles in a music city was the perfect way to take a tale about a normal girl and a famous guy. When I first read the synopsis I was sad there would be no use of sports, but it was the right decision for this story and I think ended up adding to it.
Nashville! What isn’t there to love about Nashville?? I have gone once and it has been one of my favorite cities that I have ever visited in the US. Having that is the background for Jesse’s Girl was pretty amazing as I was able to picture a lot of the places from my short visit there. I was also able to picture how easy it was for Maya to feel out of place as a punk rock girl because Nashville is anything but. It was pretty much the perfect setting for a story like this. Truthfully…it made me want to hop on a plane and go to the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry and pop in a Tootsie’s. Who’s in for a road trip??
Hands down what I liked best in Jesse’s Girl was the characters. Maya Henry…talk about spunk. She knows who she is and isn’t afraid to stand out. She stands up for herself and does what she thinks is the right thing. She’s funny and uncertain but also sure of who she wants to be and I loved that. And Jesse. Oh adorable Jesse Scott. He had some of the perfect one-liners in the book that just made me laugh, still make me laugh when I think about them. He is definitely closed off (and with good reason) but there is something very open about him too. Just add him to the list of the amazing Kenneally Boys (have we trademarked that term yet?? We should!). Plus you know there will be the inevitable cameo from characters in other books, I mean Maya’s last name is Henry for crying out loud.
All in all I loved Jesse’s Girl both times I read it. It made me laugh and cringe and then smile as Maya and Jesse navigated through whatever was going on between the two of them. I loved the way the story was told and how it all went down in the end. I loved the cameo of some old favorites while starting off a generation of new Hundred Oaks kids to love. It did exactly what I think a good book should do and it made you feel just like you were part of the day and had become friends with Jesse and Maya yourself.

Open Internationally (if The Book Depository ships to your country). Winner gets one Miranda Kenneally book of their choice. One winner. Goes until 7/6/15 at 11:59pm EST.

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Pre-order Campaign: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

preorder

Pre-order Campaign: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda KenneallyJesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

On July 7th, Miranda Kenneally has a new book coming out, Jess’s Girl. And to do along with that book release her publishing company Sourcebooks Fire is running a pre-order campaign which I find pretty cool. And pretty easy to do.

The gist is that you pre-order Jesse’s Girl (it’s awesome by the way!) and email proof of purchase to Sourcebooks Fire. You will then get an email back with an EXCLUSIVE Playlist, an invite to an online author event on July 6th where Miranda will be giving some fun prizes, a signed/personalized bookplate, a super-cute custom guitar pick, and you are entered to win a $300 gift card to TicketMaster so you can go to a concert or some other fun event. Not a bad deal for a book that will cost you under $10. I know I’m going to do it.

You can find out more information including the email address HERE.

About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.

Get thee pre-ordering!

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