Today we're welcoming author Keris Stainton and asking her a few questions about her latest book, Jessie Hearts NYC and what she'll be up to this summer.
Hi Keris and welcome! Can you describe your latest book, Jessie <3 NYC in 5 words?
This is cheating because a reviewer called it this, but: love letter to New York.
Quite a lot of people know how much you love New York but if you had to choose between going there for a whole summer or anywhere else in the world, where would you pick?
Hmm. That's tricky. I probably wouldn't want to go there for a whole summer because it's way too hot for me (I'm really feeble in the heat). I'd like to spend summer by a lake somewhere - there's one in Canada I've got my beady eye on...
Jessie manages to go and see quite a lot of the sights in NYC. If you only had time to go and see one thing, what would it be?
Top of the Rock, I think. It's just amazing. It's glamorous and exciting, the views are amazing - Central Park in one direction, midtown Manhattan, including the Empire State Building, in the other - I recommend it to everyone.
If you could have a summer romance with anyone from NYC, who would it be?
Ooh. Good question. Well Penn Badgley was my original inspiration for Finn (though I don't picture Finn as him anymore) so that would be nice... But I should really go for someone more age-appropriate and that would be Jon Stewart. Love him.
How much research did you have to do for this book?
Well I've been to New York five times, so I was pretty well up on New York before starting the book. My lovely friend Sally Lawton is a playwright and she and her partner gave me a tour of a theatre, which was completely brilliant. The rest of the research I did on Twitter and Google Street View...
Your teenage characters are always so realistic. Do you take inspiration from anyone you know?
Thank you. And no. I'm really thrilled when people say they're realistic because I just write them with a combination of what I would have done in whatever situation and what feels true for the character.
Who would you like to see as the main cast if Jessie got made into a movie/ TV adaptation?
I wouldn't say no to Penn Badgley for Finn, but I'm not sure about Jessie. Maybe Kaya Scodelario from Skins (who I think someone suggested would be good to play Della, oddly enough).
Can you recommend us some of your favourite beach reads?
Certainly! Both of Sarra Manning's adult novels, Unsticky and You Don't Have To Say You Love Me are amazing. If you're interested in New York there's a lovely book called Summer of Tiffany, which is a memoir by Marjorie Hart who worked at Tiffany's in the 1940s. Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells is another lovely, summery book.
Both of your books have been set in summer. Why do you think summer is such a great setting for books?
Because you don't have to worry about school! But also summer is so exciting, particularly when you're a teenager. You get these six weeks where you're basically free to do whatever you want (within reason!). I remember how exciting it was (even though I never actually did anything exciting, but I always hoped I might).
Finally, where and what will you be reading this summer?
We're going to Northumberland for a week and I can't wait. I'll be taking Kay Woodward's new book Wuthering Hearts and Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols. I'll probably reread The Writer's Tale by Russell T Davies, and I'm finally going to read The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe, which has been on my wishlist for ages.
You can read Lyndsey's review of Jessie Hearts NYC here & Vicki's review of
Della Says: OMG! here