TONIGHT I am going LIVE with one of the sweetest, funniest authors I know, Lynn Painter Kirkle!
I met Lynn on instagram and we instantly connected, she’s one of my favorite people on the space now. She wrote an incredible ode to bookstagrammers & if you aren’t already following her on instagram, you HAVE to check out the promotional videos her son, Matt, makes – they are HILARIOUS, and so worth a watch!
About the Author:
Lynn Painter lives with her husband and pack of wild children in Nebraska, where she is a weekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald and an avid fan of napping. When working on a new book, she can often be found sound asleep on her office floor. Some might say she should grow up and stop randomly dozing off like she’s a toddler, but Lynn considers it part of her writing “process.”
She told me – “I’m a very boring person. I have kids and a day job and I write. I don’t paint or knit or refurbish houses. I binge-watch Netflix, eat ice cream from the carton and wear pajamas more often than not.” To me, this is exactly why I adore following her & supporting her – she’s real and funny and an absolute joy.
Her debut YA novel, Better Than The Movies, release 5/4 and I absolutely LOVED it, and cannot wait for you all to read it!
BETTER THAN THE MOVIES
In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.
Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.
The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.
But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.
Preorder your copy HERE.
Tell me, how did you get into writing?
I am SO jealous of every writer who says they always knew, because I was clueless for most of my life. I was always pretty good at spelling and writing in school, I was a voracious reader, and I loved literature classes. But writing never occurred to me. I went to college to be a teacher but didn’t even finish; I got married and started babying, instead.
One day, my sister came over and said, “I saw an author on Oprah. You read books all the time – you should write one.” It sounds absolutely bonkers, but I started writing my first (awful) book that week. It was a hobby for a lot of years, and then I went back to college and studied in UNO’s Writer’s Workshop, where it switched from a hobby to my purpose.
Obviously you’re a romcom lover, what made you want to write THIS book?
I wanted to write a book that had the FEEL of a rom-com movie, and what better way to do that than write a character who is obsessed with those same movies? I tried to create a book full of movie scenes.
Are any of the scenes drawn from your own high school experiences?
Sadly, no. I’m not going to say I never went to a kegger, and I’m definitely not going to say I never embarrassed myself in front of cute boys, but alas – these experiences belong solely to Liz.
What was your favorite scene to write?
The party scene FOR SURE, because it was fun in so many ways. I got to create Wes and Liz’s first outing together so that was a blast, showing each of them seeing the other in a different light. But I also got to write Liz’s first experience at a raging kegger, her horror as she gets vomited on, and her dismay as Wes rescues her like a swoony rom-com savior. Every little bit of it was fun.
Tell me a bit about your writing process, and WHY YA – I know your’re working on an adult romance as well, do you do anything differently as you work on the two different genres?
My writing process is basically writing whenever I can. I have kids and a day job, so I pretty much write on weeknights when everyone is asleep (often including me at my keyboard), and on weekends. I am most productive on Friday and Saturday nights, when I lock myself in my office once the 5 year old is in bed and write until the wee hours of the night. I LOVE IT. My Friday and Saturday nights make me insanely happy.
When I get an idea for a book, I usually just free-write for a while. Usually, I can make it about 50 pages before it’s clear whether or not there’s enough plot to make for a book. If I think there is, I use huge post-it notes to plot out each scene. Then – the fun part – I rip down each note and write the scene. Feels really good.
YA feels like the most natural writing voice for me. My husband jokes that my frontal lobe never closed (I’m very immature), so perhaps that’s a factor. Oddly enough, I don’t really differ in my approaches to YA and adult at all. I mean, in both of my YA rom-coms the majority of the book is the buildup to the relationship – the flirty getting-to-know-you stuff, and the adult rom-coms get to the relationship more quickly. But when writing the characters, there is no difference.
Anything you can share about the projects you’re working on NEXT? I cannot wait to get MORE books from you in the near future!
I’m sooo excited about my next YA – THE DO-OVER. The main character has the worst Valentine’s Day ever, and when she wakes up the next morning, it’s Valentine’s Day again. She gets stuck in a day-on-repeat, Groundhog Day scenario. After trying (and failing) to create the perfect day and snap the spell, she embarks upon The Day of No Consequences (my original title). She decides to do whatever she wants, because nothing will count. She steals her dad’s Porsche and gets it impounded when she joyrides on the way to school, she dumps her boyfriend over the school intercom, she tells of the mean girls, gets a tattoo, and asks out the bad-boy in front of her entire chemistry class.
But when she wakes up the next morning, it’s Feb 15. She has to face the consequences of every wild thing she did the day before.
I just turned in the edits and had a BLAST with this one!!!
On the adult front, my rom-com MR. WRONG NUMBER will be published by Berkley in March 2022. It’s basically a book about Olivia, a hot mess, who gets a text from a wrong number that turns into an anonymous sextual relationship. Only Olivia doesn’t know that she knows Mr. Wrong Number and sees him every day.
HOW does Matt come up with these videos, we MUST know! His videos & yours have been such a joy during this time!
LOL – I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked him once if he’d consider making a book promo Tik Tok, one time, and now he just does them. Sometimes I’ll hear him yelling in the basement, and the kindergartener will say “oh, Matt’s just making a video,” but I literally have zero creative input. He texts me and says “I have a Tik Tok for you,” and that is it! 😊
What has been your favorite part of releasing your debut during the pandemic?
Since it’s my first book, I don’t know what it’s like to release NOT during a pandemic. I mean, I always daydreamed about book tours and those aren’t happening, but I feel blessed that it’s 2021. At least we’re not on lockdown, and I’ll be fully-vaccinated just in-time to go to a bookstore and see my book, so I have no complaints. After dreaming about having a published book for so many years, I’m thrilled with every single part of this.
Lynn & I will be going LIVE on instagram tonight at 7PM EST, hope to see you there!
A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for providing me an eARC to read and review, and Lynn for sending me a physical copy!