The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
January 13th, 2009
Parker Stanhope has played soccer practically since she could walk. And now that she’s a high school junior, everything she’s worked for is finally coming together. She’s paid her dues on the field, and as an upperclassman, she’s a shoo-in for the varsity team. But that’s not what happens.
This year, Coach Hartley moved up every JV player but two—and one of those two was Parker. Now, she’s stuck with the freshmen, her friends are cutting her loose, and her love of the game is seriously beginning to fail. But Parker is determined to get her life back. She has to get on the varsity team, and she has the perfect plan. All she needs now is the right kind of coach.
Thank you, Kelsey, for inviting me to blog with you and your readers here at readingkeepsyousane!
My new book, The ABC's of Kissing Boys, hits bookshelves on January 13, 2009. And like the others before it (Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress and How to Hook a Hottie), it didn’t take off on the page until I had the right title.
Let’s go back two years...
I had been on the sidelines of our town’s holiday parade, with my husband, waiting (and waiting) for our kids to appear in their respective school groups. I’d resumed the brainstorming I’d been doing for weeks, trying to latch onto a title that could bring alive the concept had been circling in my head:
What if a soccer coach moved up the whole JV team to varsity--but one girl? Because the soccer coach had something to hide, and she was using this girl as her cover. And her teammates pull away--leaving her alone to fight the battle to get on Varsity.
Not an easy story to sum up in a title. Especially given the fact that I already had “self-help” type titles as my trademark. So as I watched the passing floats, bands, Scout troops and local politicians, my brain reeled. Thinking about words like “why” and “when” and “which” and then colors and numbers and letters.
Wait. Letters. A-B-C.
I turned to my husband in a total non-sequitor: “The ABC’s of...”
He shrugged. “Not bad. What? Soccer?”
“No. No...” Because for some reason, I wanted to say, “Kissing Guys.” But that made no sense. No sense! I had to keep thinking.
But by the next day, I knew I had my title. Although I’d changed it to The ABC’s of Kissing Boys because it sounded younger, which was what I was going for. But how in the world could I connect the dots between 26 ways to kiss boys and getting my main character promoted to varsity?
Little by little, those questions became answers, and soon I had an official blurb:
Parker Stanhope’s teammate friends got promoted to Varsity soccer without her. Desperate to make things right, she concocts a crazy-but-just-might-work plan that includes kissing the socks off the prom king at the Sports Fair Kissing Booth. Between now and then, she needs to learn everything she can about kissing--somehow. She finds a coach in the most unlikely of guys--and suddenly keeping that relationship a secret becomes as dire as her need to win back her soccer status and her friends.
I ended up having a blast writing this book, enjoying the storyline, the characters, and everything I had to learn about kissing. But I have to admit that there’s something called a Steam Kiss that shows up in the book that I didn’t actually try out. I’m hoping some readers will give it a go and report to me with their findings!
Tina also generously offered a signed copy of The ABC's of Kissing Boys to one lucky winner who comments below. You have from now until January 20th, midnight central and this contest is International. Good luck!
If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!