I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Evansley about her debut novel, ‘Love Scene, Take Two‘! ‘Love Scene, Take Two’ originated on Wattpad, (under the title ‘Between Takes’) before it was published by Swoon Reads on June 12, 2018.
Before we get into the interview, here’s the synopsis of ‘Love Scene, Take Two’:
Teddy Sharpe is kind of famous. He might actually be on his way to being really famous, if he hadn’t just blown an audition for the lead role in the movie adaption of a bestselling young adult book series. Then, Bennett Caldwell, author of the very book series he just auditioned for, takes pity on him and invites him to her lake house. Away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood, he and Bennett just click. But dating is hard enough when you aren’t the subject of several dozen fanblogs, and the Internet is full of juicy gossip about Teddy and Bennett…gossip that Bennett might not be prepared to handle.
COURTNEY: What inspired you to write ‘Love Scene, Take Two’? (Alex wrote about how her family’s lake vacation on Swoon Reads’s blog!)
ALEX: I always tell people the story about getting the idea for this book while driving to visit my family for a long summer weekend on the lake, but I mostly leave the part out about how at the time I had a massive celebrity crush on someone who turned out to be a wonderful muse/inspo for Teddy lololol. Shameless wish fulfillment was also quite a factor (because who wouldn’t want to write a book that gets turned into a movie and then fall in love with one of the actors?). In retrospect, though, the original goal I had for this story before I even considered the idea of possibly publishing it was just to see if I could actually write a book-length manuscript. I’d always wanted to write books, but the longest story I’d written up until I started the first draft of LSTT was for a creative writing class in college that clocked in at about ~10k words. The OG draft of LSTT took me about two years to write and I think the original word count was somewhere around 96k words? It was definitely a confidence boost!!
COURTNEY: What changed the most from the first draft on Wattpad to the finished copy?
ALEX: There wasn’t anything major plot-wise that changed, but there were little things here and there that my editor and I discussed tweaking—like the ages of my characters, who were originally in their early 20s, and couple of smaller conceptual things like that. I really made a point to sharpen (punz lol) all of my characters during revisions, though. It was very important to me that each of them were their own real, flawed, hilarious, and authentic people in their own right—characters that could easily commandeer the story off into their own adventures if given the chance. That actually turned out to be my favorite part about edits—I loved getting as deep into my characters’ heads as I could and then seeing how they all interacted with each other organically instead of teeing up situations just for plot purposes.
COURTNEY: If ‘Love Scene, Take Two’ were to be adapted into a movie, (a movie about a book where the characters are filming a movie about a book? Yes please!) who would be your fan cast for Bennett and Teddy? (Feel free to add any other character fan casts here too!)
ALEX: Oh my GOODNESS if this book were ever adapted into a movie I don’t think my heart could handle the meta-awesomeness that would come with that. Obviously, Dylan O’Brien would have to play Teddy, because ~ * R E A S O N S * ~ and I think Hunter King would be a great Bennett. I’d also love to see Zoe Kazan as Emmy, and I always pictured Olivia as Alexandra Daddario, Jordan Doww as Will, and Chloe Bridges as Liz.
COURTNEY: Can you see yourself writing another book with any of the same characters from ‘LSTT? (Whether it’s a continuation of Bennett and Teddy, or any of the other characters, etc.)
ALEX: ABSOLUTELY. I already love subtle name drop references and easter eggs and putting tiny nods at characters from my other books into newer stories, but I’ve also worked a little bit on an LSTT sequel and wrote a teaser short story that stages a prequel for Olivia before she hits it big in acting. I love these characters too much to let them chill in the back of my mind and out of the spotlight for too long, lol.
COURTNEY: Sort of related to the previous question but…do you have any other upcoming novels in the works?
ALEX: I do have upcoming novels in the works! They’ve gotta stay on the DL for now, but I’m really hoping to get the word out about them soon 🙂
COURTNEY: What scene was your favorite to write? What scene are you most excited for readers to read?
ALEX: The first scene I ever wrote for this story was Teddy and Bennett’s meet cute on the plane. It packs a lot of sentiment for me, just because it’s what got this whole train running, so it’ll always be a favorite. But I also had way too much fun with a certain table read scene that comes about halfway through the book, so that one’s definitely a favorite as well.
COURTNEY: Which scene was the hardest for you to write? (Or what about the book in general was hardest for you to write, if that’s easier to answer)
ALEX: I wouldn’t say there was one specific scene that was hardest to write, but I did run into the most challenges in Bennett’s point of view. I’m not really sure why—maybe because Bennett and I turned out to be a lot more similar than I intended or expected, so getting inside her head wasn’t as clean-cut as getting inside Teddy’s was. I really had to be careful that Bennett’s perspective was entirely her own and that mine didn’t bleed into it, especially in the scenes that show her at her most vulnerable.
COURTNEY: Was there a scene that you absolutely loved that you had to end up cutting from the final draft? If so, can you tell me anything about it?
ALEX: The sequence of events preceding the table read scene I mentioned a minute ago changed quite a bit from the original draft to the published version. I had to make changes to the continuity of the circumstances because of another (and very important) change I made in the overall narrative. If I’d kept it the same, a lot of story elements wouldn’t make sense. Sadly, I was really in love with the original way the scene unfolded—it involved Bennett and Teddy seeing each other for the first time on set, and Bennett being caught completely off-guard by it. That said, I think the published version makes way more sense and that it was definitely the right call to change this scene. Turns out what they say about killing your darlings does hold some truth, lol.
COURTNEY: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
ALEX: Just wanted to add that I’m so excited for people to finally be able to read the finished product of this story! Overall, from the day I started writing the first draft to the day that it’s being published, this has been a 5 year journey for me, and one that was made infinitely better because of the friends I’ve met and the people I’ve been able to share this story with so far. Courtney—you’ve been so supportive since the Wattpad version. Thanks so much for interviewing me!!!
Thank you so much to Alex for doing this amazing interview with me!
Can’t get enough of ‘Love Scene, Take Two’? Read my ARC review and check out the playlist I made for the book!
BUY ‘LOVE SCENE, TAKE TWO’ HERE:
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