I had the pleasure of interviewing Tiffany Brownlee about her new book, ‘Wrong in All the Right Ways’! Make sure to pick up a copy when it’s released on July 17!
COURTNEY: What inspired you to write Wrong in All the Right Ways?
TIFFANY: I was inspired to write Wrong in All the Right Ways in the middle of rereading Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I was first introduced to Wuthering Heights in high school and I HATED the novel. But, a few years later, after I’d graduated college, I revisited the book and fell in love with it. The tumultuous relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff was so captivating, and it inspired me to create the same kind of romantic tension in Wrong in all the Right Ways between Emma and her foster brother, Dylan, but this time putting more emphasis on the forbidden love aspect of it than Emily Brontë did.
COURTNEY: At what point during reading Wuthering Heights did you decide to put a contemporary spin on it, and how did you decide to draw the line between the similarities and differences in WH and WIATRW?
TIFFANY: When I reached the point in Wuthering Heights where Catherine and Heathcliff go their separate ways—with Catherine marrying Edgar and Heathcliff marrying Isabella—I decided to put a YA contemporary spin on the story, which eventually led me to writing Wrong in All the Right Ways. I craved more details of the love connection Catherine and Heathcliff shared as teenagers, and I think Emma and Dylan bring that to life for me. But I didn’t want my novel to completely mimic Emily Brontë’s, so midway through drafting it, I took a sharp turn to give Emma and Dylan a story of their own. There are many nods to Wuthering Heights embedded throughout the novel, so even though my debut doesn’t end the same way Emily Brontë’s classic does, I think readers will still enjoy the similarities between the two.
COURTNEY: What (or who) changed the most from the first draft to the finished copy?
TIFFANY: I’d say Dylan changed the most from the first draft to the finished copy. His life before the Ellenburg’s and his future after meeting them was nothing like what it is today. I can’t get into too many details because I’d run the risk of spoiling the end of the novel, but the changes my editor, Jessica Anderson, and I made took his story to new heights, and I love how things turned out.
COURTNEY: If Wrong in All the Right Ways were to be adapted into a movie, who would be your fan cast for Emma and Dylan? (Feel free to add any other character fan casts here too!)
TIFFANY: I’ve probably given this way too much thought than I should, but if my novel were to be made into a movie, I would cast either Kathryn Newton or Sabrina Carpenter as Emma, Nick Robinson as Dylan, and Victoria Justice and David Lambert as Karmin and Keegan Ortega, respectively. What a cast that would be!
COURTNEY: What scene was your favorite to write? What scene are you most excited for readers to read?
TIFFANY: My favorite scene to write was the pre-game locker room scene where Karmin uses her expertise to teach Emma to be flirty and fun. Karmin is such a scene-stealer here and I absolutely adore it! I cringe every time I picture how awkward Emma must look next to and Karmin in the mirror when they’re practicing, but I think it’s a true representation of their friendship: they may be polar opposites, but they’ll always have each other’s backs in times of need.
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)
TIFFANY: The scene that was hardest for me to write was the one with Dylan’s birth father. I crafted a heartbreaking backstory for Dylan, and having him face the man responsible for every bad thing that’s ever happened in his life broke my heart. It was extremely difficult for me to write because so many emotions were involved.
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?
TIFFANY: One part of the manuscript that didn’t make the final cut was a Thanksgiving scene where Dylan got to meet Emma’s distant relatives. In the scene, Emma comes to Dylan’s rescue when her family members overwhelm him with questions about his past. It was quiet entertaining, but I stand by that cut. No regrets here!
COURTNEY: Do you have any other upcoming novels in the works? Do you see yourself ever going back to revisit Emma or any other characters in WIATRW, or do you think it’ll stay a standalone?
TIFFANY: I’m currently working on fine-tuning the first draft of my second novel, and I can’t say much about the project yet, but what I can tell you is that it’ll be a YA romance that will tug on your heartstrings as it brings light to the issue of teenage homelessness in the United States. In addition to that, I recently signed on to contribute to Inkyard Press’s upcoming anthology YouToo?, a nonfiction collection of #metoo essays edited by Janet Gurtler. It’s scheduled for publication Winter 2020. And yes! I’ve definitely thought about revisiting Emma and Dylan in the future to write about what happens after the end of Wrong in All the Right Ways. It’s just an outline right now, but hopefully, once I finish my current projects, I’ll be able to get started on drafting that story.
COURTNEY: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
TIFFANY: It’s been a three-year journey from the moment I wrote the first draft of Wrong in All the Right Ways to now, and I am BEYOND ready for everyone to read it and fangirl over it with me! I’ve made so many friends along the way, and I can’t wait to see where my writing takes me next! If you want to stay up-to-date on everything happening on this journey, you can find me online at tiffanybrownlee.com and/or on Twitter and Instagram. And thanks for interviewing me, Courtney! This was so much fun!
HUGE thanks to Tiffany for letting me interview her! Stay tuned for her guest post!!