If you’re a frequent reader of my blog, then you’ll know that I love young adult (obviously…that’s what the majority of this blog is about!) romance stories, and that I’m a sucker for a sports romance, especially football. I had the opportunity to interview author Carrie Aarons about her book “The Tenth Girl,” which checks all of those above boxes. Go read her book (after you read this interview)!!
COURTNEY: What inspired you to write “The Tenth Girl,” and how long did it take you to write the first draft?
CARRIE: I had just watched Friday Night Lights, the tv show, for the thousandth time, and I’d always had this idea to do a book about small town Texas football. I love writing romance set in high school, I think there is just something so wild and free about it, but at the same time, the characters can really grow so quickly at the stage of life they’re in. It took me about two months to write the first draft, because I was still working a part-time job in addition to being an author.
COURTNEY: Did you write TTG chronologically, or skip around to different chapters as you were drafting?
CARRIE: Like all of my books, I usually start off writing the first ten or so chapters chronologically, but the middle of a book is hardest to write. That’s when I let myself wander and just really write whatever scene is flicking hardest at my brain.
COURTNEY: Which character changed the most from the first draft to the finished copy?
CARRIE: That would have to be Annabelle. I knew from the start that I wanted a queen bee side character, but her humility and the way her story becomes tied to Harper’s revealed itself as I wrote.
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?
CARRIE: I don’t cut scenes. Especially ones I love! No but really, I like to give my readers every single thing. Most times, I’ll get an idea after I’ve already brought a small plotline to a close, and I’ll have to work this new scene into the book in another way.
COURTNEY: Was Harper’s publishing journey similar to your own?
CARRIE: It definitely was. Not so much the age she was at, gosh I wish I knew how to write a book and self-publish at that age. But the way she kind of just started writing and saw it through to the end without telling too many people, that’s how my author journey started. I was a lifelong reader who loved sports romance and one day was like, “huh, I could do this.” And while I wrote, I tried to teach myself everything I could about self-publishing. That first book, and the experience of putting it into the world, was so exciting. And at the same time, I had no idea what I was doing!
COURTNEY: Why did you choose to write the book from both Harper and Cain’s point of view?
CARRIE: All of my books are first person, dual POV because that’s how I personally like to read books. I also think it gives the reader a complete picture of the entire story to get into both of the main character’s brains. Dual POV can explain things that we sometimes think are dramatic or unnecessary.
COURTNEY: If TTG were to be adapted into a movie, who would be your fan cast for Harper and Cain?
CARRIE: How amazing would that be! For Harper, I’d pick Dove Cameron. And for Cain, I’d go with Finn Cole from TNT’s Animal Kingdom.
COURTNEY: I know that there is a companion novel that follows Annabelle, called “You’re The One I Don’t Want.” Will we see Harper and Cain pop up in that novel? How long after TTG is YTOIDW? (Side note: Stay tuned for this review, coming soon!)
CARRIE: “You’re the One I Don’t Want” takes place three years after TTG, and Harper and Cain do make several cameos! They attend the same college Annabelle is studying at.
COURTNEY: Anything else you’d like to add? (Questions/answers you wished I would’ve asked, etc.)
CARRIE: I don’t think so! Just a thank you for letting me talk about some of my favorite characters! It’s nice to revisit their world once and a while!
Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you, Carrie! (Is it too soon to go back and do a re-read already?!) Make sure to go check out my review of “The Tenth Girl” and my playlist for the book, and keep an eye out for my review of “You’re The One I Don’t Want,” coming in a few weeks!