Welcome to Under the Covers! We are so excited to talk to you about your debut novel, THE KISS QUOTIENT!
First off, let’s get to know you a little bit better. Tell us five things about yourself that readers wouldn’t know:
- I grind my teeth at night.
- I love chocolate cheesecake.
- I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Jin Yong’s wuxia.
- I have a blackbelt in Olympic style Taekwondo and am pursuing my first dan in Kendo.
- My husband is my first and only boyfriend.
Can you share with us a bit about how this story came to be and what was your inspiration?
Prior to writing this book, I’d been thinking about a gender-swapped Pretty Woman for quite some time, but I couldn’t figure out why a beautiful successful woman would hire a male escort. When my daughter’s preschool teacher suggested she was on the spectrum, that sent me on a journey of exploration that resulted in my own diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder and the inspiration for Stella, The Kiss Quotient’s autistic heroine.
How would you describe this book in three words?
Unconventional, inclusive, and bedroomy. ?
Can you please tell us more about Michael’s character? What’s your favorite thing about him?
Michael was inspired by two important things: 1.) I built him with Stella’s needs in mind. For her, he had to be kind and very patient. That was key. 2.) My love for my family. His family resembles mine very closely, and I like to think his love for them resembles mine, as well.
He also likes to cook. What’s your favorite dish to eat and/or cook?
Bún riêu is one of my absolute favorite Vietnamese dishes, but I’m a horrible cook so I only get to eat it when my brother-in-law is in town.
While writing THE KISS QUOTIENT, what was the biggest obstacle you faced? How did you overcome it?
Writing the scenes were Stella failed socially was extremely challenging. I can’t predict when I’m going to horribly offend people (if I could, I wouldn’t do it!), and devising those situations twisted my brain in a new way. My goal for those scenes was to show why someone might fail spectacularly in social situations despite their best efforts and how horrifying and bewildering it feels. I hope it inspires empathy and kinder judgement.
If the characters from your book could actually meet and go on a double date with another fictional couple, who do you think they would hit it off with and from what book are they?
Michael and Stella would have the BEST time double dating with Quan and his mysterious forever love who will show up in the third book of the series.
Tell us three of your auto-buy authors:
Jayne Ann Krentz, Christine Feehan, and Nalini Singh.
What’s the last book you read that you would recommend?
I am extremely behind on current books, but one I recently read and connected to at a fever-pitch level was Souls Unfractured by Tillie Cole. It’s dark romance, third in a series, and deals with extremely troubling subject matter. In fact, some of the scenes were so dark I had to skim or completely skip them because they hurt too much to read. READER BEWARE! I can definitely see this book as triggering for some people, but the hero is on the spectrum (I believe), and he spoke to me. Both hero and heroine have undergone horrific trauma that should have made romantic relationships impossible. Their connection, however, was electric and perfect. I won’t be forgetting this book.
What can we expect from you next?
The Bride Test is about Michael’s autistic cousin Khai. When he avoids relationships out of the misbelief that he has no emotions, his mom takes matters into her own hands and gets him a mail order bride. The novel follows these two over the course of a summer of forced proximity.
[new-release title=”The Kiss Quotient” author=”Helen Hoang”]
Under the Covers is graciously giving away
SIGNED copy of THE KISS QUOTIENT
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