For my stop on the tour I have a Q&A with author Ellie Cahill, also known in the Young Adult circle as Liz Czukas, as well as a giveaway!
When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Published by Ballantine Books on February 24th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
In the tradition of New Adult superstar Jessica Sorensen, Ellie Cahill’s debut novel is a charming friends-with-benefits story . . . with a twist!
What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to help “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, someone you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet.
Joss and Matt have been friends since freshman year of college, meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her boyfriend. After a few drinks, Matt humors her with a proposition: that he’ll become her go-to guy whenever she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: They’ll never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.
Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for each other when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or can they?
Q&A with Ellie Cahill (Liz Czukas)
1. What was the switch like between YA to NA?
I’ve kind of always written both, actually. I started writing NA before it was a thing. I don’t mean to sound like I’m trying to be a hipster about it, because believe me it wasn’t easy trying to get anyone in the publishing world’s attention with stories about people in college or their early twenties. No one wanted to touch them.
I think the two categories have a lot in common, actually. Because they both feature characters who don’t have everything figured out just yet. That’s what I like about both. I just think it’s a lot more interesting to write about characters who are still finding their place in the world than about grown-ups who have to worry about things like paying the mortgage and getting their kids into the best preschool.
On a less serious note, it’s fun to be able to keep my characters in the same bed. That’s pretty much not a possibility in YA. Even though I don’t have a problem with sexuality in YA, it’s pretty rare to contrive a circumstance where two teens gets to spend the whole night together. The possibilities are much wider in NA.
2. How do you come up with your characters’ names?
Joss’s name came straight out of a book of baby names! I was paging through it and I saw the name Jocelyn. All the entries listed nicknames after them and something about the name Joss just worked for me. I have a lot of opinions about names, and I always want them to fit with the characters’ personalities. So it can take a while to land on the right one. But trust me, when I have it wrong, characters will NOT cooperate on the page.
3. What do you love about the cover for WHEN JOSS MET MATT?
I love the light, bright feel of it. I think it really matches the tone of the book. I wanted something playful and sexy. There are plenty of beautiful covers in NA, but a lot of them have a darker, brooding tone, which goes perfectly with the stories inside. I wanted readers to be in the mood for something fun when they saw the cover and I think the pose and the bright colors really work for that.
4. What are you reading right now?
I am usually reading several things at once, actually! I’m listening to the audiobook of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, which is fantastic. I’m also reading a non-fiction book about the lives of servants in Victorian England, Bossypants by Tina Fey, and a 2016 release by my friend Kristin Rae called What You Always Wanted. I heartily recommend ALL of them!
5. What were your favorite books of 2014?
Oh gosh, I read so may good books in 2014. I’ll limit this to books that came out in 2014 or we’ll be here all day! I loved loved loved WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE by Huntley Fitzpatrick, BOOMERANG by Noelle August, THE SECRET HUM OF A DAISY by Tracy Holczer, WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN by Kristin Rae, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT by Sarah Mlynowski, THE SERPANT OF VENICE by Christopher Moore,
6. What’s upcoming for Ellie Cahill and/or Liz Czukas?
Hopefully many good things! Nothing I can talk about right now, unfortunately. But I’m always working on new things. Right now I’m working on a New Adult that takes place in a music store, and a YA thriller about a teenage cat burglar. Fingers crossed that I can tell you everything soon!
7. How did you come up with the name Ellie Cahill?
The nice thing about the name Elizabeth is that there are so many nicknames! I figured I’d stick with one of them as well as the same last initial. But as long as I was picking, I had to get something WAY easier to pronounce than Czukas (CHEW-kiss, by the way). It was more intimidating than I thought to choose my own name!
8. What’s your favorite author who also has a pen name?
Does it count if he doesn’t use it anymore? I’m a HUGE Stephen King fan. And his short stories collection as Richard Bachman is one of the more powerful books I ever read. Great stuff.
9. Give me 2 truths and a lie about you.
I went to an all-girls high school.
I know how to fence.
I wanted to be a chef but I didn’t get into culinary school. (This is the lie)
10.Who’s your favorite book couple?
Celia and Marco in THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern. *swoon*
11.What was your favorite scene to write in WHEN JOSS MET MATT?
I’d have to say the Halloween scene. Or rather, the scene after the Halloween party where Joss finally works up the courage to ask Matt to be her Sorbet Guy. It was so fun to play with her awkwardness and they way they’re kind of shy with each other at first. Plus, they’re in costume, which added to the fun.