by Julie Hammerle
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Series: Minnesota, North Pole
Hi Julie! Thanks for stopping by A Leisure Moment!
- To start, why don’t you tell us what inspired you to write Any Boy But You?
Thanks for having me! This book is the first in a series, but the third one I wrote. I wanted to write a story that really highlighted the town, hence the idea for a game that got everyone moving through the streets and a feud between two local stores. And I loved the idea of making this a You’ve Got Mail-esque, enemies-to-lovers story.
- I had definite Gilmore Girls flashbacks when I read about the small town of North Pole, Minnesota. Did the show influence this story at all?
Gilmore Girls was definitely an inspiration. I’m a big TV fan, and I love shows set in richly populated small towns, like Stars Hollow or Pawnee, IN.
- The Chestnuts and Princes have been mortal enemies for as long as their kids could remember. How did you capture the spirit of rivalry and family feuds in the book?
The kids both grew up understanding that they were supposed to hate the other family, but without really knowing why—which is how a lot of biases are born, right? The fun part about this feud for me is that it seems simple on the surface, but it becomes a lot more complicated when Oliver and Elena start digging deeper into their parents’ pasts.
- Oliver loves video games and all things technology. He’s an antisocial sort, too. Why did you decide to write his character this way?
Because I’m an antisocial sort! I’m a writer with social anxiety who’s home alone all day. Oliver’s connection to his toys and his lack of connection to the IRL people around him was something I could relate to.
- Elena hated the Princes almost more than the Princes hated the Chestnuts. Why is the chip on Elena’s shoulder so much bigger than Oliver’s qualms with the store across the street?
Elena’s had to endure a lot of disappointments recently. She’s given up a ton—the track team, social events, her time–to help work in her parents’ store, which is on its last legs. To see the Princes come in and thrive while her parents’ store is failing (and while she feels like she’s the only one who cares), is hard to take. Oliver is an outsider. He’s been taught to hate the Chestnuts, but he has no real skin in the game.
- Sports are only an undercurrent of the story, even though the families own recreational stores. Why did you decide to have sports take a backseat to the rest of the story?
The families own sports stores, but sports are not central to their kids’ lives. Oliver and Regina didn’t grow up working in the store, so they’re coming to the sporting goods store scene a little later in life. Elena knows a lot about sports and understands the culture, but she’s not a fan necessarily. The store is her 9-5, and she doesn’t bring work home with her.
- The friendships are strong in this book, especially between Harper and Elena, and then Harper and Oliver. Where did you get the inspiration for Harper?
Harper evolved on the page. I adore her. Maybe she needs her own romance novel.
- Elena’s lived in North Pole all her life, but Oliver’s more of a Florida guy. Would you rather spend the winter months in snow or your feet in the sand?
Neither. I want cold and snow, but I want to be inside wearing a sweater and drinking tea.
- This is the first book in the series! Can you tell us a little about what we have to expect from the rest of the series?
The next book takes place in summer, and I love it. The romance in book two is delicious, and I adore the main characters. (You’ve already met one of them!) The second book (Hey, you’ve also already met one of this story’s MCs) takes place at Christmastime, and was the impetus for this series, because I wanted to write a YA novel that reads like a Hallmark Christmas movie.
- Lastly, what’s the most important thing to you for your writing process?
Keeping my bum in the chair. You can’t fix what’s not there, so just getting words on paper and pushing through, even when the words aren’t flowing.
Thanks for stopping by, Julie! J
Thank you so much!
Pre-order your copy of Any Boy But You here.
Don’t miss my stop on the blog tour, February 23rd!
Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.
The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.
When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.