by Kendra C. Highley
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
If you know me at all, you know I love romance. Finding Perfect was one of my favorite books – well – ever! Defying Gravity, Zoey’s story, tops the list of must read romances. It’s Christmas all year ’round in this book, and snowy kisses and cute snowboarders are in abundance. I had the opportunity to ask Kendra a little about her inspiration for the series and what she’s working on next. Check out the interview below and convince yourself that this one-click buy is necessary!
**It’s also Kendra’s birthday today! So let’s all wish her a happy birthday (I would suggest getting your hands on one of her books as a way of celebration)!**
Hi Kendra! Thanks for stopping by A Leisure Moment! To start off, where did you get the inspiration for Finding Perfect?
I’d been working on a different contemporary, and my editor asked if I’d be willing to do a “Can’t Buy Me Love” type of story. Because I’m a recovering perfectionist, I immediately knew that would be Paige’s main struggle, and I definitely wanted to have two intelligent characters who weren’t too smart in the love department, then have them figure it out together.
When you started the series, did you always intend to give Zoey her happily-ever-after?
Yes! Zoey absolutely deserved her HEA. She’s such a good friend to Paige, but she’s lonely deep inside and needed to find love with someone who values her for her and not her looks.
You wrote two of my favorite leading men in young adult contemporary! Where did you get the inspiration for Parker and Ben?
Ben…he showed up almost fully formed. I love a guy who works hard, is humble about it, and knows how to be a gentleman. Parker is an amalgam of every good-natured, non-jerk athlete I knew in high school. Guys who are talented, funny, and don’t let it go to their head.
I felt like I was in Colorado while I read Defying Gravity. Why did you set the book in Aspen, and did you get to take a trip to the slopes for research?
It was set in Aspen because it’s a great resort town and people who have the money often have homes there. Plus, Aspen is a very hot snowboarder scene. Funny enough, I didn’t get to take a trip there, but I did a ton of research on the internet: YouTube videos, following the Snowmass resort on Facebook, and reviewing ski trail maps.
Snowboarding is Parker’s life. There were many terms that I was glad Zoey had someone around to explain it all. Are you a snowboarder?
I’m not—way too klutzy. I was quite the roller-skater back in the day, but most of my snowboarding knowledge comes from watching X-Games.
For those who have read your books, we know you’re a huge fan of happily-ever-afters in your writing! But as far as reading, what are you most likely to pick up when you sit down for a reading break?
I read YA almost exclusively. I love fantasy and SciFi (I’m eagerly awaiting A Torch Against the Night, and The Beauty of Darkness next month). I’ve recently been on a Victoria Schwab kick—I love both her YA and adult work (V.E. Schwab)
Other than contemporary, you also write in the sci-fi and fantasy realm of young adult. Do you have a favorite genre or like certain things about each?
I like a little bit of everything. My favorite book as a kid was The Hobbit so that probably influenced my taste a bit, but I also rabidly read Judy Blume. I was an English major in college, and Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors.
I’ve been ready for Zoey’s story since I read the epilogue of Finding Perfect, but the epilogue of Defying Gravity had a bit more closure. Is this the last we’ve seen of these characters or are they destined to show back up sometime in the future?
I’d like to see them show up again sometime. Maybe another Alderwood High student will need a story told.
To close out, is there anything you can tell us about what you’re currently working on?
Yes, I’m working on the final book in my UNSTRUNG trilogy, and I have a new contemporary with Entangled—The Bad Boy Bargain—which is in early editing.