JUST KISS ALREADY!!!
The above was my refrain during the entirety of 6 Times We Almost Kissed (and One Time We Did). And as torturous as the wait was, it was also glorious, glorious joy. The only thing that makes a kiss worthy is the waiting beforehand in my oh so humble opinion as a slow-burn fanatic. We sat down with the author of 6 Times, Tess Sharpe, to talk shop! So here it is: 6 Questions We Asked Tess Sharpe (And 1 She Asked NOVL)!
What was your inspiration for 6 Times We Almost Kissed (and One Time We Did)?
I’ve always been drawn to stories about epic, life-long friendships. But I could never quite find my way into writing a novel where one was the center….until I realized I should be writing about the ripple effects across the generations of such a friendship. I was focusing on the wrong thing for such a long time that once I realized I should be writing about the daughters of the epic friends, it all fell together really beautifully!
Can you describe your writing process? Are you more of a pre-plotter or do you develop the plot as you write?
I’m a huge outliner and I do a lot of pre-writing scenes to get to know characters—and a lot of these scenes don’t end up in the book. I’m also a last-minute assembler, meaning the book is broken down into scenes and I often don’t put them into chapters or into order until the very last minute when I have to send it to my editor! It’s the most chaotic part of my process, but it works for me.
You can actually watch me build this book on my instagram highlights step by step, too!
This novel is equal parts squeal-worthy romance and heart-wrenching drama. Was it hard to balance those two modes?
I love layering things. But sustaining the tension and matching the pace of both the romance and the drama outside of the romance was a big challenge! There’s a lot of push and pull you’re taking the reader through and you don’t want them to get TOO frustrated with you!
Physical trauma and scars are a theme throughout the book, from Penny’s hand to Anna’s illness. Why did you choose to center that theme and how is it explored differently through the various characters?
Characters with chronic pain and illness is definitely a thread through a majority of my work. Probably because it’s part of my life as someone who has endometriosis. But I also acquired a pretty deep surgical scar as a little kid and it’s still a part of my body I have to be careful with 30 years later because if you press there, it still hurts. I think I’ve always been drawn to writing about things that scar—actually and metaphorically–because of that.
What are some book you’ve been reading recently or would recommend?
I loved Dahlia Adler’s HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE and I’m really looking forward to her next release, GOING BICOASTAL, which is sliding-doors-esque (!!!). Recent release-wise, Camryn Garrett’s FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE is utter perfection. And coming in May, Miel Moreland’s SOMETHING LIKE POSSIBLE is top of my TBR list.
What are you working on now? Any exciting ideas you can share?
- I am working on my 2024 book right now. All I can say is that there’s a forest, a fire tower, a dog and a lot of booby traps!
As for my question, NOVL blog, it’s this: What is your favorite fictional kiss?
OH MY GOD! I don’t think you understand how long I spent thinking about this because my brain was stuck on Spider-man and MJ’s upside-down kiss from the movie and then my brain couldn’t get away from it. But as iconic as that kiss is, it’s definitely not my favorite. My favorite has to be Faramir and Eowyn in The Return of the King! I saw the movies before I read the books (I was a kid when they came out, don’t come for me) and while the subtext was kind of in the movies, I was not expecting their romance to be confirmed in the books. Let’s just say I screamed for joy!