I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for Sidelined that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!
Welcome Kara! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Hello and thanks for having me! My name is Kara and I currently live just north of Atlanta, Georgia. I love singing showtunes to my dogs, hanging out with my family and adding to my really impressive pen collection!
How would you describe Sidelined in one sentence?
Two boys with a complicated shared history, tons of Texas high school football madness, small-town traditions, homecoming mums, school dances, real friendships, cheese fries, and all the swoony feels I could squeeze in! (Okay, so that was a run-on sentence, but I think it counts!)
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Sidelined?
Julian Jackson is a play-by-the-rules kind of guy. The quarterback of the football team, well-respected by his teammates and the community. He believes in work, studying, and going full-out at every practice. He lives with his grandmother, Birdie.
Elijah Vance used to be the class clown. Always really good at sports, he was never the hardest worker in the room, but always managed to catch the eye of coaches because of his natural ability. The most important thing in the world to Elijah is his family, and he’d do anything to make sure they’re taken care of.
What representation will readers find in Sidelined?
Readers will find lots of happy, queer representation in Sidelined.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
Nooooo….I am a full-fledged member of the pantser club! By that I mean I write “by the seat of my pants” instead of using an outline or other plotting device. When I write a first draft, I love discovering things about my characters, and deciding which turns a plot will take. I might have a rough idea of where I’d like the book to end up when I first start, but I’m never right. I like it when the characters take over and I’m just along for the ride.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
There are tons of scenes in Sidelined that I could easily categorize as my favorite! My favorite scene to write, though, was the beach campout after the first football win of the season. There are some swoony moments in there, but it was also a ton of fun to write about a bunch of teammates goofing around on the beach after a win!
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Sidelined?
The Charm Offensive by Alison Chochrun, Bruised by Tanya Boteju, She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen.
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
I have a couple of (secret) YA projects cooking at the moment. I’m so excited to share details when the time is right!
ABOUT THE BOOK
An emotional YA romance about small town secrets, high school football, and broken hearts.
Julian Jackson has a short to-do list for his senior year at Crenshaw County High School in Meridian, Texas: football, football, and more football. He knows he’s only got one chance to earn a college scholarship and make it out of his small town, and keeping his head down, his grades up, and his cleats on the field is that one chance. And then Elijah Vance walks back into his life, throwing all of his carefully-laid plans into a tailspin.
Elijah and Julian used to be best friends, maybe even on their way to something more than just friends. But three years ago, Elijah broke into the school to steal money from the coach’s office, and Julian was the one who turned him in. After that, Elijah and his family disappeared without a trace. And now he’s back, sitting at Julian’s grandmother’s kitchen table.
But time and distance haven’t erased all of their feelings, and Elijah knows that he finally has a chance to prove to Julian that he’s not the same person he was three years ago. But with secrets still growing between them and an uncertain future barreling towards them, it may be harder to lean on each other than they thought.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kara Bietz was born in New England but currently resides just outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her family. Her first novel, Until I Break, was a Texas Library Association Spirit of Texas Reading Program selection. Her newest release, Sidelined, is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.
When she’s not writing, you can find Kara hanging out with her family, singing show tunes to her dogs, and adding to her impressive pen collection.