I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for The Night When No One Had Sex that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!
Welcome Kalena! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Hello! My name is Kalena Miller, and I’m a middle grade and young adult author from Minnesota! My debut YA novel, The Night When No One Had Sex, is being published on September 7th, and I’m so excited to be chatting with you about the book.
How would you describe The Night When No One Had Sex in one sentence?
A sex-positive, madcap comedy featuring four couples who’ve vowed to have sex the night of their senior prom.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of The Night When No One Had Sex?
The book follows four different couples (all part of the same friend group):
Julia and Kevin are childhood sweethearts. Julia is the mastermind behind the sex pact who is determined to lose her virginity while Kevin is happy to oblige (until, of course, things go wrong).
Madison is also excited to participate in the sex pact with her (slightly oblivious) boyfriend, Jake. However, Madison is living with lupus—an autoimmune disease that occasionally causes painful flares. She’s also frustrated by her twin sister, Morgan…
Morgan is Madison’s overprotective twin who does NOT approve of Jake. She’s attending prom with her long-term girlfriend, Zoe, who is harboring a secret of her own. Zoe has gotten off the waitlist at Yale and now can’t decide where to go to college.
And finally…Alex and Leah have never met before, but they’re thrust together when Alex’s grandmother has a heart attack and needs emergency surgery at the local hospital.
What representation will readers find in The Night When No One Had Sex?
Sapphic, Korean American, Chinese American, chronic illness, fat rep.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I wish I could say I let the characters lead me (because I love how romantic that sounds), but I am a plotter at heart. Especially in this book, when I was writing four intersecting points of view, I had a very detailed plot from start to finish. While sometimes characters do surprise me and I tweak my plans, I pretty much knew the ending of this book before I started writing.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
I love Madison and Jake’s conversation on the roof. There’s something about playing Fuck, Marry, Kill on the roof at three in the morning while devouring hot Cheetos that feels quintessentially high school to me. Even though I’ve re-read this scene fifty times, I still laugh every time.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed The Night When No One Had Sex?
Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon – I just finished reading this book, and I was struck by how similar the structure and voice is to The Night When No One Had Sex. I would definitely recommend!
Feeling Sorry For Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty – I grew up reading Jaclyn Moriarty’s books, and they’ve always been an inspiration to me! There’s a perfect balance of comedy and heart, and the epistolary style is extremely effective in conveying multiple voices.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart – E. Lockhart is a former teacher of mine from Hamline University, and I was lucky enough to have her blurb The Night When No One Had Sex. But she is also one of the authors who revolutionized the genre of YA Chick Lit, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every book she’s ever written!
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
I’m so excited to have a middle grade book coming out in the spring of 2023 with Delacorte. The story is about a middle schooler living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who’s thrust into the spotlight during a theatrical production of The Sound of Music. There’s friendship drama, family angst, and so many musical theatre references.
ABOUT THE BOOK
It’s the night of senior prom, and eighteen-year-old Julia has made a pact with her friends. (Yes, that kind of pact.) They have secured a secluded cabin in the woods, one night without parental supervision, and plenty of condoms. But as soon as they leave the dance, the pact begins to unravel. Alex’s grandmother is undergoing emergency surgery, and he and his date rush to the hospital. Zoe’s trying to figure out how she feels about getting off the waitlist at Yale–and how to tell her girlfriend. Madison’s chronic illness flares, holding her back once again from being a normal teenager. And Julia’s fantasy-themed role play gets her locked in a closet. Alternating between each character’s perspective and their ridiculous group chat, The Night When No One Had Sex finds a group of friends navigating the tenuous transition into adulthood and embracing the uncertainty of life after high school.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kalena Miller grew up in College Station, TX with her mom, dad, and the most photographed hamster in history. After high school, she moved a thousand miles north to attend Carleton College, where she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Religious Studies. After a brief stint working as a paraeducator in Seattle, Kalena decided she missed school too much, so she spent the next two years pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University.
Kalena currently lives in Hopkins, Minnesota with her husband, Kenny, and Toy Australian Shepherd, Toshley. She writes middle grade and young adult fiction and co-authors narrative nonfiction with her mom, Kathy Miller (check out her website here). She loves books that make her laugh and make her cry, preferably at the same time, and she firmly believes all quality novels should feature a cat.