It’s June and that means it’s time for another year of Pride Month spotlights! I’m so excited to spotlight The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann and share the interview with the author!
Welcome Claire! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Sure! I suppose the first thing to know about me is that I’m riddled with bad habits and have a naturally lazy disposition. Second thing to know: I like to have a good time in interviews, even when they’re written. Please take half of what I say seriously, disregard a quarter of it, and laugh at the remaining portion as much or as little as you see fit. I love cats, music, horror movies, and somehow despite my inclination to be one with the way of the sloth, I also managed to write and publish several novels. My most recent release is The Romantic Agenda.
How would you describe The Romantic Agenda in one sentence?
It’s about four people forced to take a long, hard look at their relationships with one another while on vacation 🙂
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of The Romantic Agenda?
Joy is the main character–the story is told from her POV. She’s in love with her best friend, and can’t really imagine her life without, and beyond, that fact. Her supporting cast consists of said best friend, Malcolm, who is falling in love with Summer, who is best friends with Fox, who both loathes Malcolm and is fascinated by Joy.
What representation will readers find in The Romantic Agenda?
Joy is Black, asexual, and living with untreated severe anxiety. Malcolm is Black and asexual/questioning demisexual; Summer and Fox are both white and heterosexual.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
Both! Sometimes, they’ll tell me the ending or what they want first and I’ll have to work backwards from there. I usually come up with the plot or premise on my own. Once I have it, I’ll ask them (lol) if they’re up for it. It can take a few rounds to figure which character will fit with which story. The Romantic Agenda started with a different premise than the published version, but the characters didn’t change at all really.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
I have a couple of favorite scenes: what happens with Joy and Summer on the dock, late night ice cream session, the events of Fable Sanctuary, the hammock moment(s), and any scene featuring Grace and/or Princess Pepper.
What is something readers will find in The Romantic Agenda that they may not realize based on the synopsis?
Probably everything hahaha
I didn’t realize how vague the synopsis was until my friend read it. She sent voice messages of her reacting to the book, most of it being genuine surprise at the way things were unfolding. The synopsis truly reveals the bare minimum.
The Romantic Agenda isn’t trying to be the book you think it will be. But it’s not trying to trick you either–it’s very much a romance with a HEA centered in a queer experience.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from The Romantic Agenda?
That it’s important to always keep an open mind and an open heart.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed The Romantic Agenda?
- I’m (So) Not Over You by Kosoko Jackson
- Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman
- Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
Next up, I’m spreading my author wings and flying headfirst into middle grade. SUITEHEARTS is my upcoming duology about a pair of magical matchmaking cousins. The first book, Harmony and Heartbreak, releases January 3, 2023.
And if I’m Lucky, there’ll be another ace adult romance from me as well…
ABOUT THE BOOK
Joy is in love with Malcolm.
But Malcolm really likes Summer.
Summer is in love with love.
And Fox is Summer’s ex-boyfriend.
Thirty, flirty, and asexual Joy is secretly in love with her best friend Malcolm, but she’s never been brave enough to say so. When he unexpectedly announces that he’s met the love of his life—and no, it’s not Joy—she’s heartbroken. Malcolm invites her on a weekend getaway, and Joy decides it’s her last chance to show him exactly what he’s overlooking. But maybe Joy is the one missing something…or someone…and his name is Fox.
Fox sees a kindred spirit in Joy—and decides to help her. He proposes they pretend to fall for each other on the weekend trip to make Malcolm jealous. But spending time with Fox shows Joy what it’s like to not be the third wheel, and there’s no mistaking the way he makes her feel. Could Fox be the romantic partner she’s always deserved?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire Kann is the author of several novels and an award-winning online storyteller. In her other life she works for a non-profit you may have heard of where she daydreams like she’s paid to do it. She loves cats and is obsessed with horror media (which makes the whole being known for writing contemporary love stories a little weird, tbh).
She is represented by Carrie Pestritto of Laura Dail Literary Agency.