It’s June and that means it’s time for another year of Pride Month spotlights! I’m so excited to spotlight Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan and share the interview with the author!
Welcome Jennifer! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
Thank you for having me! My name is Jennifer Dugan and I’m a YA author who writes novels and graphic novels. MELT WITH YOU is my latest book, and my forthcoming graphic novel COVEN will be out Sept 6. I’m based out of upstate New York, where I live with my family and lots of pets and houseplants.
How would you describe Melt With You in one sentence?
MELT WITH YOU is an enemies to romance rom com about two ex-best friends on a road trip in an ice cream truck who are desperately trying to pretend they don’t have feelings for one another.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Melt With You?
Fallon is our narrator. She is unreliable, snarky, and a little bit stubborn… but for good reason. She had her heart broken and is very, very, overprotective of her feelings now. Chloe is her ex best friend, who is out doing her best, but is prone to hurting people—and herself—with her flightiness. Both of them are definite disaster bi’s.
What representation will readers find in Melt With You?
This is a sapphic rom com! Both Fallon and Chloe are Bi.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I used to be a pantser. I would definitely have no idea how the book ended until I got there! Unfortunately, when I worked like that, I would often write myself into a corner and have to redo large chunks of my books.
Now that I’m juggling so many deadlines, I don’t have the luxury to meander so much in my process. I’ve had to come around to the idea of doing outlines. I’m not as strict as a true plotter might be, but I do breakdown all of the major scenes. I also have a good sense of where I need to be during the beginning, mid-point, and end of the book before drafting, which helps ensure that I stay on track.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
I really love the roadside attractions they visit along the way. I had so much fun thinking them up! While there are a few different ones I really liked, I especially love the Forest of Forgotten Animals, which is a creepy art exhibit made out of stuffed animals in the middle of the woods. Fallon and Chloe have an argument there, and I love that they do so surrounded by twisted stuffed animal sculptures.
What is something readers will find in Melt With You that they may not realize based on the synopsis?
Fallon has a really great friend group supporting her via Facetime and texts during her drive with Chloe. I think people will really love to see that dynamic in action! I think people may also be surprised by the amount of camping in a shark tent that takes place.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from Melt With You?
That you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. People are inherently flawed, and don’t always make the best decisions in the face of that. But just because you didn’t necessarily take the perfect path from point A to B, doesn’t mean that you aren’t deserving of a little redemption arc and happily ever after of your own.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Melt With You?
I think any who enjoys MELT WITH YOU, would also really like SHE GETS THE GIRL by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick. I also highly recommend HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE by Dahlia Adler and literally every single book by Julian Winters.
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
Next up I’m releasing my debut graphic novel, COVEN on September 6. It tells the story of a young witch that must leave her California surfer girl life behind and head back to her Upstate New York coven after members are murdered under mysterious circumstances. She has to adjust to her new surroundings and master her neglected craft, all while trying to solve the murders before tragedy strikes again.
Kit Seaton partnered with me on this project, and her art is next level. I am very excited for everyone to finally see it this September!
ABOUT THE BOOK
From the author of Hot Dog Girl comes a sweet and salty queer YA rom-com about two girls on a summer road trip in an ice cream truck.
Fallon and Chloe used to be best friends, but last summer they hooked up right before Chloe left for college, and after a series of misunderstandings they are now not speaking to one another. A year later, Chloe’s back home from school, and Fallon is doing everything in her power to avoid her–which is especially difficult because their moms own a business together, a gourmet ice cream truck where both girls work.
When their moms have the opportunity to make a presentation to some venture capitalists in Texas–something that could seriously expand their business and solve all their money problems to boot–it’s up to Fallon to work a series of food truck festivals across the country. But she can’t do it alone, and Chloe is the only one available to help. As tensions heat up again between the two, will Fallon be able to keep her cool?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Dugan is an avid YA and comic writer that strives to create the stories that she wishes she had growing up. Her debut novel Hot Dog Girl was released April 30, 2019 from Penguin/Putnam. She is also the author of Verona Comics and the forthcoming novel Some Girls Do and graphic novel Coven.
Jennifer Dugan is represented by Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties, with film rights being handled by Mary Pender-Coplan at United Talent Agency.