Around the World in 80 Kisses: Smooch Post #2
The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams is the story of four best friends: Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy–the misfits of Paris, Texas. Their whole lives, they’ve dreamed of escaping small-town life and seeing the world. So when Piper is the victim of an embarrassing prank that goes viral online, she gets the idea that the girls should escape via the school’s international exchange program, in search of fun, love and internet redemption.
Ivy Adams is the pseudonym of for three friends and writing partners: Emily McKay, Shellee Roberts and Tracy Deebs. They shop, gossip and watch movies in Austin, Texas.
ACR: What or who inspired the story of the International Kissing Club?
IA: The kernel of the story was originally inspired by the globe-trotting exploits of a fellow writer, who in a previous career had traveled to all of these amazing places and been romanced by men the world over. It was perfect for a chick lit-ish type book. However, that never got off the ground. But we loved the idea and thought it would be really cute for a young adult novel, so we reworked it and ta-da! The International Kissing Club.
ACR: Travel around the globe being romanced by men the world over, what a horrible career they had. *Jealous*
ACR: A lot of writers create playlists that help inspire their story or fit a particular scene. Are you one of the many author’s with a playlist? If so, can you share the artists and titles with us?
IA: Yes, music is definitely an inspiration for writing. When planning out a scene I’ll find a song that I think informs the mood I’m reaching for and play it over and over and over–it drives my family nuts. Sometimes, I’ll print out the lyrics of a song and put them up at my desk, so as I’m working I have a reference for the spirit I’m trying to convey with the words. For IKC, there was a separate playlist for each girl and their individual story/romance. But, when I first heard “Young Blood” by the Naked and the Famous I just loved it and thought it captured perfectly everything we were trying do in the book–it’s an anthem to youth and first love and feeling lost and making mistakes but realizing that all of that is okay, that you’re okay. I turn up the radio every time I hear it.
ACR: Very good song lyrics for this song. I can’t say I’ve heard it before. I’ve found the song and video here on YouTube for those who want to take a listen.
ACR: Can you tell us one thing about Piper, Cassidy, Mei and Izzy that no one knows?
IA: Each of us wrote a different girl: Tracy wrote Piper, Shellee (me) wrote Cassidy, Emily wrote Izzy and we all worked on Mei. What happened when we wrote them was that we ended up writing ourselves into these characters. It wasn’t intentional and we didn’t even realize we were doing it at first, but these girls became a real reflection of us, our own internal issues, and our friendship in many ways. Tracy really is Piper–bubbly and dramatic; Emily is imminently practical and super eco-conscious (her whole house runs on rain water) just like Izzy; and Cassidy and I were separated at birth: snarky and fierce on the outside, terrified and neurotic on the inside. Mei is the best of all of us–smart and driven with a bit of rebel. If we’d all grown up together like our characters did, I’d like to think we’d have been best friends then as well.
ACR: It’s nice to see there is a piece of you all within these pages!
ACR: You joined the foreign exchange program, what country do you go to and what kind of boys do you hope to find?
IA: My favorite question! Right now, I have a deep yearning to visit Buenos Aires, Argentina. South America seems so sensual and mysterious to me. I love the language, the music and want to learn the tango, drink coffee and wine in the little sidewalk cafes along the cobblestone streets of the city, and walk in the footsteps of Jorge Luis Borges–one of my favorite authors. Then I’d go to the pampas and see the gauchos, Argentinian cowboys. Mmmm, cowboys.
ACR: Mmmm indeed. I think I’ll just tag along with you and follow in your footsteps. Though I think I’d be go with any place that has a foreign accent. The culture, the food, the music, the sightseeing…. someone take me away!
Thank you so much Shellee for stopping by…this was a very fun interview!