BLOG TOUR & Giveaway: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington (Interview)

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Hey guys! Today is our blog stop for When Summer Ends by the wonderful Jessica Pennington. And we are delighted to have been selected for an interview with her. This tour is hosted by The Heart of a Book Blogger. To see the full schedule, go HERE.

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When Summer Ends


Release date:
April 9th, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen / Macmillan








Two teenagers discover how an unexpected turn of fate can bring new love to heal old wounds in Jessica Pennington’s stunning, romantic YA novel When Summer Ends.

Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?

Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.

Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.

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Interview with Jessica:

Did you always know you wanted to be an author? Did you write stories as a kid?

When I was young—elementary school—I actually wrote poetry, and was big into journaling. I’ve always loved to write, but I had never written an actual story until my first NaNoWriMo attempt in 2012. 


How has your experience with becoming a published author? Any advice for new writers?

I have one of the most boring “getting there” stories ever. Iwent a pretty traditional route—queried my first novel, Love Songs & Other Lies, to agents, and secured representation with my wonderful agent Michelle Wolfson. The book went out on submission and sold to Tor Teen. Aside from being bumped from 2017 to 2018, which made the wait to be published a lot longer, it was all pretty uneventful. My best advice for someone looking to pursue traditional publishing, would be to get a ton of eyes on your book and your query letter, before it goes out. I had some amazing people help me polish both, and I like to think it made the whole process much easier! Also, learn to be patient. Waiting is the name of the game in publishing. You rush, rush, rush, and then you wait, wait, wait.


What was your inspiration behind your upcoming novel, When Summer Ends?

This book was a mix of so many things: my own diagnosis and struggle with a degenerative eye disease in high school, wanting to explore a character like Olivia who has life planned and then loses control of everything, and the setting of Riverton, and River Depot, which are based on some of my very favorite Michigan beach towns. Readers got to see a little of it in Love Songs & Other Lies, but it was really fun to explore the town in depth in When Summer Ends.


Who is your favourite character in When Summer Ends? And why?

It’s probably Aiden, though choosing between him and Olivia is sort of like choosing a favorite child. But Aiden’s so swoony and sweet, I don’t think I can NOT pick him!


When Summer Ends is set a lot outdoors, are you big outdoorsy person?

I do actually love canoeing and kayaking. Hiking, not so much, though I did some dune climbs while writing When Summer Ends just to remind myself how beautiful they are (and how much I am NOT cut out for hiking up sand dunes!) But When Summer Ends is really a love letter to Michigan summers along the lake, and outdoor activities are just such a big part of that! 


Did you find it harder to write this second book? How was it a different experience from Love Songs and Other Lies?

So much harder! When Summer Ends was my first time writing on deadline. And my first time writing a book since becoming a mom. My life was just so different from when I wrote Love Songs & Other Lies, that in a lot of ways I felt like I was re-learning everything. Plus, I think it’s just always harder to write once you have reviews and expectations and everything else tucked away in your brain, and you’re not just writing for fun anymore. But as much as I loved Love Songs & Other Lies, I don’t know that I’ve ever been as proud of myself as I was when I finished this book!


Both your books have a dual point of view, why did you choose to have this format instead of a single one?

In both cases, it just worked for the story. And I love reading dual POV, so if I can write it, I always will. I’m sure eventually I’ll think up a story idea that requires just one POV, but until then, I love getting to show both sides of a romance!


You’ve now written two contemporary novels, do you want to stay in that genre or would you consider tackling another category at some point?

You never know! I’ll definitely always write romance—perhaps someday I’ll write a romantic fantasy!


Are your characters inspired by people you’ve known or even parts of yourself?

Like I mentioned before, Aiden’s visual issues are definitely modeled after my own experiences. And in general, I tend to write girls who are a little too hard on themselves and live life a little too planned out, because that’s something I’ve always struggled with. I think it goes back to what so many authors say about ‘writing the books they wish they could have read as a teen.’ And my side characters always have little bits of people I know sprinkled in!


Do you have any romantic contemporary recommendations for our readers?

I just love The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman, which I am always shouting about, because I would love for everyone to read it, it just tears your heart out and then pieces it right back together in such a beautiful way. And one coming out very soon that I am excited for is Fake it Til You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen, which has the fake-dating trope that I love in romance!


Want a chance to win one of two finished copies of When Summer Ends (signed with swag)?

Enter the giveaway HERE

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Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. A serial entrepreneur with a B.A. in public relations, Jessica has a passion for grassroots marketing. She lives in a Michigan beach town, where she owns more YA novels than many teens and spends most of her time on a laptop, rather than on a beach.

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Spotify

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