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An Interview with Jessica K. Foster, author of Andy and the Extroverts

foster

Jessica K. Foster is an author of young adult contemporary romances including Andy and the Extroverts and the forthcoming Andy and the Summer of Something. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two boys, and ragtag crew of rescue animals. Find out more at jessicakfoster.com.


Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I grew up reading every type of romance I could get my hands on. I picked up trade romances at garage sales and borrowed Harlequins from under my mom’s bed. I’ve always been addicted to a good happily ever after. I would say my biggest influences were Jude Deveraux novels and Nancy Drew books. I was also a sucker for the Sweet Valley High series.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

Andy and the Extroverts is about all the fun of summer camp. I used to attend summer camp and was even a counselor at one point. I wanted to capture that fleeting moment of solidarity and uncertainty in a book.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

Andy and the Extroverts was actually easy to find. I am notoriously terrible at choosing titles, but I felt like this title captured the conflict in four words. I hoped that anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by all the chaos of extroverted activities would be able to relate.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

This book does have a playlist! Search for Andy and the Extroverts on Spotify! A few chart-toppers that made the cut were “Wow” by Zara Larsson, “Everything is Alright” by Motion City Soundtrack, and “Love Myself” by Hailey Steinfeld.

Describe your dream book cover.

This book has my dream cover! The very talented Rejenne Pavon created the perfect, color-popping colors for Andy’s debut cover. It depicts her standing uncertainly in front of a camp where everyone is getting along. I love it.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years. From shake-maker to omelet-flipper to secretary to teacher, I’ve run the gamut, but I’m always working. Something about me that readers wouldn’t know would probably be that my first writing experience for an actual audience was actually Harry Potter fanfiction. Fred and George forever!

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

I re-read comfort books when I draft so I don’t get distracted by new plots. When writing Andy, I re-read The Score by Elle Kennedy and DUFF by Kody Keplinger.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope readers finish my book feeling like they can take on the world. I hope they realize they don’t have to change for anyone. They just have to embrace who they already are. I would envision my perfect reader as a person who enjoys beach reads, who likes a satisfying ending and who is nostalgic for summer camp, even if they’ve never been. They’d likely also be fans of Float by Emma Marchant, The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, and Awkward by Marni Bates.

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