People sell some crazy stuff on eBay, but what if you and your friends put your first kiss up for sale? Bestselling author Brittany Geragotelis answers this very question in her new book, Kiss & Sell, a delightful and intriguing read about Arielle, a wallflower teen who is catapulted into the social spotlight after putting her first kiss up on eBay. Today, Brittany discusses the inspiration behind the new book, self-esteem issues amongst teens, and the many swoon-worthy guys readers can look forward to meeting. So sit back, relax and enjoy!
The idea of selling your first kiss on eBay is rather genius. Where did the idea for Kiss & Sell come from?
Thank you! I thought it was interesting too! I actually got the idea because I was watching the news a few years ago and they had this story on “The Today Show” about this guy who was selling his mother-in-law on eBay. He got all this attention and it made the rounds of all the news shows and it got me thinking about what type of person would sell something unusual online. And that lead me to wonder about what it would take for a teen to sell her first kiss on eBay. And the rest is…history.
What are Arielle’s strongest qualities? What are her worst?
I think her strongest qualities are her strength and courage. She’s not what you would consider to be the “hero” or the “popular girl” or even the one in her group of friends that necessarily stands out. But the decision she makes to sell her kiss on eBay, and then how she handles everything afterward is really brave. I love that she just steps up and takes life as it comes and isn’t afraid of trying new things or of change. Her worst quality….that she lets the pressure of what everyone else is doing get to her. At first she really just wants to get her first kiss over and done with, because, well…everyone else is doing it. So, it’s not so much about finding the perfect person to kiss, it’s about just getting that kiss — no matter whose lips it is that’s doing the kissing.
Arielle quickly goes from being a wallflower to the center of attention, which is sure to be beneficial and damaging to her self-esteem. How do you think teens will relate to her struggles in the story?
I think they’ll relate to her desire to keep up with her classmates. I think sometimes we hear so much about certain relationship stuff, that it becomes this super-huge deal — and most of the time it IS a big deal — and we let the pressure of this HUGE moment get to us to the point where we just want to get it over with. I think we all have these moments, but we need to remember that the moments are going to happen the perfect way if we just let them, instead of trying to force it all.
What can you tell us about Arielle’s many suitors? Who will we swoon over the most?
There are so many! There’s the popular guy at school who asks her out in a really clever way. There’s Cade, the popular-but-dark and mysterious guy who seems to show up just when Arielle needs him. And the celebrity hunk who just wants to be a regular guy — and wants Arielle to help him do that! So many boys to choose from…which will win her kiss?
In writing Kiss & Sell, did you find your process had changed compared to your Life’s a Witch series?
The process wasn’t different, but the tone was really different. Arielle’s more of an innocent character, not nearly as confidant and kick-ass as Hadley. And of course, no paranormal action or witches in this book! And since it’s set in the real world, you have more confines as the author, more rules, more things to consider… But Kiss & Sell is really just light and fun and innocent…much like first kisses often are.
What is your favorite scene in the book? What was the most challenging to write?
My favorite scene is when Arielle tells this guy off for starting false rumors about her. I just like that she stands up for herself and isn’t afraid to call him out on his crap.
What do you hope readers gain from reading Kiss & Sell?
I hope they’ll realize that EVERYONE worries and stresses about their first kiss. My experience is that first kisses are usually awkward and it’s so incredibly nerve-wracking. It’s easy to think everyone else is doing stuff, and therefore you should too, otherwise you’re weird or lame or a prude or not good enough. But there’s not a time limit on getting your first kiss (or on anything else for that matter). And trust me — based on the e-mails and messages I’ve already been getting from readers — Arielle’s not the only one out there who hasn’t experienced her first kiss yet. Wherever you’re at, you’re fine, you’re normal, and the kissing will come….when it’s the perfect time!