From the minute I started Hey Sunshine by Tia Giacalone I could hardly put it down. As a new mom, my time spent reading is precious, so I only save it for the best. And Hey Sunshine was definitely the best. A mix of romance and new adult fiction that kept me intrigued and smiling the whole way through.
Pulled from Goodreads, the brief synopsis sums it up without giving too much away:
Avery Kent knows that life can change in an instant: one second you’re on your way out of small-town life, the next you’re left heartbroken and stunned when your thrill-seeking high school boyfriend runs off in pursuit of a potentially dangerous dream. Four years later, everything is different. When Chase returns, admitting he made a mistake and asking for a second chance, Avery wants to think she can trust him again. But when the arrival of a handsome, quiet stranger named Fox shifts Avery’s focus, she realizes that things are about to get a lot more complicated. When is a lot of history enough reason for a future? And how do you ignore the way someone makes you feel, especially when they were the last thing you ever expected?
Hey Sunshine’s author, Tia Giacalone, may be new to the world of new adult fiction, but you would never know it. As her debut novel, Hey Sunshine has a bit of everything and characters you love. It’ll be hard for you to not read it all in one sitting!
Tia was kind enough to answer a few of The Daily Quirk’s questions about her new path as an author and what’s next:
The Daily Quirk: Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you become a writer?
TIA: I’ve always wanted to write. College didn’t work out too well for me when I was younger – I think I was unsure about what I wanted to do and how I planned to get there. I was waiting tables and burning myself out at the tender age of 23, so I started doing hair, which was great because it gave me the flexibility to pursue other interests. Then in 2007, I decided to start a blog (Clever Girl Goes Blog, for anyone who might remember it!) and it taught me more about writing than any class I’d ever taken. When e-reader was born and self-publishing became a thing, I found the New Adult genre and I was hooked. Last year, I decided to actually finish one of my many works-in-progress, and here I am.
TDQ: What was your inspiration for Hey Sunshine?
TIA: My original inspiration for Hey Sunshine came from a dream I had where Fox played Avery one of the first film clips you read about in the novel. I really wanted their love story to be authentic – slow, genuine, and intentional. Love at first sight is great and all but I think it’s the small moments built up over time that have the greatest impact.
TDQ: Were any of the characters based off of people you know?
TIA: Hmm. Not specifically, but kind of. All of my characters have snippets of their personalities taken from people in my life, but they’re mostly unique in their own ways. I do love a good quirky character.
TDQ: But really, where can we find Fox?
TIA:Oh man. Sweet, strong, sexy Fox. He’s one of a kind. So far he only exists in my imagination, but I’m optimistic that he could be a reality for someone out there. If anyone finds him, let me know!
TDQ: Did you write it knowing that you’d want to write a follow up?
TIA: Hey Sunshine was always intended to be book one of a trilogy. The scary part is that you have no idea how it will be received, so I always felt like it was kind of presumptuous to say that I was writing a series; I just told people (when I told anyone at all!) that I was writing a book. But luckily, thankfully, and amazingly, readers have enjoyed this story, and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. Now that I’m working on book two, it feels so good to know that there are people out there excited and looking forward to it. More pressure, of course, because I want it to be amazing for them, but so rewarding too. I’m incredibly grateful to anyone who picks up a book and takes a chance on an unknown author. I feel like I’m carving out my own tiny little community among book lovers and it’s neat.
TDQ: The playlist at the end is excellent and very eclectic, how did you imagine the playlist while writing Avery’s story?
TIA: I listen to a lot of different genres of music (which you’d never guess if you saw my iPhone playlists HI ONE DIRECTION) so putting together the soundtrack for Hey Sunshine was really fun. The book is set in Texas, so I wanted to infuse classic and modern country with pop, rock, and a singer/songwriter vibe. Each song relates to the book in some specific way between the lyrics or just the overall feeling you get when you listen to it. It sort of jumps back and forth between songs that push Avery to be strong and resilient, and songs that let you know that Avery and Fox are falling in love, which basically mirrors how the story goes. And songs Fox uses in his video clips had to be on there too, of course, because those are windows to how he feels about her.
TDQ: Current favorite song. Go!
TIA: “Drag Me Down” by One Direction. (No one is surprised.) I’m always so excited for them to release new music and continually evolve their sound. And I really love listening to Harry GO OFF on the last part. *end 1D fangirl moment.*
A close second would be “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran. It has special meaning for me because it’ll be on the playlist for book 2!
TDQ: What was the last book you were really obsessed with and couldn’t put down?
TIA: I recently read a Young Adult novel called I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, and it was so amazing. The way she writes is like prose mixed with feelings mixed with images, and I adore it. I didn’t want it to end, even though I knew it had to. I immediately ran right out and got her other novel so I could get my fix.
Visit Tia’s website at www.tiawritesbooks.com or follow her on Instagram: @tiawritesbooks.