Have a Little Faith in Me is one of my most anticipated releases from this year, so I’m extra excited and thankful I was able to interview Sonia Hartl today! Her debut was incredible and I could scream about it all day so make sure you read my review!
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Thank you so much for being here today, Sonia! I have NEVER come across a book quite like Have a Little Faith in Me, but as soon as I read the synopsis I knew I had to read it! Where did you get the idea or inspiration for this story?
It came from one part wanting to write a sex-positive story that centered around the way girls feel about how they talk to each other about sex, and another part wanting to set it in an environment similar to one I was in as a teen, where conversations about sex were non-existent. There are so many things that aren’t talked about during sex education, especially when it comes to consent, and I really wanted to write a book I needed as a teen.
Religion can be a really sensitive subject. How did you navigate it?
I took a lot of care with the characters I created. My main character is not a Christian, but the majority of the characters are, and I made sure they were all multi-faceted, not just one-note or cardboard cutouts of stereotypes. That they had hopes and fears and personalities beyond their religion, and made sure I balanced the different takes on the Bible and Christianity within each character, because religion is such a deeply personal thing that isn’t felt or expressed the same way by everyone.
What is something you hope readers take away from CeCe’s story?
The main thing I hope readers take away is a feeling of empowerment when it comes to sexuality. That they can have sex or not have sex and it doesn’t define them. That consent is more than just saying yes, and it should be an ongoing conversation. And I hope they come away with a few laughs and some swoons too.
What three songs would CeCe be totally obsessed with?
CeCe is definitely into pop, and she’d be all about the upbeat, the kind of music you can dance to and sing along with. But she also respects heartbreak and she’s pretty upset with her ex for a good majority of the book, so her three favorites would probably be:
- Womanizer by Britney Spears
- Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
- You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette
As a debut author, what is one of the most important things you’ve learned?
There is so much we can’t control. We can’t control who reads or likes our book or what kind of buzz we’ll get, the only thing we can control is the writing. So when it feels like everything is spiraling, I write to distract myself and to take back a little bit of control, because creating new stories is something I’ll always be able to do.
Can you tell us anything about your newest writing project?
Book 2 will be out with Page Street in Fall of 2020! It’s another stand alone romcom about a YouTuber named Macy Evans, who is doxed after the woman sitting behind her at a baseball game tweets about her supposed romance with a boy she stumbled into, vaulting her into a whirlwind fake relationship and driving a wedge between her and the quiet, small-town boy she really likes.
Sonia Hartl is a YA author who calls Michigan home, even though she’s lived in several different states. Her debut novel, HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME is forthcoming from Page Street Publishing. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s enjoying pub trivia, marathoning Disney movies, or taking a walk outside in the fall.
She’s a member of SCBWI and the communications director for Pitch Wars. She has been published in The Writers Post Journal and Boston Literary Magazine. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and two daughters.
Enter to win a finished copy of Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl!
Giveaway is open to US residents and starts 8/28/2019 and ends 9/11/2019. Enter through the Rafflecopter form and don’t forget to read the rules first!
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