It’s time to meet the 19th featured authors of the SSS! Introducing…Kat Helgeson & Hannah Moskowitz!
The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.
Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie.
But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.
All About the Characters
By Kat Helgeson & Hannah Moskowitz
KAT: GENA/FINN is a story about unexpected friendships. Gena and Finn are these two girls who don’t really have that much in common, and over the course of the book they surprise themselves with how close they become.
HANNAH: Kat and I wrote it back and forth over emails and gchat. Just like how we’re writing this post!
KAT: And, just like in the book, Hannah and I don’t necessarily have that much in common – except for when we really really do.
HANNAH: We met through fandom, just like Gena and Finn, and a big aspect of the book is how fandom brings people together who wouldn’t ordinarily have met. So many people form true friendships online nowadays and we wanted a book that rang true to that.
KAT: As we were writing, we kind of split up the character voices between the two of us. Hannah always wrote Gena, I always wrote Finn, and the secondary characters were similarly divided up. So it’s easy to say, you know, Finn is the character most like me! And in a lot of ways that’s true. I think Finn has an uneasiness about the future that I had at her age, and she has a caretaker instinct that I feel a lot of the time. Finn’s also in a position of trying to balance family, friends, work, and love, which is something I wrestle with a lot.
HANNAH: Gena falls victim to school stress and college pressure the same way I did. And she has a few secrets that she’s hiding…just like I did when I first met Kat.
KAT: Finn’s a very sweet girl, though, and I think that’s more like Hannah.
HANNAH: I can be sweet…but I can also be kind of a smart-ass like Gena….and like Kat.
KAT: Oh, hush.
HANNAH: I think we drew a lot on each other when we were writing our own characters without even meaning to. After all, she’s one of the people I know the best.
KAT: So given that Finn is a little bit of me and a little bit of you, would you be friends with her?
HANNAH: Of course! Especially if she’d agree to chill out a little. She worries too much.
What about you and Gena?
KAT: Are we talking about Part One and Two Gena? or Part Three Gena?
HANNAH: That’s an important question.
KAT: Ultimately I don’t think it matters, though. You can’t actually call yourself a friend to Gena if you’re going to bail on her when things get rough, right? And I think that’s something else Finn and I have in common. We don’t cut bait during the bad times.
So yeah, absolutely I’d be friends with Gena. I think she’s a blast.
HANNAH: Aww, I think you’re a blast.
KAT: But you know what, I have to be honest. I think the character I’m most likely to be friends with is Evanson.
HANNAH: Oh yeah, he’s the best. No question.
KAT: Least likely?
KAT: Nailed it.
HANNAH: She canNOT be in our cosplay.
KAT HELGESON is a Chicago-based author of novels for young adults. She is a 1980’s cake walk champion and claims a career total of 2 points scored during regulation basketball, and she’s undefeated at Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. Having retired from the circus at age fourteen, she now creates content for social media channels by day and writes by night. Kat lives with her husband, her dog, and a healthy preoccupation with fictional characters.
HANNAH MOSKOWITZ is a tank top-collecting, tv-obsessing, Rocky Horror-performing woman of mystery. She’s a ’90s kid, a mezzo-soprano, and a professional Sims-breeder. If she’s not writing she’s probably eating. Her cats are better than your cats. She’d choose a good haircut over a good wardrobe any day. And no matter where she’s living, she’s a clear-eyed, full-hearted Maryland girl with Old Bay for blood.
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