1. Why did you decide to have the central location of IN REAL LIFE be Vegas?
Two reasons. One, I love Las Vegas! It’s one of my favorite places to visit and I’ve had so much fun there, so I thought it would be fun to write about. Also, there aren’t many YA novels that take place there, so I thought it would be something a little fresh and different.
2. Impulsively meeting an online friend IRL is a risky thing- after all, not everyone is who they appear to be. Did you have that on your mind while writing about Hannah, a teen, going on an adventure to do exactly that, even though she had never met Nick prior? Did you ever think that teens might follow Hannah’s example after reading IN REAL LIFE?
Oh gosh…Hannah makes some bad decisions. I hope people don’t decide to follow her lead on everything. I did try to establish, though, that Hannah had done her research as far as verifying that Nick was who he said he was. None of that super shady Catfish behavior going on here.
3. Are there any online friends that YOU have that you would consider taking a road trip to meet them in real life? If so, who?
I have met so many of my favorite online friends! I’ve visited them in NYC, Miami, Dallas, and Las Vegas, just to make a few places. They have come to see me, too. I love my online friends, and I pretty much consider them to be my “real” friends, so it’s been a lot of fun traveling around the country to meet them in person.
4. What’s your favorite food?
Pizza. Always pizza.
5. What was one major difference between writing IN REAL LIFE and PUSH GIRL?
Oh man, everything about these books was so, so different. I wrote PUSH GIRL with a co-writer, Chelsie Hill, so that was different. The plot of that one was all worked out first and then written after, and with IN REAL LIFE I was figuring out the plot as I went along. I took forever to write and revise and revise again with IN REAL LIFE, while PUSH GIRL was under a really tight deadline. The whole experience of each was completely different.
6. Did you make a playlist while writing IN REAL LIFE?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Love is a high school English teacher in Los Angeles, California, where she met her husband and her two tiny dogs online. She is the co-writer of Push Girl with Chelsie Hill.