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  • Writer's pictureBrandie June

Interview With Author Kristi McManus

Looking for a fun YA contemporary romance with a new twist? Then look no further than Kristi McManus’s new novel, How to Get Over Your (Best Friend's) Ex. I recently chatted with Kristi about writing, Wattpad, and more. 


Author Kristi McManus

Tell us about How to Get Over Your (Best Friend's) Ex.

Hannah has never been “that girl”, the one everyone looks at, the one everyone talks about. She is “that girl’s” best friend. But when Hannah meets Seth, the handsome and charming newcomer, she wonders if, for once, she might be chosen first. Until Braelyn and Seth meet, and Braelyn sweeps his attention away as only she can. Hannah is left to watch the first boy she’s ever truly liked date not only someone else but her best friend. When Seth unexpectedly breaks up with Braelyn, she is hysterical. Braelyn is used to ruling the school with a Gucci-clad fist, but her first taste of heartbreak leaves her questioning herself. Hannah decides to help her get over her recent heartbreak using the '6 easy steps to get over a guy' while secretly walking herself through the process to move on from Seth once and for all. Because she and Braelyn have rules. Because their rules are sacred and ensure their friendship lasts. Because even though he is no longer dating Braelyn, you never, ever date your best friend’s ex. But getting over Seth is easier said than done when Hannah learns that she is the reason for the breakup and Seth has feelings for her. What will she choose? The friend who has been by her side all along, or the boy who makes her feel like she’s more than just the popular girl’s best friend?

 

What inspired this book?I came up with the title while driving home from work. I didn't have an inspiration, other than the title popping into my head. I turned it over and over for a while, trying to formulate a plot around it, and eventually BFX was born.

 

Your debut, Our Vengeful Souls, was a fantasy retelling. How has writing a Contemporary YA been different?

I have written many young adult romances, with Our Vengeful Souls my first try at young adult fantasy. I love YA romance, the memories that come with guiding the characters through the real life challenges of being a teenager. Also, the writing itself is very different—fantasy requires worldbuilding, the freedom of making your own rules, whereas contemporary has limits and boundaries that need to be followed to make it believable and relatable. They each have their challenges, but are so fun in their own rights.

 

I see that Wattpad and fanfiction have been a big part of your writing journey. What are some of your key takeaways from writing on Wattpad?Wattpad was an incredible launching point for learning how to write. You have a built in audience, immediate feedback and a community that cheers you on. I was able to learn craft, make all the mistakes without risk or consequences, and had a safe space to tell the stories that were in my head. But the best part was easily the friendships I made through Wattpad, many of which are still my closest friends, even ten years later. They are my cheerleaders, inspirations, and sounding boards, and I'm living this dream in part because of them.

 

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?Just write. When you're learning, don't worry so much about the rules. And I assure you, there are rules. Show vs tell, character arcs, pacing...it can be daunting. So if you're starting out, try not to worry too much about all that, or you might find yourself feeling too wrapped up in those rules to let your creativity flow. Just get the words on the page, tell your story no matter how messy, then polish it with craft and rules during revision. The more you write, the more you learn, and eventually those rules come more naturally.

 

Where can people get your books?My books are available wherever books are sold! Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indigo. But I highly recommend supporting your local indie bookstores and asking them to order you a copy!

 

What are the best places to follow you?

I am most active on Instagram and Twitter, both of which you can find me at @kristimcmanus. You can find all my links at linktr.ee/kristimcmanus


How To Get Over Your (Best Friend's) Ex by Kristi McManus

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