My first sucky kiss, or the reason why I write YA romantic comedy:
I don’t actually remember my first kiss. And believe me, it’s not because there was such a variety of them in my teen years that it just got lost in the shuffle. Which, sigh, is probably another reason I write YA romantic comedy. At least my characters fare better than I did.
While I may not remember my actual first kiss, the first one I do remember is forever burned in my brain. I was fifteen years old and a cute boy (cute being relative to my age and the decade) had asked me to go to the fireworks with him.
Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Yeah, throw that idea out. Imagine you and ten thousand of your closest friends packed onto a beach to listen to a deafening soundtrack of rock ballads while watching the light show overhead. Now make at least half of those people drunk.
But silly, innocent girl that I was, I though this was going to be highly romantic – a night of cuddling with perhaps one perfect kiss as the final firework burst overhead and in that moment of silent awe, I would feel, nay hear our two hearts beat as one.
I remember that we got there about three hours early to secure a spot. The boy had not brought any kind of blanket, so this was three hours of sitting in sand, while families and yahoos settled in around us. But that was okay. It gave us a chance to talk, probably about such scintillating topics as which of our friends was screwing around on whom and what TV shows were we watching. I remember having overlooked the fact that he didn’t read because he was cute. (Never again.) It did allow a pleasant sexual tension to build between us and by the time the sun had set and the show started, I was all ready for the hand holding to begin.
Now, skip the hand holding. Because in a blink, as the crowd around us roared and the first flare lit up the sky, I felt myself pushed back onto the sand and these giant lips come towards me. Tongue may have been hanging out. And while I can’t remember that part exactly thanks to some very excellent trauma repression, I do have a very clear memory of thinking, “this is going to be gross.” Which then warred with the thought, “but I am about to be kissed.”
The kissing won out. Because I was 15 and stupid. But it was a curiously detached experience, with me trying to figure out if his lips were growing and what the polite amount of time was that I could allow this before I shoved him off me and grabbed a desperately wanted tissue to wipe off my face.
Forty minutes. That was the length of the fireworks show (of which I saw nothing) and the amount of time he kissed me with those massive, fleshy, wet lips. I take responsibility for not shutting down the action sooner, but my mother had raised me to be polite and I wasn’t sure what the polite way to express “EW THIS IS SO DISGUSTING!” was.
So I kind of tuned out and focused on all the places that sand was creeping in. And not in a pleasant “yay friction” kind of way. At long long last, the show ended. At which point he did sweetly take my hand and we began the trek to the bus stop. I tried one last time to salvage my romantic ideals with a cuddle on the bus, but that seemed to give him the idea that I wanted to kiss some more. Which I so didn’t. So I moved seats. And that was the first kiss I can remember having.
Which leads me good people, to why I write YA romantic comedy. Because while I can appreciate the humour of awkward teen passion, I’m determined to write girls who will push that boy off them for not being romantic. Or ruining the kissing experience. Girls who will say, “Nope. This isn’t working for me.” Who will make their boys smarten up and figure out how to treat a girl, even if they have to teach the guy themselves.
And I figure if I write enough great kisses, I’ll end up believing that one of them was mine.
Excellent theory! I approve 🙂
1. YA Novelist
2. Alter ego of former screenwriter and instructor
3. Sassy minxGeeks out over: cool tech.
Squees for: great storytelling.
Delights in: fabulous conversation.
Writes about: where love meets comedy. Awkwardness ensues.
(The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #2.5)
Publication date: December 20th 2013
Genres: Comedy, Mythology, Young Adult
There’s bound to be pressure when it takes 2500 years to get to a second date. Which is exactly why Theo Rockman, a.k.a. Prometheus, would rather not go. With his best friend gravely injured and the fate of humanity still on the line, Theo has all sorts of creative excuses to avoid dating swoon-worthy god and love of his life, Hephaestus.
YA romantic comedy gets an epic mythological twist in the free (at select retailers) short story A Date of Godlike Proportions (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy Book 2.5). Being human hasn’t killed Theo, but this date just might.
Great. The cavalry had arrived. I flicked my gaze over to my other best friend Hannah, staring at me incredulously from her position in the doorway, where she had joined Festos.
Festos patted Hannah on the shoulder affectionately before edging past her to leave.
I reluctantly tore my eyes from his retreating figure to meet her bemused gaze.
Allies. That’s what I needed. “There’s too much at stake right now—like your future for example—for us to be going out on a—”
She flapped a hand at me. “Get dressed.”
I looked down at what I was wearing. Which was basically what I always wore. A long-sleeved black T-shirt and baggy black pants. “I’m dressed.”
Hannah rolled her eyes. “Pierce,” she called out.
Her boyfriend trotted into the room at her call. “Yeah, love?”
Hannah pointed to a spot in front of me. “Stand there and look pretty, so this idiot gets the picture.”
Pierce nodded. He got into position and, with a toss of his blond tousled head, adopted the most pouty model boy expression imaginable. He winked at me, obviously amused.
Hannah blinked at him. “Whoa. That’s pretty … pretty.”
“Down, Saul,” I said. “Besides, he’s the God of Love. I’m sure there’s some kind of inherent pretty built into his DNA. With me?” I cast a skeptical look down at myself. “Festos knows what he’s getting.”
Pierce pulled up a desk chair and turned it around to straddle it.
Hannah kicked my legs away so she could sit down on the bed next to Sophie. She picked her friend’s hand up to clasp between her own. Her lip quivered as she stared at her friend but she quickly replaced any concern with a determined glare my way.
She crossed her legs and leaned forward toward me. “Have you seen that boy’s room? It’s like a hurricane went off in there. He’s going nuts trying to find the perfect outfit for this special event and you can’t even get changed?” She tucked a strand of her blond hair behind her ear.
I swung my head in Sophie’s direction. “Did you not notice your bestie lying there unconscious?”
Her hand tightened on Sophie’s. “Don’t be an idiot. Or drag Soph into this. We’re here. Nothing else is going to happen to her. She needs to heal. And don’t pull any of that ‘fate of the universe’ crap either. It’s one night. So, next excuse. I’ll shoot that down too.”
I closed my eyes. There was silence for a blessed moment.
“You feel guilty, don’t you?” She spoke softly.
I shrugged, my eyes still closed.
I felt her make the sign of the cross over me. “I absolve you of guilt, Prometheus.”
I gave a faint smile. “I’m not Catholic.”
“Well, I have no idea how to absolve a Greek God.”
“Titan,” I murmured. “And I’m not even that anymore.”
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