Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interview: Miranda Kenneally

I'm so lucky to interview Miranda Kenneally on my blog today. Miranda's debut novel CATCHING JORDAN was one of my favorite novels this year. I love how real her characters are. CATCHING JORDAN kept me up until 4:00 AM reading it, because I would not put the book down until I finished. I gush about this novel to anyone who's willing to listen and wish I could give every person a copy of this book.

What made you want to tell this particular story?
When I was in high school, I managed the boys' soccer team. Hanging around guys so often gave me an interesting view into their lives, and I wanted to share that will all the girls out there!

How difficult was it for Jordan to find a balance between being a girl, leader of her football team, and being herself?
Very hard. Jordan felt that if she showed any weakness, the guys on her team wouldn't take her seriously as a leader anymore. Obviously, teen girls have different needs than boys, so Jordan struggled with being herself and being what she "thought" everyone expected her to be. The minute she starts to experiment with acting like a girl, she begins to understand that everyone already knows she's a girl. That's even harder for her to deal with.

Jordan has to deal with her father who isn't necessarily understanding of who she is. How does Jordan handle it and how would you have handled the situation?
Jordan deals with it by trying to prove herself over and over again to her father, rather than sitting down with him and trying to understand his point of view. The same goes for him - until he starts to consider her opinions, he is very hard-headed. The entire book is about learning to make compromises.

I would've done exactly what Jordan did - set out to prove myself. But unlike Jordan at the beginning of the book, I am typically open to new ways of thinking.

Without being spoilerish what is one of your favorite scenes in the book and why?
My favorite scene is probably home ec class, where Jordan and Henry have to "raise" an electronic baby for a week. It was just really fun to write.

Catching Jordan feels like what real high school teens go through. What made you want to show more than just the fairy tale side of contemporary?
My teen years and high school were anything but a fairy tale. I guess I just wrote what I know to be true of high school.

How are you prepared to deal with the backlash from readers about some of Jordan's choices?
Mostly I just accept that different people think in different ways. I myself don't even approve of how Jordan acted at certain times, but people *do* behave poorly sometimes. That's just part of life. Besides, who wants to read about perfect characters who always do the *right* thing? (Whatever the right thing is)

What do you want readers to take away from this book?
That life is all about compromise. Some things you can afford to compromise on, but others you cannot (love, friendships).

What other projects do you have in the works?
Two companions to CATCHING JORDAN. The first comes out in October 2012. It's called THE GIRL I USED TO BE and it's about a 17-year-old girl who has the hots for the school baseball coach. The second book is called BAD, BAD THING and it's about a girl falling in love for the first time while working at a summer camp.

What exciting things do you have plans for your debut year?
Lots of writing! (I'm a very boring person, I swear). Also, I'm going to Florida to spend time in a hot tub and a lazy river.

What do readers not know about you that would make them giggle?
I can karaoke like nobody's business. I didn't make it as a country music singer. Alas.

Where can readers find you?
I'm always on Twitter and Facebook Also -- http://mirandakenneally.com/


  1. Sounds like a great book and it's fun to get to "know" Miranda a little. I love the idea of compromise, plus a contemporary story, plus the sports angle. I'll definitely read this one--thanks Cari. You always lead me to great reads!

  2. I'm so excited to read this book!!

  3. I loved Catching Jordan and I will be looking out for the upcoming books!

  4. I am one of those people you gushed to-- and after talking to you, I seriously cannot wait to read this!

  5. All of your friends know that you love this book!! I must read, like now! Great questions!

  6. I am very impressed you asked her "How are you prepared to deal with the backlash from readers about some of Jordan's choices?"... bold! Love that you did so!! CATCHING JORDAN was one of my favorite books of 2011 - an a amazing read! I cannot wait for STEALING PARKER.