Interview with Just for Clicks Author Kara McDowell!

Today on the blog, we have an interview with Kara McDowell, 2019 debut author of Just For Clicks! So without further ado, let's get into it!

About the Author

Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.

Author Interview

First thing's first: How does it feel to be a debut author?
Every day is different! Yesterday I discovered that my book is for sale on Target’s website, and this morning I listened to samples for a possible narrator for my audiobook. These unexpected little moments are beyond anything I ever imagined! But there are also many, many days that are scary. Publishing a novel is my oldest dream, and I spend a lot of time worrying about all the ways it could go wrong. 

In your opinion, what is the best part of being an author? What's the hardest?
Best parts: making new writer friends, meeting supportive bloggers, reading tons of wonderful books before they are published, and seeing years of hard work become a reality. The hardest part: literally everything else! 

Where did you get the inspiration for Just for Clicks
In my early twenties I was a newlywed and a new mom who ran a lifestyle/mommy blog. I also spent a lot of time reading other blogs, admiring women who were supporting their families by posting pictures of their seemingly normal lives. Could I be one of those women? And if I was, what would my children think about having their entire lives on display? Those two questions inspired my novel.

How much did your own personal life bleed into the story?
Claire definitely isn’t me, but there are aspects of her personality that match mine. An easy example if her affinity for Halloween, specifically candy corn. Those details were pulled straight from my own life! She also attends the same high school I did. When I started writing the book, I didn’t plan to do that. But it happened organically, and I’m so glad it did. Parts of this book are a love letter to my hometown.

Keeping it #SpoilerFree, this book contains so many incredible plot twists! How did you think of so many jaw-dropping scenes for the story?
I love this question, but I’m afraid I don’t have many good answers. Some of the twists were carried over from a previous novel, and some I didn’t think of until I was halfway through the draft. I didn’t ever sit down a plot out the book, so I’m really happy that the story flows the way it does. 

Who was your favorite character to write in Just for Clicks? Who was the hardest? 
Rafael is my favorite character, but he was also the hardest. The other characters came to me quickly. When I started writing, I immediately had a vision of twin sisters who were opposites in a lot of ways but who fiercely loved each other.  Rafael was different. It took many, many drafts before I fully understood him as a character. I knew I wanted to write a “nice guy,” one who was sweet and funny and forgiving, but it took a long time before I understood why he was that way. It’s also hard to write a character with no cell phone, because I needed him and Claire to communicate! 

Do you have any project ideas for the future, or any plans on revisiting the world of Just for Clicks?
I’m not working on anything in the moment, but I do have an idea for a story told from Poppy’s POV. She’s smart and ambitious and driven, and I love a girl who knows what she wants. I think it’d be fun to explore what happens to her after Just For Clicks ends. I’m also dying to give her a love story with a happy ending! (And it may not be with the person you think!)

About the Book

Title: Just For Clicks
Author: Kara McDowell
Paperback, 337 Pages
Publication Date: February 19th, 2019

Summary: Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom. Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they're expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as "just Claire"? And what should Claire do about Mom's old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don't sound like Mom's perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . . 

We'd like to thank Kara McDowell for being awesome enough to stop by the blog and let us host this interview! If Just For Clicks sounds like something you're interested in, then don't forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR, which you can do by clicking here. We loved reading this book, and you can check out our review by clicking here!

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