Words are strong. Love is stronger.
When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they’re related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can’t shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again.
Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?
Aside from writing, what keeps you busy?
My kids! I have a four-year-old and a toddler and they are constantly on the go. I read a lot of picture books, do a lot of coloring, and play outside a lot. When my husband and I get a rare free moment, we like trying new restaurants or just catching up on Netflix (The Blacklist is our current favorite show!). My other hobbies include decorating our home, digital scrapbooking, spending too much money at Target, and drinking a lot of Starbucks.
What’s your favorite YA novel?
Well, it straddles the line between YA/NA, but the book I probably reread the most is Rites of Spring (Break) by Diana Peterfreund, part of the Secret Society Girl series. It has my favorite romantic pairing EVER!
What inspired you to write How To Say I Love You Out Loud?
I work in a school that serves students with disabilities. The family dynamic is very interesting. A lot of the siblings have had to deal with experiences that most children/teens can’t understand. In many instances, the siblings needs have to come second. I started thinking about what life must be like for them, how their family situation might impact their social relationships and perspective on life in general. I knew it would be interesting to explore and write about, and it was.
It has a catchy title, how did you come up with it?
I came up with it after a lot of completely un-catchy titles, haha! Originally, I called it “Surviving Sixty” in my head, because Jordyn was just trying to survive the sixty days that Phillip would be at her school. My writing buddy told me it sounded like a book about a sixty-year-old woman rather than YA, so I knew that had to go! I put a lot of thought into common themes of the book, and Jordyn learning to accept and acknowledge her feelings about both Phillip and Alex was really central. How to Say I Love You Out Loud captured the essence of both relationships.
Describe your book to new fans.
My main character, Jordyn, learns the hard way that keeping her brother Phillip, who has Autism, a secret is costing her the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with her friends and Alex, the boy she’s been in love with for over a year. The story follows Jordyn on her journey as she learns to embrace her brother AND her true feelings about the other people in her life as well.
Are you working on another project?
Why yes I am. 🙂
If yes, how would you describe it?
Hmmm, I can’t say too much yet, but in a nutshell: “Because everyone deserves second chances. And everyone deserves to be loved.”
Are you planning to go here in the Philippines?
Currently, I don’t have any specific plans for international travel – boo! But the Philippines is somewhere I’ve never visited, and it’s home to one of my Swoon Sisters, Kate Evangelista. So it would be a fun place to include on a trip someday.
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