Interview: There’s Something About Nik by Sara Hantz

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Nik Gustafsson has a secret: He’s not really Nik Gustafsson.

He’s not a spy. He’s not crazy.

He’s just the son and heir to one of the most important families in Europe—one where duty always comes first. And his posh, too-public life is suffocating him. So when he gets the chance to attend boarding school in America, pretending to be an average exchange student is too big of a temptation to pass up.

Then he literally runs into Amber on campus. And she hates him at first sight.

It’s kind of exhilarating to be hated for who he is, not for his family name or his wealth. Maybe if he turns up the charm and turns down the aloof mask he habitually wears, he can win her over. Even though a bad past experience has made her swear off dating this year.

But the more he gets to know her, the more uncomfortable he is keeping things from her.

Because Nik Gustafsson has a secret. And it’s a big one.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hot boy who’s the strong and silent type, a studious girl who refuses to believe in fairy-tale romance, and one epic secret that could be disastrous if it comes to light.

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Thanks Jordan for inviting me onto your blog to talk about There’s Something About Nik.

YABM: In the story Nik comes from a small principality in Europe, is this country modeled off on any real life place? Or if not, where would you compare Lutgenstadt to?

SARA: Lutgenstadt is a country that I made up. If I was to compare it with any other country it would be Monaco, which is small and very wealthy.

YABM: The storyline is similar to The Prince & Me, a romantic favorite. What would you say inspired you to write this story?

SARA: I haven’t actually read The Prince and Me. I was inspired to write the story because of my interest in the British royal family – I come from the UK and royal watching seems to be a national pastime.

YABM: In the book, Amber is in remission from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, how would you say that influenced Amber’s characterization? 

SARA: The illness definitely influenced Amber’s character. She went through a terrible experience, made even worse by the way her ex-boyfriend treated her. It made her very wary, but also made her stronger.

YABM: Sometimes cancer is presented like a dirty secret that people need to hide in order not to make others feel uncomfortable, this is addressed in the book. What made you choose that route? 

SARA: I chose to have it this way based on an experience of someone I know and how others reacted toward them.

YABM: What do you want the reader to take away from this story?

SARA: I’d like readers to take away the view that trust is one of the most important things to have in a relationship. Lack of trust can only lead to disaster.

YABM: Tell us about Amber in 5 words or less.

SARA: Amber is: strong, vulnerable, warm, unaffected and humorous.

YABM: What makes Nik special?

SARA: Nik is special because he’s loyal and always wants to do the right thing. He’s very serious about his royal duties, even though he finds them suffocating.

YABM: Friendship is huge in this story. What is your favorite TV friendship?

SARA: My favorite TV friendship is Penny and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. I love how two people so very different can also be close friends and help each other.

YABM: You make referenced to Darcy in the story, who are some of your favorite literary couples?

SARA: My favorite literary couple is Darcy and Lizzie, from Pride and Prejudice. I also love Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra.

YABM: What are some of your book pet peeves?

SARA: I get really frustrated with books that have too much description. I also don’t like glaring logical errors.

YABM: What would you like to see more of in YA books?

SARA: I’d like to see even more darker contemporary YA books, which focus on uncomfortable, but realistic, areas of human life.

YABM: Tell me about your writing habits.

SARA: I have trouble concentrating for long periods of time, so I always try to write little and often. That way, I don’t have to keep going over what I’ve written earlier because it’s been so long since I read it. It also means that I’m okay with interruptions.

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Sara Hantz has been a prolific reader all her life, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she got the writing bug. She writes contemporary adult and young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working, or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold.

Playful reading, 

Jordan

 

 

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