Today we celebrate the book birthday of Caught in a Bad Fauxmance. We sat down with Musa Elle Gonzalez Rose to learn all about the inspiration behind this book.
But first, a little bit about the book:
Caught in a Bad Fauxmance is a fresh, fun contemporary YA rom-com from debut author Elle Gonzalez Rose, about an aspiring artist who agrees to fake date one of his family’s longtime enemies in the hopes of gathering intel good enough to take down their rivals once and for all.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid! I was always an avid reader, and finding out that I could write my own endings to all of my favorite stories changed my life for the better. It took a bit of time, but I eventually started writing my own stories from scratch. Writing has been a constant for me since the first short story I wrote in Kindergarten, but I never allowed myself to think of it as a professional possibility until I was in college. I’m eternally grateful for my parents who encouraged me to study what I was passionate about. Even though my relationship with writing has evolved a lot over the past several years, my love for it is just as strong now as it was in Kindergarten!
What was the most difficult scene to write in this story?
There’s a scene closer to the end of the book where the main character, who just finished his first semester at an arts college, finally opens up to the love interest about his struggles with adapting to a college environment. In particular, he grapples a lot with guilt over his decision to pursue the arts, and wonders whether he’s ‘wasted’ the opportunity his parents worked incredibly hard to give him - a chance to study what he loves - when they didn’t have that opportunity themselves. A lot of the book deals with themes that are very personal, but this was a theme that was incredibly close to my heart, and one I grappled with myself while I was debating whether to pursue studying writing, or stay in the more ‘stable’ STEM track I was in. Ultimately, changing my path was for the best, but it was impossible to know back then if I was making the right choice. It was difficult to capture that complex jumble of emotions – the insecurity of not thinking you’re good enough to succeed, the guilt that you’re wasting such a hard-earned opportunity, and the fear that your parents will be disappointed in you for not succeeding at the one thing you’re most passionate about. It took a lot of tweaking to get that scene where I wanted it, and hopefully I did it justice!
What is the most important lesson you have learned as a writer until now?
The importance of being open to revision! I was definitely more stubborn when it came to feedback when I was younger. When I was thirteen I was confident I was writing some of the best literature on the market (spoiler alert: I was not). I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the brilliant comments and edit letters that helped me shape my debut into the book it is today. I had to do several intense rounds of revisions on this book, and while every single detail of each of those rounds didn’t make it into the final product, each one brought a new complex layer to the story. From subplots to motivations to character arcs, this book has been shaped by so many wonderful people that I’m so, so grateful for. Critiques don’t feel daunting anymore. They’re invigorating and exciting and make me want to jump right back into the story - and that’s made such a world of difference!
What 3 words would you use to describe your book?
Campy, silly, and swoony!
What is on your creative bucket list?
I want to write all of the things! My reading tastes vary pretty wildly depending on my mood, and nothing gives me more inspiration than reading a fantastic book or watching an amazing movie. I have a ‘possible ideas’ doc that’s well over seven pages at this point ranging across all age ranges and (almost) every genre, so fingers crossed I can get to all of them someday! Back in college I got my footing in the creative community by writing one-act plays, so I’d love to return to that medium again and try something full-length. I also always say my brain is too small for fantasy, so I’d like to prove myself wrong and write one someday. Basically, if it sounds like a challenge, I wanna do it!
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