Once upon a time, I was in a bit of a reading slump. I wasn’t in the mood for anything I had in my stacks, so I started perusing the books I had recently been approved for from EW. Thankfully, I found that I had gotten Make it Count by Megan Erickson. Smart, nerdy boy with glasses? Count. Me. In. I read it and was instantly in love. And when I asked Megan for an interview, she agreed!
But before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book!
Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?
Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends—both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.
Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…
But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.
Sounds good, right?
1. Where did the idea for Make it Count come from?
Kat’s character hit me fully-formed with the opening scene of her in the library, distracted while a tutor tried to work with her. And who better to come along next than a hot tutor, right? I love writing friendships, too, so writing the conflict between Alec and his best friend, Max (Kat’s boyfriend at the beginning of the novel) was a lot of fun.
2. I know why I love Kat and Alec. Why do you love them and why should readers root for them?
Oh gosh. I love Kat so much. She was a total blast to write. I loved letting her mind wander to see where it would go. I loved writing a girl who was confident in her looks but not in her smarts. Sure, she can overreact but that was all a part of her personality. As far as rooting for her — her journey in accepting herself — all of herself — is my favorite part of this book, and I hope readers can see a little bit of themselves in her.
And Alec…oh, my Alec. I do love my sexy nerd. I love how he took a tragedy in his childhood and let it fuel his ambition. I love that he’s respectful of women, loves his mama, and his first reaction is never to use violence. I think it’s hard to read Alec on the page and not want him to have his happily ever after and get the girl.
3. What was the weirdest thing you had to google during research?
Haha! I love this question. Um…probably Brazilian food! Kat is Brazilian American (her parents moved when she was a little girl). And I have to tell you, I want to visit Brazil now. Or make their food!
4. Without spoilers, was there anything you had to cut that you wish you could have kept?
The cool thing about my editor is she really let me be me, and she let me keep all my wacky scenes that I swore a publisher would cut. Originally I had a bowling date scene between Kat and Alec that had to be cut. It just didn’t fit anymore with the structure of the book, but I was sad because I had tons of cute banter.
5. Describe Make it Count in 5 words.
Fun, Humorous, Nerdy, Feisty, HEA (I totally cheated on the HEA because it stands for three words — Happily Ever After)
Speed [ish] round:
1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. What happens next?
Scream. Flap my arms. Shout at the barista in Starbucks. Call my husband.
2. What three things would you take to a desert island?
A journal and a pencil to jot down what happens so I can turn it into a memoir once I’m saved and make millions. Suntan lotion so I look good in my rescue photos.
3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?
OMG. Seriously with this question? Ack. Okay, um, I’m not sure. Because do I want the book to be happy or do I want it to be super complicated so I’m always finding a new detail? Hmmm…If I’m going complicated, I’d choose a Dennis Lehane book, like SHUTTER ISLAND. If I’m going happy, well, no one writes an epilogue and HEA like Kristen Ashley, so I might choose her SWEET DREAMS.
4. Who are your favorite swoony boys?
Number one, I need a good sense of humor. Make. Me. Laugh. And they have to be kind. You give up your seat on the bus for an elderly person or a pregnant woman, and I’m swooning (and you’d be surprised how many men don’t do this!). And then everything else is secondary. But if they have some great abs and biceps, a tattoo or two, I’m not complaining. ;)
5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?
Someone did tell me this, actually, and I hold on to it. BE POLITE AND SAY THANK YOU. It’s amazing how far a polite response and a thank you take you in this business. That’s a good life lesson, too.
So on that note, thank you, Stacee for having me! I really appreciate it, and I hope your readers will give Kat and Alec a chance. :)
She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators, and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.
Now. Haven’t had a chance to pre-order this book? Well, I’ve got 3 copies up for grabs! Winner will receive book from either Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Additional giveaway rules are here.