Today I am so pleased to welcome Lisa Henry to Joyfully Jay. Lisa has come to talk to us about her latest release, Adulting 101 (which I reviewed here and totally loved). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Lisa a big welcome!
Hi, and welcome to the blog tour to celebrate the release of Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry. I’m visiting some of my favourite blogs around the place to talk about writing Adulting 101, some of my influences and inspiration, and even sharing an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a prize!
The HEA vs the HFN
One thing I’ve seen from advanced reviews of Adulting 101 is that some readers have noticed that it’s a Happy For Now, instead of a Happy Ever After. This is a really interesting distinction to me, since it never even occurred to me to give Nick and Jai a HEA. It turns out I’m really uncomfortable with the idea of an eighteen-year-old character professing his true love and promising forevers. And this comes completely from my own baggage, I promise, because I look back at who I was with at that age, and oh sweet squishy Cthulhu no…
Is it a weird thing for a romance writer to not push her characters toward an HEA?
But Nick isn’t just eighteen, he’s an immature eighteen, and to me it feels like he has to figure himself out before he’s ready to go and make a lifelong commitment. Which isn’t to say that Jai isn’t going to be beside him every step of the way, because I really do think these guys can make it. It just means that they’ve got a bunch of stuff to figure out before they get to that point. I think their HFN could absolutely be the foundation for an HEA, but they’re not quite there yet.
I once wrote a blog post years ago about Young Adult books, and how the thing that really irked me about them was the whole destined lovers thing. These characters are teenagers! Your boyfriend at fifteen or sixteen is not supposed to be the guy you end up with forever! He’s supposed to be the guy you catch sight of in old school photos and ask yourself what the hell you were thinking. Right? Right?
Well, it turns out, not always.
I actually got a lot of responses to that blog post. Lots of stories about people who were still with their teenage sweetheart after two or three decades. I got an email from a woman whose parents met at seventeen, married as soon as they turned eighteen, and were still together thirty years later.
I think sometimes people have a default setting where we automatically assume other people’s experiences are comparable to ours. So it was a real eye-opener for me to hear these stories. Because hey, just because I was making stupid life choices when I was a teenager doesn’t mean that everyone was!
So now I’m in the position that I actually do believe an eighteen-year-old can get a Happy Ever After with his first boyfriend. The caveat is that I don’t mean the sort of eighteen-year-old that I write about. Because Nick is immature, anxious about the future, babbles a lot to cover up his insecurities, and tends to stumble into awkward situations a lot. Nick at eighteen and me at eighteen? We have some things in common.
So no, there is no HEA in Adulting 101, but there is a HFN, and I don’t believe those things are mutually exclusive at all. I just think that teenagers like Nick—and teenagers like I once was, a very long time ago—are very much works in progress. And I think that’s okay.
The struggle is real.
Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless you ask to blow him in the porta-potty?
That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.
Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.
Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.
This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up.
You can find out more about Adulting 101 at Riptide.
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
- You can email me at email@example.com
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Each comment on this blog tour enters you for a chance to win a $20 Riptide credit and an ebook of your choice from my back catalogue. You’ll also win a super secret cute little gift that’s very close to my (and Nick’s) heart! Entries close August 20, and contest is not restricted to US residents. Remember to leave your email address in the comments so I can contact you if you win!
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
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