Friday, May 29, 2020

Blog Tour + Interview + Giveaway - Every Reason We Shouldn't (Every Reason We Shouldn't #1) by Sara Fujimura

Find the tour schedule here.

 Every Reason We Shouldn't (Every Reason We Shouldn't #1) by Sara Fujimura
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: March 3rd 2020
Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Fiction, Teen, Cultural


Warning: Contains family expectations, delightful banter, great romantic tension, skating (all kinds!), Korean pastries,and all the feels.

Fifteen-year-old, biracial figure skater Olivia Kennedy’s Olympic dreams have ended. She's bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of an athlete... until Jonah Choi starts training at her family's struggling rink. Jonah's driven, talented, going for the Olympics in speed skating, completely annoying... and totally gorgeous. Between teasing Jonah, helping her best friend try out for roller derby, figuring out life as a normal teen and keeping the family business running, Olivia's got her hands full. But will rivalry bring her closer to Jonah, or drive them apart?

Every Reason We Shouldn't by Sara Fujimura is a charming multicultural romance perfect for the many fans of Jenny Han and Rainbow Rowell.

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How did you come up with the idea for Every Reason We Shouldn't?
Apolo Ohno’s autobiography ZERO REGRETS is a fascinating look into the mind and life of a high-performance athlete. I was particularly drawn to his teen years. Ohno sacrificed a lot of normal teenage things (like Jonah does) to chase his dream even though there were no guarantees that he would ever make it to the Olympics. Spoiler alert: Ohno has eight Olympic medals in short track speed skating. I think he made the right choice. I saved Ohno’s crossroads story for Olivia, though. You don’t have to be a high-level athlete to understand Olivia’s dilemma. Somewhere between the ages of 17-21, EVERYBODY has a version of this crossroads conflict in their life. It’s that time when you have to decide: Is it time to let this dream go, or do I push on even though it is currently bringing me nothing but heartache? Whether you don’t get into your dream college or do make it through the first round of auditions or get a failing grade in a class that you’ve busted your butt in or whatever version of disappointment and frustration comes with your dream, you will hit the crossroads at some point. Because figure skating skews so young for women, Olivia arrived at the crossroads earlier than most. 

Did you do any research for Every Reason We Shouldn't?

So. Much. Research. My brain loves to give me ideas for stories about things I don’t know beans about. I started my writing career as a journalist though, so I know how to do research. I totally geek out while doing research and love interviewing experts. You can see at the end of the ERWS, how many people had a hand in this book. I had multiple beta readers reading for specific things. The biggest surprise was NY Times best-selling adult author and skating superfan Courtney Milan who graciously shared her ridiculous depth of knowledge about figure skating with me. Though the story was solid enough to be believable, Ms. Milan helped me tweak little details to take the book to the next level. The biggest compliment I receive is when a reader thinks I was a hard-core skater once upon a time just like they are/were. Though I own a pair of ice skates, I will be the first to admit that I’m a horrible figure skater. I am much better on roller skates. I have to give YA author and figure skater Katie Van Ark (THE BOY NEXT DOOR, YA contemporary about pair figure skaters) props for also helping me with my skating and coming up with Olivia and Jonah’s signature move.

Do you have a favourite character in Every Reason We Shouldn't?

Mack. She’s raw. She’s feisty. Her relationship with Olivia and Jonah is unusual. Because Mack is almost 20 and a single mom, she is simultaneously a buddy and a mother figure to the younger skaters. Mack has already passed through the crossroads in her life and made some life-altering choices. Though it looks like she’s going completely the wrong way…that’s all I’m going to say.

What was your favourite part of writing Every Reason We Shouldn't?

Getting to step inside the minds of such different people. I like to do “method writing” whenever I can, so I went to my local ice skating rink several times and skated. I also attended a roller derby bout in downtown Phoenix. I ate hotteok in the name of research. Multiple times. Just to be sure. I believe that it’s all the little specific details that make a book fun and relatable even if it is entirely different from your life.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Write whatever your heart calls you to write. What if I had listened to my Inner Critic who said, “What? You can’t write this book. You’re a terrible ice skater and don’t understand the first thing about speed skating?” I can’t get the Inner Critic to go away, but I can put duct tape over her mouth and make her sit in the corner while I’m writing.

What's your favourite book/series?

After reading too many crappy second books in a forced trilogy, I prefer to stick to standalone novels. That said, I love it when the books are standalone but set in one world. That way, old characters can have cameos in new characters’ books. Then it feels like a reunion. My current favorite author who does this so well is Sandhya Menon. I can’t wait for the newest “Dimpleverse” book 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PINKY.

About the Author

SARA FUJIMURA is an award-winning young adult author and creative writing teacher. She is the American half of her Japanese-American family, and has written about Japanese culture and raising bicultural children for such magazines as Appleseeds, Learning Through History, East West, and Mothering, as well as travel-related articles for To Japan With Love. Her self-published young adult novels include Tanabata Wish and Breathe. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and children.

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