Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Meet GINA CIOCCA ! Debut Author Interview

About a month or so ago, I received an ARC of the book LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE by Gina Ciocca. I read it and I fell in love. The writing was on point and the characters were crafted so nicely! If you want to read my full review of the book LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE, you can do so HERE. Now, the amazing part about book blogging is often, the author can be found somewhere online. I got a chance to connect with Gina Ciocca, author of LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE, through twitter after reading her lovely book and she was just the sweetest! A little back and forth messaging, and me just completely gushing over how much I enjoyed her book, eventually led to an author interview and here we are! 

A little bit about Gina Ciocca...

Gina Ciocca graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English. She relocated from Connecticut to Georgia, where she lives with her family. You can find Gina online at writersblog-gina.blogspot.com. LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE is her debut novel.


Title: Last Year's Mistake
Author: Gina Giocca
Published Date: June 9th 2015
Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decided to move away, she couldn't wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...
Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.
Told in alternating sections, LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.
(Synopsis Provided By Goodreads)


Hey Gina! How are you feeling with the launch of your first book hitting shelves in less than a month?

Hi Sherry! Thanks for having me today.
I’m feeling a lot of things! Nervous, slightly terrified, a little stressed… and a lot excited.

As a debut author, how would you describe the process of getting published?

The process is different for everyone. For me, it was long and trying and included many ups and downs – and I’d still consider myself lucky, because I got an agent with my second manuscript, and then sold that manuscript a year after we’d put it on the shelf (and subbed it to editors for a whole year before that). 

What were you doing before writing this book?

I worked full time in an office, and for a while, I let it kind of suck the life out of me. Getting back into reading and writing helped me channel my energy and creativity into something positive, and gave me something to look forward to outside of the daily grind.

How did the idea come to you for Last Year’s Mistake and what was it like writing it?

The idea for LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE started with a dream I had one night, which ended up becoming the last half of the first chapter, where David and Kelsey see each other for the first time in over a year. I knew that I wanted to write a story about two people who had history together, but for whatever reason, had fallen out of touch. Figuring out the “whatever reason” was the hard part – I wanted it to be a slow unraveling, rather than one big upset. I started with a few scenes, and that was all it took to make me fall in love with writing this story. It was fun, painstaking, and sometimes painful. And totally worth it.

I loved how relatable and honest you made your main character Kelsey. What was your inspiration behind her?

When I stared writing Kelsey, I knew that she’d undergone a sort of metamorphosis before her last year of high school. In fleshing out why, I was really surprised at how much of myself I started to see in her. She’s flawed, for sure – introverted, especially in the Past chapters, and tends to shy away from people and situations that make her uncomfortable. Which is me, in a nutshell. Writing her that way wasn’t even my intention. At first, when my husband read my early drafts, I got annoyed when he said she reminded him of me. I definitely never moved to a new town and reinvented myself, I’m not blond, I don’t bake cookies.  But the more I worked with my editor on fleshing out the differences between Kelsey in Connecticut and Kelsey in Rhode Island, the more I saw that there are undeniable shades of me in Kelsey.

Clichè as it may be, what was your most memorable moment of high school?

Meeting my husband J

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were in high school?

I wish I could go back and inject Past Gina with a little of Present Gina’s ability to say what’s on her mind. I was so painfully shy back then, and I let so many people make me feel bad about myself. I’d never stand for that today.

If you had to cast people to play Kelsey & David in the movie version of the book, who would you choose?

When I first wrote LYM, I pictured Kelsey as Ashley Benson and David as Sean Faris. Now… they might be a little old to play teenagers, though I think Ashley Benson is still doing exactly that on Pretty Little Liars!

Is there anything you'd like to say to readers of Last Year's Mistake?

Yes. THANK YOU. Whether you love the book or not, thank you for taking the time to read it. I truly appreciate it. Also, this: http://writersblog-gina.blogspot.com/2015/02/an-open-letter-to-my-readers-why-i.html

Lightening Round – GO!

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate, always.

Sunshine or Rain? Sunshine, please!

Favourite Book? Too many to pick, but the first book I ever fell in love with was Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.

Sum up Last Year's Mistake in 5 words: Sweet story of second chances.


LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE hits shelves in three weeks - JUNE 9TH! Definitely be on the look out for this beautiful book! HUGE thank you to Gina for doing an interview here on the BloggityBLOG ♥ It was a blast to have you!

If any of you guys would like to learn more about LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE or keep up to date with Gina - you can find her:

on Twitter: @gmc511
on Facebook: gmcioccabooks
show her some love!

What's your MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT of high school? 
For me, it was designing my school's yearbook! Let me know your answers in the comments below!


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