The time it was about The Boy Next Door

Posted January 5, 2015 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 8 Comments

When I got the invitation to be part of the blog tour for The Boy Next Door, I was excited.  I had just read the book thought it was super cute. Besides, I’m a sucker for all BFF to more stories and thanks to the movie The Cutting Edge, I’m intrigued by figure skating.


I was able to do an interview with Katie, but before we get to her answers, let’s check out the book!

21853719Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.

Gabe can’t imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.

But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?

Sounds good, right?


1. Where did the idea for The Boy Next Door come from?

I’m a figure skater and I started writing The Boy Next Door during a time when I was physically unable to skate myself. For years all I had been doing with my free time was skating – I lived for rink time – and to know that I was going to spend three months without the ice seemed impossible, like asking me to go three months without breathing. I started writing about the ache and then I thought what if I had a character who was faced with losing the ice?

2. Why do you love Maddy and Gabe and why should we root for them?

I think that sometimes we girls can forget how hard it is for guys to take that jump and go for a girl. (This is why Hitch is one of my favorite movies.) Gabe might act like a player in the beginning but underneath is a guy who’s really afraid of how much he has to lose here. He’s so hesitant while Maddy can be too quick to jump – to conclusions, as well! So they’re a great fit together – they balance each other.

3. What was the weirdest thing you googled while doing research?

The Kansas underground salt mine. I originally thought it might be in a “families” field trip scene since Gabe and Maddy’s parents are big on co-family togetherness time. I took a couple virtual field trips there thanks to YouTubers and bloggers and it looks cool – I’d like to visit for real some day – but ultimately it ended up being a good way to fall into the internet for a couple of hours. It didn’t make it into the book.

4. Without spoilers, was there anything that had to be cut that you wish could have stayed?

No, during edits I actually got to put back a scene that I had previously cut that I loved – the one where Maddy and Gabe work on their Christmas program together.

5. Describe The Boy Next Door in 5 words.

You book bloggers are aware this is cruel and unusual punishment for novelists, right? :-) How about: Maddy+Gabe=kiss or cry?

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

I was on the phone for about twenty minutes while we worked out details and the whole time was like the lactic acid rush you get from intense exercise, so I was walking around trying to shake it out. Fortunately no one was around to see me essentially twitching for twenty minutes while I was on the phone – I’m sure the instant replay would have been embarrassing. Meanwhile, I think my heart was having an out-of-body experience. It took hours to settle down.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

A desalination device, a heat reflective emergency blanket, and a sailboat. Boringly pragmatic, I know, but I’d be making it back to civilization.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Robert McKee’s Story, because then I’d make up my own stories in my head. Also because then I wouldn’t have to choose from my bookshelf of favorites!

4. Who are your favorite swoony boys?

In the book world, I’m still loving Sam Henry from Miranda Kenneally’s Catching Jordan and I’m also team Peeta. In the skating world, Evan Lysacek remains totally cute. And as a former swimmer, there are some pool boys who really should wear Speedos.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

I’ve been fortunate here that my mother is also a writer and I’m a member of SCBWI, so there were very few things about publishing that I didn’t know beforehand. Every pothole I’ve stepped into on my writing journey I already knew about in advance and stepped in it anyway! So to those who are looking to be published, I highly recommend joining SCBWI and being an active member. Get on the forums, read the newsletters, go to conferences and workshops, find a critique group. And ask all your questions, because that’s what the organization is there for!

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me steal this question.}

Skip the drama and just go ahead and elope with Edward the first time he suggests it. Wouldn’t that be a plot twist? But I’d write the rest of story down anyway, for the fans. :-)


Katie Van Ark (c) Jennifer HefkoGrowing up less than a block from the public library, Katie has always loved books and admits to crossing the street while reading. She learned to skate as an adult and to write after that and is a firm believer that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. A former teacher, she now writes full-time and still skates weekends with her synchronized skating team.

She lives in Michigan with two daughters, two cats, and one very patient husband (her high school sweetheart). She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and of Romance Writers of America. The Boy Next Door is her first novel.


Huge thanks to Macmillan for the invite and to Katie for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out Katie’s website, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, and adding her book to your Goodreads TBR shelf!

And click here to check out the rest of the blogs participating on the tour.

Now. Macmillan is being so gracious and offering up a copy of The Boy Next Door! Giveaway is US/Canada only and additional giveaway rules are here.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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8 responses to “The time it was about The Boy Next Door

  1. Christina R.

    Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg!!

    In case rafflecopter shows my location outside CAnada, I’m doing a semester abroad and would use my regular CAnadian address

    thank you so very much :)

  2. daphne

    I haven’t really read that many BFF to more stories, but I think Kasie West’s On The Fence counts. They weren’t BFFs, but they were friends.

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