When I got the invitation to interview Tessa Bailey for her upcoming release It Happened One Summer, I couldn’t reply fast enough. I’ve loved the Tessa books I’ve read and I was excited to read the new story.
Needless to say, I’m borderline obsessed with it…I stayed up until 2a reading it, woke up thinking about it, and read parts of it every day for the three days after finishing it. It’s also one of my top 10 of 2021.
Before we get to Tessa’s answers, let’s check out the book!
Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong.
Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.
Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.
Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.
Sounds good, right?
1. Please give the elevator pitch for It Happened One Summer.
It Happened One Summer is a sexy, Schitt’s Creek-inspired enemies to lovers romance between a king crab fisherman and an LA socialite!
2. Which came first: the characters or the plot line?
Usually the characters come first, but this time around, it was the plot that dug in and wouldn’t let go. Alexis from Schitt’s Creek inspired the plot—I loved the fish out of water scenario of a social media star getting sent to a small town and having to fend for herself without the benefit of fame or money.
3. Why do you love Piper and Brendan and why should readers root for them?
I love Piper for her combination of strength and vulnerability. Her willingness to try and dig deeper to find out who she is and how she can contribute to the world around her. And I love Brendan mostly for being perceptive enough to recognize those amazing traits in Piper. I love him for his ability to admit when he’s wrong and his staying power. The man is an immovable object. I just adore these characters so much!
4. Were there any weird things you googled while researching?
Almost certainly. There is always some weird googling. I have a page of cunnilingus techniques bookmarked. But mainly I had to do a lot of king crab fishing research for this book. Had to learn about the equipment and the process. It’s a lot more interesting than it sounds—and wildly dangerous!
5. Without spoilers, which scene was your favorite to write?
It’s very hard to pick just one! I do love the scene where Brendan takes Piper shopping because spoiling her turns him on. I mean, that’s a personal fantasy of mine and it was probably a little self-indulgent!
1. You find out you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.
Hugging my daughter and husband, calling my parents, googling “how to edit a book.” I was so inexperienced and had no idea the hard work was only starting!
2. What 3 things would you take to a desert island?
Am I stranded there? Ummm. Probably sun screen, a water purifier and my Kindle!
3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?
The Secret by Julie Garwood. It’s a comfort read of mine. I could choose any of her historicals to fit this bill.
4. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?
I wish someone told me to enjoy the highs. This job is a series of highs and lows. Instead of being so worried about what to do next and rushing into the next thing, I wish I’d been told to relax and enjoy when something good happens.
5. You wake up and discover that you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently?
Oh my God, what a great freaking question. Well, I would know in advance about all that imprinting business, so I could avoid the love triangle. That would eliminate a lot of angst! Would it even be the same book?? I definitely wouldn’t go to the ballet studio. And I’d be nicer to Charlie!
New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey aspires to three things. Writing hot and unforgettable, character-driven romance, being a good mother and eventually sneaking onto the judging panel on a reality show baking competition. She lives on Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter, writing all day and rewarding herself with a cheese plate and Netflix binges in the evening. If you want sexy, heartfelt, humorous romance with a guaranteed happy ending, you’ve come to the right place.
Huge thanks to Avon for the invite and to Tessa for taking the time. It Happened One Summer released today and buy links are above.
Have you read this book? Do you plan to?