7 Minutes in Book Heaven with Tess Sharpe and 6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did)

Hello!

Welcome to our LGBT podcast 7 Minutes in Book Heaven – presented to you by This Queer Book Saved My Life!

In this short podcast, we spend 7 minutes in our virtual studio interviewing LGBTQ authors about their new and upcoming books for us to love and cuddle up with.

Today, we meet Tess Sharpe and her upcoming book 6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did). What’s this upcoming YA novel about? After years of bickering, Penny and Tate have called a truce: they’ll play nice. They have to. Their mothers (life-long best friends) need them to be perfect, drama-free daughters when Penny’s mother becomes a living liver donor to Tate’s mom. Forced to live together as the Moms recover, the girls’ truce is essential in keeping everything—their jobs, the house, the finances, the Moms’ healing—running smoothly. They’ve got to let this thing between them go. There’s one little hitch: Penny and Tate keep almost kissing.

Episode transcript below!

Order Today!

Available January 24, you can order 6 Times We Almost Kissed now at thisqueerbook.com/bookshop.

Connect with Tess!

Twitter: @sharpegirl
Instagram: @forest_of_arden
Website: https://www.tess-sharpe.com

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Credits

Host/Founder: J.P. Der Boghossian
Executive Producer: Jim Pounds
Associate Producers: Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Paul Kaefer

Episode Transcript

J.P. Der Boghossian
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For show times and to purchase tickets, visit riverviewtheater.com

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J.P. Der Boghossian
Why hello everybody my name is J.P. Der Boghossian and for our new listeners to this podcast, we have a new episode of This Queer Book Saved My Life! that drops next week but today we welcome you to 7 Minutes And Book Heaven where I interview queer authors about the new books they have coming out for us to love and to cuddle up with. With me today is Tess Sharpe. Hello!
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Tess Sharpe
Hi! Thank you so much for having me! I’m so excited to be here!

J.P. Der Boghossian
Absolutely! So per the rules of the game, Tess and I are going to spend exactly 7 minutes in this virtual studio talking about her new book 6 Times We Almost Kissed (And 1 Time We Did) while also getting to know more about the amazing human and writer that is Tess Sharpe. So Tess are you ready?

Tess Sharpe
I am.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Okay I will set the timer and here we are. Question number 1: would you please describe 6 Times We Almost Kissed (And 1 Time We Did) as if you’re sharing it with your celebrity crush and telling us who the celebrity crush is of course.

Tess Sharpe
So Carla Gugino is absolutely my celebrity crush like ah all absolutely. I know right? So I would I think that I would like tell Carla about this like it was a Reddit post. The subject line would be something like: “Help! Me Penny has to move in with her Tate and we’ve spent our entire lives bickering with each other. But we have to deal with each other because our moms are besties. But even though Tate and I don’t get along, we have this like long history of almost kissing each other and then we never talk about it. And now we kind of have to because you can’t really avoid something like that when you’re living together right? Can I just ignore it? I’ll just ignore it. It’s totally the best method for this solution.”

And that would be my Reddit post and I feel like Penny would get, you know, torn apart in the comments. And also all the commenters would be shipping her and Tate.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Gotta ship! Gotta ship!

Tess Sharpe
You know gotta ship, gotta ship!

J.P. Der Boghossian
Okay question number 2. What’s a sentence from a novel essay poem or other book that every time you read it, it gives you all the feels?

Tess Sharpe
So, this is going to make everybody laugh because it’s a really simple opener. The first sentence of the middle grade novel The Moffats by Eleanor Estes is my favorite and it was my first writing lesson. It’s so simple. It’s like 6 words, “The way Mama could peel apples.” But I remember being like 8 years old and being read this book by my grandmother. And my grandmother reading that sentence, pausing, leaning forward, and saying to me “Tess, that’s how you start a book, with something that grabs your attention.” And it does! Even though it’s so simple, it puts you in that kitchen. It puts you straight into Jane the main character’s admiration for her mother’s skill and it makes you wonder wait? What is the incredible way that this woman is peeling apples? And that has really stuck with me my entire life and it really does shape, if you look at my books, I throw you into the action in the first sentence and this was my first writing lesson from her. She was a wonderful woman.

J.P. Der Boghossian
That’s so sweet. Thanks Grandma! Ok question number 3. What do you feel is the best sentence you’ve ever written?

Tess Sharpe
I think the best sentence that I’ve ever written is in The Girls I’ve Been, where Nora says she’s talking about all of the roles that she is forced into as a con artist daughter and how she feels like she is very used as a human being. And she says, “I’m done being fodder. I’ve become the canon instead.” And I think that really encapsulates Nora as a human being, as a abuse survivor, and as someone who has survived and when we meet her she has survived so much and we meet her as a very self-actualized person, which is a very interesting thing for me to write because what I usually write abuse survivors they’re in the thick of it and they have it processed their emotions and their trauma the way that Nora has I don’t think that I could get that line with anybody else.
But I really love it.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Um, so do I! That’s… Well done! Okay question number 4. What’s the best romantic scene you’ve ever read?

Tess Sharpe
I love this question so much so there is a scene in Jennifer Cruise’s Bet Me, where the heroine stands up to the hero’s conservative and unappreciative family who have this habit of diminishing his accomplishments. And like as you watch the scene, you can see the hero tipping to and from and kind of in love…to “oh my god this is my person!” Over the course of her dressing down her of this family because it’s really the first time that anyone has ever stood up for him but also the first time that anyone has ever seen him and that book is all about being finally seen and appreciation appreciated for who you are and that dinner scene and the kiss that comes afterwards really sticks with me because I think that standing up for your person is like the most romantic thing that you can do.
I feel like we, especially as queer people, really feel that. And so I feel like that’s what I identified with that so deeply, even though it is a um heterosexual, love story Bet Me. But it was, I feel like, it was like a very queer moment for those two at characters.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Hell yes! Definitely! Okay, ah question number 5. What are your favorite scents or smells to write about?

Tess Sharpe
I love writing about the scent of the forest. Um, especially with this one, with 6 Times We Almost Kissed, I joke that it is my most Nor Cal book. You know it has chainsaw art bear statues. It is very much about rural poverty and the girls live you know in the remote wilderness kind of like I did. They have to come into town to do things and so the scent of the forest the scent of pine trees. Especially. And the scent of winter coming is a very distinct thing. Um in the norcal wilderness and I really like it. You also smell a lot of pot out here because people grow marijuana. Ah, sometimes you’ll just be driving along and you but a whiff or something.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Ah, okay, right?! Okay, we have got 50 seconds left and 2 more questions. What is the worst writing advice you’ve ever got?

Tess Sharpe
Oh, “Write every day.” Like, we don’t approach other jobs with that idea. You need a break sometimes. But like with writing we think that you have to do it every day. Don’t write every day. You need breaks.

J.P. Der Boghossian
Thank you for that that! Thank you that. It is good advice to the bad writing advice. Okay, 27 seconds left. Promote yourself! How do we pre-order your book? How do we follow on social?

Tess Sharpe
Yeah, yes. You can follow me on social I’m @sharpegirl on Twitter and @forest_of_arden on Instagram. And you can preorder 6 Times We Almost Kissed at your local indie or on bookshop.org or any retailer site. It’s going to be published in the us the U.K., Brazil, Portugal, Italy, France, and Germany.

J.P. Der Boghossian
You got that right on the dot! And that is all the time that we have thank you so much Tess! I really enjoyed this conversation!

Tess Sharpe
Thank you! This was so fun!

J.P. Der Boghossian
And this has been another episode of 7 Minutes In Book Heaven which is a partner podcast to This Queer Book Saved My Life! Transcripts of all of our episodes are available on thisqueerbook.com. We are on Facebook, plus we’re @thisqueerbook on Twitter and Instagram. My name is J.P. Der Boghossian and stay tuned to this space every Tuesday for new episodes of 7 Minutes In Book Heaven or This Queer Saved My Life! Until then see you queers and allies in the bookstores!

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