Monday, June 27, 2022

Q&A with Claire Kann


Photo by Anrah Designs



Claire Kann is the author of the new novel The Romantic Agenda. Her other books include the young adult novel The Marvelous.


Q: What inspired you to write The Romantic Agenda, and how did you create your character Joy?


A: My agent was technically the inciting incident. She asked if I’d be willing to write a romcom with an asexual main character and I said, “I can try!” I ended up shuffling through different plot ideas/concepts until one felt right.
I’m the kind of writer whose characters talk to them so I knew who Joy was immediately because she told me. I knew her entire life story within a week of drafting.
Q: The Publishers Weekly review of the book says, “The heroine is, well, a joy, and Kann admirably portrays a distinctively asexual experience of attraction, dating, and romance on a deep level. This is a love story of a different and important type.” What do you think of that description?

A: I honestly love it. An author never knows how a book will land, if readers will understand or even like the story. I was thrilled when I read the review because it was exactly the kind of reception I’d been hoping for.
Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?

A: Yes–The Romantic Agenda is a romance and therefore requires a HEA [happily ever after] for the lead(s). However, how the characters got there was a bit of a journey. It took a couple of rounds of rewrites/revisions to land on a version that felt right to both my editor and myself. I believe there we settled on the fourth version of events.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?

A: That it’s important to always have an open mind and an open heart.
Q: What are you working on now?

A: Currently I’m working on the second book in my middle grade duology Suitehearts. The first book releases January 3, 2023!

I’m also working on my second adult romance. It has a ridiculously long title, a fun premise, and the kind of asexual representation that I’ve always wanted to but never written before. I often say I’m working my way across the asexual spectrum as a joke but really, I’m quite serious about it.
Q: Anything else we should know?

A: I’d like to use this space to boost two books I’m looking forward to reading:
The Make-Up Test by Jenny L. Howe
Bet On It by Jodie Slaughter


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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