Interview with Kristen Callihan

Posted by Goodreads on October 15, 2018
A chill goes down his spine. Her fingers twitch. Their eyes meet. And then Stella, desperate for the last carton of mint-chocolate chip, kisses Jax in the middle of the frozen food aisle—and snatches the ice cream right out of his hands.

This is how Fall, Kristen Callihan's latest VIP romance novel, begins, and it's about as far from a fairytale "meet cute" as you can get. Laughably unladylike, Stella's not above a little dirty dealing to get what she wants, and Jax isn't exactly Prince Charming. He's the mysterious lead singer of Kill John, the biggest band in the world, and he's got a wild streak a mile wide. When Stella realizes the sexy rock star is her new neighbor, and that he proudly practices his guitar naked, she's determined to hate him, avoid him, and definitely not fall in love with him.

Callihan, who is also the author of the popular Game On and Darkest London series, talked to us about how Nirvana inspired her rock star romance, what makes "the true ride of a good love story," and which VIP characters will be falling for each other next.

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Goodreads: What are you most excited about the love story in Fall?

Kristen Callihan: I just really loved Jax and Stella together. You can tell from the start that they're crazy about each other; it just takes a bit longer for them to realize it. LOL.

Jax is the enigma of the group. He's a bit cagey and hasn't revealed much of himself. Now we get inside his head. He's funny, sensitive, and surprisingly protective. I loved watching Stella, with her blatant disregard of his fame, draw him out of his shell and challenge him. In return, John teaches Stella to start caring for herself instead of constantly putting others first.

GR: For thousands of fans, VIP is the rock star romance series. How would you introduce the sexy musicians (and their sexy team!) to new readers?

KC: The band is Kill John. Killian, the hero of Idol, is the guitarist and singer. He oozes sex appeal, but he's also the most down to earth of the bunch. His quiet confidence is what makes him a natural leader. Gabriel (aka Scottie) is the hero of Managed. He is the gorgeous, immaculately dressed, cold-as-ice band manager with a hidden gooey, marshmallow center. Jax (aka John), the hero of Fall, is also the singer and a guitarist. Snarky yet irresistibly charming, he used to be the one constantly in the limelight but now is more reserved and private. Despite appearances, he's also the fixer of the group.

And then there are the ones who haven't had their own books (yet): Rye, the big, muscled, and irreverent bassist; Whip, the drummer who has a face of a model and the smile of an angel; and Brenna, known for her designer shoes and sharp tongue, keeps the band members in check and handles PR.

GR: Let's talk real-life inspiration. Who are your favorite bands and did any of them inspire VIP?

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KC: I once read about how deeply the death of Kurt Cobain affected his Nirvana bandmates, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic. It got me thinking: What if there was a tight-knit band whose lead singer tried to commit suicide but lived? How would it have changed the band? How would they come back together?

Music is a huge part of people's lives. It brings us together in many ways. I also wanted to explore how very close a band could get and how their absolute love of music motivated them. So while there are some darker moments, there is a lot of joy and fun in the books, too. The reader should feel that heady excitement, the rush of being onstage, and the exhilaration of playing in a band.

GR: We adore the idea of a "meet cute" in the frozen food aisle, a battle of wits over the last carton of mint-chocolate chip while a blizzard nears. Did you always know you wanted them to meet like this?

KC: Ha! Well, I don't know if this is weird, but I have a habit of dreaming up "meet cutes" at odd times—like, say, while shopping in the supermarket. But often I'll be in the middle of writing another book, so I'll jot the idea down and save it for later.

Because Jax is ordinarily so private and in his own world, I thought a little battle over ice cream with an oddball stranger would be just the thing to jolt him out of his emotional boredom. And it does!

GR: What does the "fall" in the title mean to you?

KC: Two things. Jax considers his suicide attempt a fall from grace. But in "falling" he found his inner strength. Both Jax and Stella are resistant to falling in love and opening themselves up emotionally. But it soon becomes clear that they could be really happy together if they simply learn to trust each other enough to fall.

GR: What books first got you hooked on the genre?

KC: I started reading romance when my father passed away. Romance was a comfort because the endings were guaranteed to be happy. In those days, it was all about historical and paranormal romance. I read a lot of Lisa Kleypas, Judith Ivory, Kresley Cole, and Larissa Ione.

GR: Did your very first attempt at romance ever see the light of day?

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KC: Sort of. My first book got me an agent and went on submission to publishing houses. It did not, however, get picked up. But I'm OK with that. Rejection taught me to keep going and try something new. Publishing is all about persevering and trying new things when the old ones fail.

GR: In your opinion, what's the recipe for an irresistible love story?

KC: A good mix of witty banter, irresistible chemistry, and emotional connections. In all my books, I try to show what makes these people perfect for each other—why, out of all the people in the world, do these two simply click? That's the true ride of a good love story, in my opinion: watching people come together and realizing that they are better off together than apart.

GR: On top of rock star stories, readers adore your sports romances and paranormal fantasies. Is there another genre you're looking forward to tackling in the future?

KC: In January, I'll be releasing a standalone contemporary called Between Us. It's a childhood enemies-to-lovers story set in Los Angeles.

GR: What's next for the VIP series?

KC: Up next is Rye and Brenna's story. They've had a contentious relationship up until now, both stubbornly ignoring the attraction between them. I'm thinking things are about to change.

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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message 1: by Suz (new)

Suz um.. per Idol, Killian is the lead singer and Jax (John) is the lead guitarist...

message 2: by Mile High KINK (new)

Mile High KINK Lillian James lead singer and guitarist Jax the lead singer I think it may have been some editing issue mixup i was confused appears they have 2 lead singers

message 3: by Dalila (new)

Dalila Fuentes Can’t wait for future writings on Rye and Brenna. Keep up the good work, will continue to support your future endevours.

message 4: by Cheri (new)

Cheri Don’t tease me with Rye and Brenna’s story unless you tell me the date it comes out! I can’t wait until
“Fall” appears in my Kindle at 12:01am on the 23rd.

message 5: by RJ (new)

RJ Jenkins I ordered Fall as soon as I got the news of it’s release!!! 🤠

message 6: by RJ (new)

RJ Jenkins Love Managed and all Callihan’s books. I have to enjoy the sun here in Ab Can. Storm stayed in and wrap up with a great read!🤓

message 7: by Yael (new)

Yael great interview!!!

message 8: by Kris (new)

Kris Biel suz wrote: "um.. per Idol, Killian is the lead singer and Jax (John) is the lead guitarist..."

Idol: Chapter 5/ Killian James, lead singer and guitarrist for Kill Jon. Jax, lead singer for Kill Jon. In my Kindle at16% and 17 %.

message 9: by Maria (new)

Maria Lopez I CANT WAIT for this book to come out. 🙌🏽🙌🏽

message 10: by Nikki (new)

Nikki I already pre-ordered this book a few weeks ago on Amazon. I LOVED the other two in the series and I am so glad Ms. Callihan is planning on writing more books in this series. i enjoy all her other New Adult books, but these are my favorite!!!FallKristen Callihan

message 11: by Mitali (new)

Mitali I love all your books but I’m curious and excited about the last book of game on ....still waiting for it

message 12: by Mickey (new)

Mickey Looks like a winner! I loved Managed and Idol. Fall has been a long time coming, but I'm sure will be worth the wait....

message 13: by Momx3boys (new)

Momx3boys I know the next book I’m going to read, great interview...

message 14: by Nirvana (new)

Nirvana suz wrote: "um.. per Idol, Killian is the lead singer and Jax (John) is the lead guitarist..."

That's what I said!

message 15: by Nina (new)

Nina Whortan I read 1 to 2 romance novels a week . I think authors who add playlist from their novels, helps us to keep connected and remember the book we just read. It’s seems like the new era thing to do.

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