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Kayla Olson | A Second-Chance Romance Between Two Former Teen Actors


The Reunion
Kayla Olson

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A Novel


January 2023
On Sale: January 17, 2023
320 pages
ISBN: 1668001942
EAN: 9781668001943
Kindle: B0B3Y8CLTS
Trade Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Kayla Olson:
The Reunion, January 2023
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1--What is the title of your latest release?

THE REUNION

2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

I always pitch it as being a second-chance romance set in Hollywood about two former teen actors who played love interests on the same hit TV show—Liv and Ransom were best friends IRL, until he broke her real-life heart. Now, fourteen years after wrapping the show, the entire cast is together again to film a reunion episode special. It’s the first time Liv and Ransom have seen each other since, and all their old feelings are still there, as strong as ever…but so is all their unresolved tension.

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

I started writing The Reunion at the beginning of the pandemic, while housebound and on lockdown, so I tried to think of a fun place to visit in my head—a Hollywood film set, along with Liv’s beach house, felt like the perfect setting for this idea!

4--Would you hang out with your heroine in real life?

Oh, totally! Liv is talented and reserved and kind, loves coffee, and has great taste in food and bingeworthy TV shows. The question is, would she hang out with me, being as private as she is? Only if we met in some organic way and she decided I was a trustworthy person to bring into her inner circle, I think.

5--What are three words that describe your hero?

Private. Confident. Charismatic.

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

I learned a lot about screenplay formatting—there are a few script excerpts in the book, and it took a very close and detailed eye to make sure all the punctuation/parentheticals/other formatting looked like it should!

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

I mostly wait until I’m totally done to start editing, but I usually start each writing session by rereading the previous day’s work—and I can never manage to simply reread anything, ha! I’m always tweaking wording and/or punctuation as I go. I do try to keep moving forward as much as I can, though, until a draft is entirely done.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

My most recent foodie indulgence was actually on a cruise ship, a gourmet French restaurant called Remy on the Disney Fantasy—the menu is curated by world-renowned chef Arnaud Lallement (three Michelin stars), and every single thing we tried was delicious and inventive. I’m still dreaming of the cheese board they brought around at the end of the night…! I will also never say no to a fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate soufflé.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

My official writing space is filled with bookshelves, along with an antique desk that belonged to my grandfather. On the desk is a gigantic Apple monitor—which really helps me feel immersed in a draft, especially when I’m using Scrivener’s full-screen/blackout mode. I’ve got a gallery wall right behind my desk filled with artwork, most of it by a local-to-me artist named Anna Tovar and a very-much-not-local-to-me artist I found through instagram, @chattynora. I’m also about to add the fun (pink!) neon sign I bought for my book tour, so that will be an exciting addition!

10--Who is an author you admire?

Oh, wow—so many! If I had to pick just one, an author who stands out is V.E. Schwab. She is incredibly driven, and very disciplined in her work—she has to be, because she’s always working on multiple projects at once (and multiple kinds of projects!), all while navigating a full travel schedule that usually involves numerous time zone changes. She’s got huge ideas, and the writing talent to execute them brilliantly. I could go on.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

I can pinpoint exactly where my obsession with books started: Baby-Sitters Little Sister #8—Karen’s Haircut, by Ann M. Martin. I remember reading it, and then begging my parents for more books, and ultimately ending up with a gigantic BSC collection that I’ve managed to hang on to all this time. (It currently lives on one of my office bookshelves!) I’ve had a lifelong love of reading ever since, and that love of reading eventually became a love of writing—and here I am!

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)

I remember feeling so, so excited—I wrote The Reunion during the pandemic, and I cannot emphasize enough how the experience of writing it kept me feeling lighthearted and hopeful throughout those very dark, difficult months when we were all learning how to cope with the changes Covid brought to our world. I wrote The Reunion for myself because it was fun, because the process was exactly what I needed. Finding out it had found its perfect publishing home at Atria? It's hard to express just how happy it made me when I found out it would be a real, actual book. I hope it’s a happy place for anyone who picks it up, just as it has been for me all these years.

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

I read pretty widely—I can get into any book as long as it has a compelling voice, an intriguing narrator, and is well-written. These days, I gravitate mostly toward romance, thrillers, and mysteries, with the occasional sci-fi mixed in.

14--What’s your favorite movie?

I’m a huge fan of all the Christopher Guest mockumentaries. If I had to choose a favorite out of those, I’d go with Waiting for Guffman (though Best in Show is riiiiight there with it)—I grew up in a tiny town *and* in the world of musical theater, so the combination of both of those elements in Guffman just makes me laugh every time. The cast is so good, too—Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, and more.

15--What is your favorite season?

For the longest time, I would have said autumn or winter—cold and rainy (rarely snowy here in Texas, but I love that, too), perfect writing/reading weather! Now that I’m into tennis, though, I’ve come to really enjoy those beautiful spring days where it’s sunny and not too hot or cold. I’ve even grown to love summer! Anything over 100 degrees, though, can jump off a cliff.

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

My grandmother and I shared a birth month, so for as long as I knew her, we celebrated the entire month of January as birthday season. I’ve kept the tradition going, even though she’s no longer with us. On my actual birthday, I love to treat myself to coffee and a massage, then go out to a nice dinner with friends and family.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

My husband and I have really been enjoying Only Murders in the Building, and we are eagerly awaiting its next season!

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

This question is making me hungry because I’m trying (and failing) to choose a favorite—I love pretty much everything, especially if it’s spicy! These days, I eat a lot of Thai (green curry), burgers, and pasta. Does “brunch food” count as its own type of cuisine? I could eat brunch food every meal of the day…

19--What do you do when you have free time?

I play a ton of tennis. Like, a lot. I took it up in adulthood and quickly became obsessed—this, after decades of believing I didn’t have an athletic bone in my body. These days, I play 5x/week on average and am the captain of one of the teams I’m on. Please take this as your occasional reminder to try new things, even if (especially if) they make you uncomfortable at first and you think you’ll be terrible at them! I was terrible at first, too. It was worth it.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

I’m always writing something new—and I’m working on another rom-com right now!

THE REUNION by Kayla Olson

The Reunion

A Novel

 

As the star of the popular teen drama Girl on the Verge, Liv spent her adolescence on the screen trying to be as picture perfect as her character in real life. But after the death of her father and the betrayal of her on-screen love interest and off-screen best friend Ransom Joel, Liv wanted nothing more than to retreat, living a mostly normal life aside from a few indie film roles. But now, twenty years after the show’s premiere, the cast is invited back for a reunion special, financed by a major streaming service.

Liv is happy to be back on set, especially once she discovers Ransom has only improved with age. And their chemistry is certainly still intact. They quickly fall into their old rhythms, rediscovering what had drawn them together decades before. But with new rivalries among the cast emerging and the specter of a reboot shadowing their shoot, Liv questions whether returning to the past is what she needs to finally get her own happy ending.

 

Coming of Age | Romance Comedy [Atria Books, On Sale: January 17, 2023, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781668001943 / eISBN: 9781668001950]

Buy THE REUNION: Amazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | Walmart.com | Book Depository | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Kayla Olson

Kayla Olson

Kayla Olson is the author of two books for young adults and The Reunion. Whether writing at her desk or curled up with a good book, she can most often be found with a fresh cup of coffee and at least one cat.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

 

 

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