Author Interview | Katie M. Stout ft. Hello, I Love You

18484807Author Katie M. Stout talks about writing her upcoming YA debut novel, Hello, I Love You, a story about a teen who escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star.
BONUS: Find out what’s the original title of this book and what country it’s supposedly set in.

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Tell us about the day you realized that your book was getting published.
I was in the process of moving to England when my agent emailed me and said an editor was taking the book to an acquisitions meeting. It was a couple days later that another editor decided to take it to acquisitions and then the following day that we got our first offer. My editor called me, then called again when the other editor offered, as well. It was an insane day! I was literally packing up my life and was going to leave in three days. I accepted St. Martin’s offer that day, and I totally cried. I never thought I would get published, so it’s been a totally surreal experience ever since then.
Your book had me at Korean pop star. Is there a particular Korean actor/Kpop Idol you pictured when writing the character of Jason?
This is one of my favorite questions to answer, because it’s a resounding YES! I totally pictured Jung Yong Hwa while I was writing Jason. But I love it when readers tell me they pictured someone else. That’s one of the great things about books – you get to cast it yourself!
Is there a character in Hello, I Love You that you see yourself in? If yes, why?
I think there’s a little bit of me in all the characters, since I wrote them. But actually, the one I’m most similar to is probably Jason, the love interest. …which is probably why I found him the easiest to write. (lol!) But I wish I were more like Sophie or Yoon Jae, who I think are probably the nicest characters in the book.
I’ve read on your blog that Hello, I Love You was supposedly set in China instead of South Korea. What’s the story behind the change?
Yes, the book was originally set in China and had a different title: From China, With Love (a play off the James Bond movie From Russia with Love). My editor and I decided that it made more sense for the book to be set in Korea, when it was about Korean pop stars.
The reason I had originally set it in China was because I had been there teaching English when I got the idea to write the book. I liked the idea of both Grace and Jason living in a country not their own, where they both were going through culture shock and could bond over both being foreigners. But ultimately, we decided it was a bit too convoluted for there to be three cultures represented in the book – and it was more easily explained and marketed as a book about KPOP, set in Korea.
What shall your readers expect in Hello, I Love You?
You can expect romance and swoons. You can also expect little Easter eggs for Korean drama fans – things that are often in dramas that I threw in for fun, like dramatic handholding, wrist grabs, and awkward kissing.
But more than romance, you can expect flawed characters who have a lot to learn, dysfunctional families, and forgiveness and redemption. While the book does have a lot of romance, for me, the story is less about the kissing and more about Grace and Jason discovering who they are.

abouttheauthorkatieKatie M. Stout is from Atlanta, Georgia, and works for an international charity that sends her to fun places like Spain and SIngapore. When she’s not writing, you can find her drinking an unhealthy amount of Chai Tea and listening to Girls’ Genetration, Teen Top, and all her other favorite Kpop tunes.
www.katiemstout.com
Instagram | Goodreads

18484807Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.
She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.
Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Hello, I Love You

Purchase links for Hello, I Love You:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-MillionIndieBound | Book Depository

Thanks for stopping by!

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23 thoughts on “Author Interview | Katie M. Stout ft. Hello, I Love You

  1. Hello, I Love You is so cuuuute! I’m so glad it was set in Korea since I’m more “familiar” with the landscapes and culture thanks to my healthy doses of kdramas, but it would have been also fun if it were in China or anywhere really, just as long as Jason were there. I love him. ❤

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    1. I’m more familiar with South Korea too (even if I haven’t been there) because of Kdramas *highfive* and just like Katie said, she she threw in some kdrama easter eggs which is another thing I’m excited about. 🙂 Have you read it already?

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  2. This book sucks with the protagonist’s blatant cultural insensitivity. Don’t read if you’re a fan of korean drama or pop as you’ll only be left disappointed.

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    1. Thanks for visiting! I read your review of this book on Goodreads (I think) and on your blog too, (cute blog btw) and I’ve been seeing a lot of people telling how South Korea is poorly portrayed in Hello, I Love You but I still want to read it, I guess I want to see it for myself but I wasn’t lucky enough to get and ARC though.

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    1. I haven’t! Her book has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while now but I should pick it up sometime. It really looks like my cup of tea since I’m into Korean boy bands too. HAHA!

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  3. Wow that is one long blurb aha but it sounds like a pretty fun read! I love how it’s set in Korea as well a bit unusual for a YA romance but I’m digging it. The interview was awesome it’s always a treat hearing the author’s take on their books!

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  4. This book sounds awesome and isn’t it cool how it’s set in Korea? It’ll be a good cultural experience for me as my books are generally set in America or Australia but I’m excited to see how Korea is described. I also love who the author pictured as Jason, Jung Yong Hwa is my Korean crush1

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    1. Same reason why I want to read this book. (Still haven’t read it, yikes. // but I’ve been wanting to!)
      Eeeep! Yong Hwa, he’s the reason why I got into Kpop LOL.

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