It’s Valentine’s Day, so Let’s Talk About Love–literally, let’s talk to Claire Kann, author of Swoon Reads recent release, Let’s Talk About Love. We were drawn to Claire’s debut novel because of it’s absolutely joyous cover with an ebullient black girl on the cover, but when we discovered that Alice is asexual, we became REALLY interested in her story. Let’s see the diverse books that inspired Claire’s debut.

ABOUT CLAIRE KANN

Claire Kann

Claire Kann hails from the glorious Bay Area where the weather is regrettably not nearly as temperate as it used to be. She has a BA in English/Creative Writing from Sonoma State University, works for a nonprofit that you may have heard of where she daydreams like she’s paid to do it. A sucker for instant gratification, she posts new stories regularly to Wattpad, including her novels THE SCAVENGER HUNT, which won the 2016 Watty Award:HQ Love, and #FAT GIRL MAGIC, which won the 2017 Watty Award: Riveting Reads and ranked #1 in the Paranormal category.

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published by Swoon Reads

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

 

CLAIRE’S BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Pointe by Brandy Colbert: Even with my dark skin, I was one of those Black kids who got called “white” on a regular basis. To this day, I still get told that I “sound white” when I speak. Growing up, it really messed with my head, and I thought I had successfully moved past the damage those words had done. I know there isn’t one universal way to be Black, but while writing, I found myself ensuring specific cultural markers *coughstereotypescough* where there that didn’t need to be. Pointe taught me to relax, to trust my characters and to allow them to live their truth. It also taught me not to be afraid of challenging my reader’s expectations of what Blackness can look like.
Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole: LTAL’s main character, Alice, is an eternal romantic at heart. For research, I looked for romance novels that would appeal to her and found Alyssa’s books. If you want inclusive romance in every genre imaginable that will have you tumbling in feels, she’s definitely the author for you.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: This is one of my favorite books because Cath’s college experience intensely mirrored my own (minus the fan fiction) and I adore the writing style. It’s my goal to write third person limited pov that feels like first person pov, which is something I think Rainbow does very well. I often reread passages of Fangirl to get me back on track when I lose my writer way.
We’re already halfway through our Black History Month series! Have you checked out Brandy Colbert or Ibi Zoboi‘s recommendations? Check out the FULL SCHEDULE here and we are thrilled to have Elle McKinney coming up on Friday!
 ~Carmen

 

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