Interview with Katie Cotugno

Katie Cotugno stormed the YA charts with her debut novel How to Love, which was greatly received. And now she's back with her second YA book 99 Days, which happens to be the perfect beach read.
Question One -  What is 99 Days about? 99 DAYS is a smart, sexy summer romance about a girl who comes back to her hometown the summer before college to face the mess - and the boys - she left behind. Molly spent her senior year at boarding school after she confessed to her mom, a novelist, that she'd cheated on her long-time boyfriend Patrick with Patrick's brother Gabe - and her mom turned around and wrote a bestseller about it. Now Molly's got 99 days, the length of one summer, to try and make things right, but it's definitely not going to be easy. The novel explores first loves, second loves, girl friendships, betrayal, and the double standards we hold guys and girls to when it comes to sex and romance. 
Question Two - What inspired you to write 99 Days? I think love triangles get a bad rap, and I wanted to see if I could write one in a way that was fresh and honest and unusual. 
Question 3 - Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I never try to come at a book from a position of wanting to communicate a message - mostly I just want to invent interesting characters and tell a story people want to read. But I guess if 99 DAYS has a message, it would be that nobody's perfect. 
Question 4 - Did you read as a child, if so who did you most look up to? I read a ton as a child! I loved Judy Blume and Ellen Conford and Sweet Valley and the BSC books. I read everything. 
Question 5 - What are some of your current favourite reads? I'm reading The Likeness by Tana French right now and I'm obsessed with it. It makes me want to stay up late and rush to the end, except not because then it'll be over. 
Question 6 - We know 99 Days was recently released, but are you currently working on something new? I am! My third book is a tragic romance set against the backdrop of the teen-pop factory in 1997 Orlando. 
Question 7 - Did you learn anything from writing your book/s and what was it? I hope I'm learning to be a better writer with each book! And I think the process of writing 99 DAYS taught me to be a bit more gentle with myself as I'm going along.
Question 8 - What advice would you give to aspiring authors? Read everything! Write everything. Press on a little at a time. 
Question 9 - Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers? Thanks so much, you guys! I am so humbled and awed by you all. 

Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.

Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is out now from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. 99 DAYS will follow next spring.

The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston with her husband, Tom.

This is a love story. But it’s not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows. This is real. This is life. This is how to love.

Reena has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he’s never noticed her, until one day… he does. They fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving a devastated – and pregnant – Reena behind.


Three years later and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter Hannah. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again.

After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer again?
Molly Barlow is facing one long, hot summer--99 days--with the boy whose heart she broke and the boy she broke it for . . . his brother.

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that's how I know everyone still remembers everything. She has every right to hate me, of course: I broke Patrick Donnelly's heart the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. Now I'm serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn't finished. I'm expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it's just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. "For what it's worth, Molly Barlow," he says, "I'm really glad you're back."

Day 12: Gabe wouldn't quit till he got me to come to this party, and I'm surprised to find I'm actually having fun. I think he's about to kiss me--and that's when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who's supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who's never going to forgive me.

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