Friday, February 03, 2012

Interview with Luisa Plaja, author of Kiss Date Love Hate + Giveaway!

Hello Luisa! I'm so pleased to have you here on my blog. First, how would you describe Kiss Date Love Hate to anybody who has not yet read the book?

Kiss Date Love Hate is the story of a girl who creates profiles for her friends in a computer game, making some wishful-thinking changes to their ‘love’, ‘life’ and ‘looks’ settings, and finds that these changes come true in real life… With Lex now in control of her friends’ crushes, what could possibly go wrong?

I might also might say that Kiss Date Love Hate is about coming to terms with change in yourself, in your relationships , and in the relationships of the people you love. In a fun way. :)

The events of Kiss Date Love Hate take place during the school holidays, what was the most memorable school holiday you had as a student?

It was probably the summer I spent taking a course at the “university for foreigners” in Perugia, Italy. I wrote a short story – highly fictionalized! – about some of my experiences, which has been published in an anthology called Truth & Dare. Well, to be honest, I wrote an entire novel about it, but I cut it down for the anthology.

The video game in your book, so needs to be a real thing! When creating their avatars, George and Lex both changed physical attributes and also mood. What would you have been tempted to change about yourself as a teenager?

I’m afraid to say that the answer is: everything. This could well be the reason I’m always exploring issues of identity in my novels. Swapped by a Kiss, for example, was inspired by the fact that I desperately wanted to swap places with my friends when I was a teenager. Obviously, now I’m older, I can see how misguided I was. I (usually) like being me! But that definitely didn’t apply when I was growing up.

I know my novels are light-hearted, but if there’s one thing I’d love teenagers to take away from them it’s that it’s OK to be yourself. Even if it takes you a while to work out what exactly that entails…

If you could change the settings so that somebody was set to Kiss/Date/Love you, which fictional boy/celebrity crush would you choose?

What a great question! It’s a strange thing… I have trouble developing crushes on people who aren’t ‘real’ – and by this I mean celebrities, really, because we rarely get to see them being themselves. I imagine this would be different if I got to talk to them!

Having said that, I love swooning over books and, seeing as I read a lot of romance, I do this regularly! So I’ll say: whatever wonderful romantic character I’ve just read about!

Do you have a favourite romantic film? Love story? Song?

So many! How can I list them? I’ll do this off the top of my head, listing the first one that springs to mind. *pause* OK, it’s a love song: Set the Fire to the Third Bar by Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright, which Albie sings in Split by a Kiss… :) Oh, but that’s probably a tie with Lovesong by The Cure, which was one of my theme songs for Kiss Date Love Hate…

Lex seems to have a thing for bad boys (OK, one particular bad boy!) Can you explain the appeal of the bad boy?

Haha, can anyone? OK… I think ‘bad-boy’ and ‘bad-girl’ status appeals to our inner rebel, or maybe the person we wish we could be. There’s something deeply attractive about people who aren’t afraid to be themselves, even if this means so-called ‘badness’. Maybe it comes down to confidence. When I was a teenager, people were always telling me I needed more of it. Unfortunately, there are no reliable suppliers of off-the-shelf confidence. But ‘bad boys’ and ‘bad girls’ exude it. I think it can be magnetic.

As a fan of your books, one of the things I most look forward to are your references to often times nerdy aspects of popular culture, such as Lord of the Rings and video games. I would love to hear some nerdy fact about YOU that we might not already know?

Let’s see… (and thank you for saying you’re a fan!) Well, you probably already know that I’m a huge Buffy fan and love a good Spike quote. And also that I’m a total grammar nerd – I adore all aspects of language. Though I’m slightly rusty now, I used to be able to write words out in phonetic symbols almost as easily as typing normal letters. There’s also my spooky memory of Dewey Decimal classification numbers, but you might have seen that on Twitter. So, apart from that… Aha! Aged about 14, I managed to gather a complete set of Sweet Valley High books and I used to get my big sister to test me on the numbers and titles of them. I don’t think I got any wrong, either.

Ahem. Sssh. Nerdiness rules!

And finally, how would the characters of Kiss Date Love Hate finish the sentence 'Love is...'?

Oh, wow. OK, I’ll take just a few characters at the start of the book, to avoid spoilers. George would say, “What I’m looking for.” Jess would say, “The reason I have an unwanted extended family.” Gemma would say, “Matty.” Matt would say, “Ask Gemma.”

Lex could say, “I’m about to figure it out…

Thank you so much for the fantastic questions, Clover!


Thank you so much Luisa, brilliant answers! I'd not heard that The Cure song, I'm liking it.

For your chance to win a copy of Kiss Date Love Hate, leave a comment below answering any of the questions that Luisa was asked and include 'PICK ME' alongside it, plus some way for me to get hold of you if you win (email address/Twitter ID) Good luck!

To find out more about Luisa Plaja or Kiss Date Love Hate, please do visit the following websites:

Luisa Plaja ... Luisa on Twitter ... Luisa on Facebook ... Chicklish


  1. And finally, how would the characters of Kiss Date Love Hate finish the sentence 'Love is...'?

    Me: 'Love is letting your walls come down and allowing yourself to be loved.'

    (Twitter: Pheebs20)

    1. Pick Me

      (sorry, i forgot to put that in.)

  2. Amazing questions and answers! Great to read the insight to such a good book. :)

  3. Great interview with some really interesting answers.

  4. Brilliant interview! I really enjoyed reading it :) I love the nerdy facts about Luisa!! :D

  5. I'm not entering the contest because I already have this book.

    Brilliant interview! Oooh, I'm even more excited to read this book now! Luisa is awesome!

  6. I loved this! I agree with Clioma, great nerdy facts ;p thanks to you Botha,

  7. Can you explain the appeal of the bad boy?

    Bad boys in books let us go wild & do things we normally would not do. PICK ME.


  8. Loving the nerdy facts and the song choices - pick me!

  9. Fantastic interview!


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