Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for The Night When No One Had Sex by Kalena Miller. I haven’t read many books involving prom, so I’m curious to give this a read. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the tour schedule for other content creators to find out their thoughts.
Kalena Miller grew up in College Station, TX with her mom, dad, and the most photographed hamster in history. After high school, she moved a thousand miles north to attend Carleton College, where she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Religious Studies. After a brief stint working as a paraeducator in Seattle, Kalena decided she missed school too much, so she spent the next two years pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University.
Kalena currently lives in Hopkins, Minnesota with her husband, Kenny, and Toy Australian Shepherd, Toshley. She writes middle grade and young adult fiction and co-authors narrative nonfiction with her mom, Kathy Miller (check out her website here). She loves books that make her laugh and make her cry, preferably at the same time, and she firmly believes all quality novels should feature a cat.
About The Book
Title: The Night When No One Had Sex
Author: Kalena Miller
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Publishing Date: September 7th, 2021
Page Length: 304
Age Range: YA
Rep: LGBTQIA+, Fat Rep & Chronic Illness
It’s the night of senior prom, and eighteen-year-old Julia has made a pact with her friends. (Yes, that kind of pact.) They have secured a secluded cabin in the woods, one night without parental supervision, and plenty of condoms. But as soon as they leave the dance, the pact begins to unravel. Alex’s grandmother is undergoing emergency surgery, and he and his date rush to the hospital. Zoe’s trying to figure out how she feels about getting off the waitlist at Yale–and how to tell her girlfriend. Madison’s chronic illness flares, holding her back once again from being a normal teenager. And Julia’s fantasy-themed role play gets her locked in a closet. Alternating between each character’s perspective and their ridiculous group chat, The Night When No One Had Sex finds a group of friends navigating the tenuous transition into adulthood and embracing the uncertainty of life after high school.
Thank you to Kalena Miller for taking the time to answer my questions and congratulations on releasing The Night When No One Had Sex.
What inspired you to write The Night When No One Had Sex?
I was in a writing workshop, and one of my mentors told me I was skilled at writing sex scenes. I was so excited that I really ran with that compliment and started writing a book comprised entirely of sex scenes (as a joke). Well, it turns out that I enjoyed the characters and stories I was creating, so I backtracked to work on necessities like plot and momentum. The rest is history!
Were there any interesting facts that you found while researching for this book that didn’t end up being used?
I did so much research on local congressional districts in Eugene, Oregon and the political demographics of various neighborhoods. The entire storyline involving American politics ended up getting cut, but I spent lots of time on population spreadsheets before that happened.
Without spoilers, what was the hardest scene to write and why?
Definitely the final scene! I’ve always struggled to write endings, and I put so much pressure on myself to make them perfect. It’s hard to find the right balance of wrapping things up but not too much. The final chapter of this book was particularly difficult because I had all my characters back together, and I wanted to make sure everyone’s voice was heard.
Did you have a favourite character POV to write and, without spoilers, what was your favourite moment to write involving that character?
I probably most enjoyed writing Madison’s POV. In some ways, Madison is the character who is least like me, but I really related to the underlying frustration that drove her throughout the story. And my favorite scene involving Madison—or any character, for that matter—was her conversation with Jake on the roof. There’s something about playing Fuck, Marry, Kill on the roof at three in the morning while devouring hot Cheetos that feels quintessentially high school to me. Even though I’ve re-read this scene fifty times, I still laugh every time.
If you could spend the day with each of your characters, what would you do with each of them?
Julia is an expert hula hooper, which is a skill I’ve always wanted to acquire, so I would definitely make her give me lessons. With Madison…is laying on a roof and talking about our feelings an option? The same goes for Morgan and Zoe, actually. These girls really need to talk through their emotions, and I would enjoy playing therapist. With Kevin and Alex, I’d probably just hang out and play video games. As for Jake, I cannot possibly imagine what the two of us would spend a day doing together, let alone an hour. I love the guy, but he’s not exactly BFF material.
Was there anything you learned after writing The Night When No One Had Sex that will help (or has helped) with writing your upcoming middle grade novel or any other future work?
Juggling four points of view was difficult, but I learned so much from the process. I definitely have more experience in differentiating voices now, which is a skill that I bring with me to each new project. I also think experiencing the publishing process and collaborating with an editor has helped me grow as a writer. Working so closely with experts in YA literature has helped me hone my craft, and I’m so grateful for their wisdom and support!
Stuck in Fiction – Interview
The Broke Book Blog – Top 5 Reasons to Read The Night When No One Had Sex & TikTok
Justice For Readers – Review & 15 Reactions While Reading The Night When No One Had Sex