(Guest Post) Author Interview with Jacqueline Simon Gunn

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Does the Hudson River Series have any parallels that could be drawn from your life?

Most of the Hudson River series takes place in the towns of New Jersey that are right across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Forever and One Day (book 1) takes place in both New Jersey and New York City.

I grew up in a town called North Bergen in New Jersey, which sits right on the Hudson River. It’s a unique area of the state, because it’s so close to New York City. It’s almost more like a suburb of Manhattan. We have accents that sound almost identical to New York accents. It’s crowded. It’s intense. It’s diverse. The river and the view of the New York City skyline really make it special.

I wanted to capture aspects of New York City and the Hudson River towns in New Jersey in the series. Several characters went to the same high school as I did. Many of my friends from childhood had read my thriller series which takes place in Manhattan. I wrote the Hudson River series in the area we grew up in, for them, so they could recognize locations. I have had many old friends tell me that they loved the books, particularly because the setting was familiar and brought back many fond memories.

 Which Part of Chasing Kat was your Favorite Part to Write & Why?

I loved writing the entire story. I felt all of the complex emotions between Kat and Bax. The book goes back and forth in time so readers get to see not only what happens when they meet again, but also the history of their close friendship and what caused the abrupt ending. I really enjoyed writing the scenes when they were in high school and college. Kat was a strong, spirited young girl, who had a sense of courage and conviction that I lacked at that age.

Kat and Bax meet their freshman year in high school in English class. One of Bax’s friends, Zipper, is talking about having sex with a girl in a disrespectful manner. Kat, overhearing the conversation, confronts Zipper, telling him he sounds insecure. When Zipper responds with a nasty comment, Kat gives it right back to him. Bax eventually stands up for her which is the moment when they first notice each other. This is just one example of a scene written when she is a young girl. It was liberating to write a character who was strong in a way I wish I had been at that age.




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