Author Corner| An Interview with Kristina Forest

I recently read Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest and became curious about other books written by her. Zyla & Kai is her 2022 release and it sounds like a story I need in my life. I had the honor of interviewing Kristina, so keep on reading to find out more about this book and author. A big thanks to the author for taking time to answer my questions!

A fresh new YA romance novel by Kristina Forest, Zyla & Kai is an epic star-crossed love story about first love and not just the will they, won’t they— but why can’t they?

While on a school trip to the Poconos Mountains (in the middle of a storm) high school seniors, Zyla Matthews and Kai Johnson, run away together leaving their friends and family confused. As far as everyone knows, Zyla and Kai have been broken up for months. And honestly? Their break up hadn’t surprised anyone. Zyla and Kai met while working together at an amusement park the previous summer, and they couldn’t have been more different.

Zyla was a cynic about love. She’d witnessed the dissolution of her parents’ marriage early in life, and it left an indelible impression. Her only aim was graduating and going to fashion school abroad. Until she met Kai.

Kai was a serial monogamist and a hopeless romantic. He’d put a temporary pause on his dating life before senior year to focus on school and getting into his dream HBCU. Until he met Zyla.

Alternating between the past and present, we see the love story unfold from Zyla and Kai’s perspectives: how they first became the unlikeliest of friends over the summer, how they fell in love during the school year, and why they ultimately broke up… Or did they?

Romantic, heart-stirring and a little mysterious, Zyla & Kai will keep readers guessing until the last chapter.

Author Interview

What inspired you to start writing Zyla & Kai?
I wanted to write a book where the romance was the A plot instead of a subplot, and I wanted to tell a story about two teens who loved each other so much they’d make some ill conceived decisions to be together. 
What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
The goal post is always moving, but one of my favorite parts so far is seeing readers dress up like my characters on the cover of the books. 

If you were a character in Zyla & Kai, what kind of character would you be?
I’m not sure! Maybe one of their teachers or one of their bosses at the amusement park where they work. Maybe a guidance counselor at school. 

Describe Zyla & Kai in five words or less.
Heartfelt, swoony, mysterious, funny, sweet. 
What is your favorite quote from this book?
“And as he leaned down to kiss her, Zyla realized she was falling head over heels in love with Kai Johnson, and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it.” 
What do you hope readers take away from Zyla & Kai?
I hope reading Z&K makes readers feel more hopeful about love and more empathetic to those around them. 
What’s next for you? Anything you can tell us readers about?
My next book is an adult romance, The Neighbor Favor and I’m also working on my next YA romance. 
Zyla & Kai is definitely a book I need to add to my summer reading list. I love contemporary books like this. Are you a fun of books like this? What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!

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