CC: Thank you, Kristi, for being a part of First Love Fridays: where we explore the glory and angst of first loves, first kisses, first breakups, and life beyond.
KC: Thanks for having me! Sounds… fun?
CC: Tell us about your first (love, kiss, breakup – your choice). To protect the innocent feel free to use an alias.;)
KC: I met my first love (I’ll call him “Jack”—not his real name!) near the end of ninth grade—we didn’t have any classes together, but we were in the same lunch period, and I had noticed Jack because he had really pretty blue/green eyes (and who *doesn’t* love a pair of bright blue/green eyes in a tanned face?!). Then I heard from a mutual friend that Jack had a big crush on me—and yeah, that was pretty much enough for me like him back. Yes, I will confess to being *that* shallow. But c’mon, Jack was super hot—very athletic, with those great eyes—and he was into me. That was enough for me.
Next thing I knew, we were exchanging phone numbers by my locker, and we went on our first date the following weekend. Jack’s parents drove us to the movie (“Romancing the Stone”) and then picked us up and took us back to their house for strawberry shortcake. Ah, yes....such an innocent time! I’m pretty sure our first kiss didn’t come till the end of the second date—after he’d spent the entire movie (“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” this time) working up the nerve to hold my hand, which he finally accomplished about three-quarter-ways through the movie. I barely saw any of the movie—I was way too focused on watching his hand creep toward mine on the armrest at a painfully slow rate.
CC: That’s so adorably sweet. How long were you together?
KC: A long time! Almost a year and a half, till just before my family moved away (yes, my parents were cruel enough to make me move to a new state—from Georgia to Florida—the summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school!).
CC: How did you get over him/her?
KC: It wasn’t easy. I was your stereotypical angsty, sobbing girl for a while there, convinced I would never love anyone else the way I’d loved Jack. I think being in a new state/new school, away from him, made me idealize the relationship we’d had in a way that I wouldn’t have done if he’d still been around. Because looking back, we really didn’t have anything in common, except each other. I don’t think I really got over him until the next time I fell in love, near the end of my junior year.
CC: Have you connected with him/her since then?
KC: Actually, we’ve pretty much stayed in touch all along, as weird as that sounds—though not as much in the past few years. We wrote letters, we visited each other in college (though it was always platonic). I continued to receive Valentine’s Day cards from him every year through high school and college! It was probably a good thing that I moved away—it probably helped preserve the warm feelings we had for each other, because we never had to see the other, walking down the hall with a new girlfriend/boyfriend, so there were never any jealousy issues or anything. Just...mostly happy memories.
Actually, I had a book signing in Georgia not too long ago, and his mother actually showed up! I spoke with her for a good two or three minutes before I recognized her, and I then I totally freaked out! Happy tears. She pulled out old photos of the two of us together, and then photos of him and his wife and two kids. It was great!
CC: What’s next for you and what role does “first love” play in the story?
KC: I think what I enjoyed most about writing HAVEN was recapturing that all-consuming feeling of “first love” and exploring it, throwing some major obstacles in the way. In HAVEN, Violet and Aidan connect in that instant way that some teens do, and then spend the rest of the book discovering their connection, and trying to figure out what it means. Violet, who has the gift of precognition, sees a vision of what she thinks is Aidan’s death, and it appears as if she’s the one who kills him. So...yeah, that’s a lot more angst than most teens have to deal with in regards to their first love! Over the course of the book, they learn that they are basically natural-born enemies, and they hope their love can overcome that. At the end of HAVEN, it looks like it will. But I’m writing the still-untitled sequel now, and their enmity begins to rear its head a bit more. Things get a bit more...dangerous.
CC: I do love Aiden and Vi’s story and can’t wait to see what’s next for them. Do you have any final wisdom to share with us about first loves?
KC: Just that it’s an important learning experience, as painful as it can be. I’ve had people tell me that those first love feelings weren’t “real”—that I didn’t really love Jack. But I think they’re wrong—it *was* love, and those feelings were genuine and strong. But there are many different kinds of love, and first love isn’t necessarily “forever” love. I think it would have made our breakup much easier if I’d realized that then, and appreciated the fact that, even though I did love him, it didn’t mean we were supposed to be together forever. Still, they helped shape the person I am now, and make me truly appreciate the forever-love I have now.
Find out more about Kristi, he books, and where to follow her at www.kristi-cook.com
Come back the first Friday in June for the next edition of First Love Fridays.
Next regular post: Thursday 5/12
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!