Rad-Reader:   Where did the idea for this book come from?

Taylor:  That's difficult to say! For me, one idea transforms into another, and another... I knew I wanted to write a story about a girl falling for her best friend's brother, so that's where it all started. But it transformed into a journey so much bigger than that. Sammie is not only challenged to drive across country with the boy she's always hated (her best friend's brother) but also to examine her life as she knows it. 

Rad-Reader:  Tell us some backstory on Sammie and Tristan that the Synopsis didn’t tell us.

Taylor:  Samantha's greatest fear is failure, so much so that she finds herself living a mediocre life, and contemplating giving up on her dreams of being an artist.
Tristan has always fallen easily into the role others have created for him. Jock, heartthrob, heartbreaker. It isn't until he gets to know Samantha, who has believed all these lies for so long, that he realizes he doesn't want to be known as that guy anymore.

Rad-Reader:  Why does Sammie dislike Tristan so much that her and Renee bond so well over it?

Taylor:  Sammie has always tried hard at everything, and Tristan is the exact opposite--everything has been handed to him on a silver platter. He's insanely popular, loved by everyone, and has done little to deserve it--other than be the star quarterback of his high school team. Early on, Samantha decides that she will not be wooed by his good looks and charm. Little does she know; this decision will create the strongest bond of her young life. With her best friend Renee. It’s through their shared hatred of Tristan, that Renee learns to trust. Because up until this point, the only people who tried to get close to Renee had another agenda. To get closer to her brother too.

Rad-Reader:  Why was it so important for Tristan to spend time with Sammie before he left for college?  Why wait till then?

Taylor:  On the outside, Tristan is the epitome of confidence. On the inside, his need for people to love him controls his every move. The fact that Sammie has never liked him, and for reasons, he's not even sure of, bugs the crap out of him.  She was the girl next door. The intelligent, sweet, creative friend of his little sister, yet she's hated him for as long as he can remember and he doesn't know why. In his last days before he goes off to college, he finds himself examining his life and self-worth, and tries to find the answers in Sammie.

Rad-Reader:  Why is Sammie so quick to think bad about Tristan when he has never done anything to her personally?  Yet, Steven has and she is with him?

Taylor:  Like a local celebrity, gossip spreads like wildfire about Tristan Montgomery, and Sammie has chosen to believe all of it.  Maybe because she expects it to be true? That he's a womanizer... that he leads a woman on and doesn't give a shit.  Or maybe it's self-preservation? Or preservation of the strongest relationship she's ever known. The one she has with Renee.

Rad-Reader:  Why did she decide to date Steven after all?

Taylor:  In spite of all of Steven's flaws, he loves Samantha. He has loved her since the day he met her. He's hard-working, and he's loyal. Can one really hope for more than that? Love, dedication, and someone who is sure to provide a stable future? The Boy I Hate examines this idea, and why maybe a safe road is not always the one that leads you to the best story.

Rad-Reader:  After her first kiss with Steven why did she ever date him?  She said there was no spark or feel like she did with Tristan.

Taylor:  Because he was safe. Because Tristan Montgomery opened up feelings she'd never known she possessed-- including hurt and a broken heart. If there was one thing she knew about Steven--he would love her always. And if there was one thing she knew about Tristan--he was not safe.

Rad-Reader:  Why has she stayed with Steven when she doesn’t love him in that way and he doesn’t support her and she knows it?  She knows Renee is right.

Taylor:  Samantha doesn't believe in the fairy-tale type of love, so not having that with Steven has been perfectly acceptable. He is stable, he is comfortable, and she's been with him so long that seeing her life apart from him is nearly impossible.  It isn't until her best friend falls in love and gets engaged in the blink of an eye, that Samantha examines her own life--and her safe
ideals for what love can be.

Rad-Reader:  Okay you have their first overnight stay in Utah from L.A.  That is one hell of a drive.  Have you ever driven that in one day?  Or did you just come up with a destination? And why that route?  Why not Route 66?

Taylor:  Ha! Yes, actually, I have! We're doing it again this summer, all five of us piling in my minivan on our way to a rental house in Vermont! While Route 66 would have had lots of awesome stops for Tristan and Samantha, their objective was to get to NY and by means of the fastest route possible.

Rad-Reader:  Do you think Renee knows something happened between her and Tristan since Sam always changed the subject when Renee brought him up?

Taylor:  Yes, I do. Maybe not the specifics, but she knows something happened, and possibly even when. I don't have any sure plans but telling Renee's story is something I'd like to do in the future.
Rad-Reader: Yay!

Rad-Reader:  Who is it that Tristan keeps calling or getting calls from?  Is Renee trying to get Sammie and Tristan together?  To get her away from Steven?

Taylor:  It is not Renee, though I fear saying more will give away some of the story. As far as Renee wanting to get Samantha away from Steven, I believe this is true. Even if only subconsciously.

Rad-Reader:  Why is Sammie so quick to be mean and mistrusting of Tristan?

Taylor:  Partly because she doesn't trust herself with him. He scares her, he makes her feel things no other man has, yet his reputation proves he has that effect on everyone.  In a way, she pushes him away from the very start, knowing deep down, that if she fell for a boy like him, he'd have the power to completely break her.

Rad-Reader:  When did Tristan fall in love with Sammie?  Why did he wait so long to tell her?  Back then and now?

Taylor:  Tristan has always found Sammie intriguing. Possibly because she never seemed to notice him--even on days when he specifically tried to get noticed. She never even snuck into his bedroom... which was something all of Renee's other friends were prone to do.  On the contrary, Sammie actually seemed to dislike him, and he wasn't even sure why!
On the night he set out to get answers, he was surprised to find a different side of her. He was able to convince her that there are two sides of every story, and eventually gained her trust, something he'd never had to work at before. People naturally liked him, naturally trusted him... but there was something that always bothered him about the fact. Earning Samantha’s trust, and possibly her love, was the most genuine thing he'd ever done.
I think Tristan fell in love with her out by the lake, but by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it prevented him from acting on it early in their story. 
As far as later? There were many reasons: One, she had a boyfriend. Two, she's his little sister's best friend.  And Three, the whole story takes place in less than a week... so it's really not all that long when you think about it.

Rad-Reader:  What else is going on in Tristan’s life?  It seems like he's fighting himself or someone over the phone.  What’s up?

Taylor:  There is a lot going on in Tristan's world, including his attempt to hold it all together
with a shoestring. You find out more as the story progresses, though someday I might tell the story from his perspective!  Who knows! ;)
Rad-Reader: Funny you should say that because as you were reading I was saying I wish I could get it from his POV to know what the calls were about.

Rad-Reader:  Did Sammie hit send on that important message she sent to Steven before she ended up in the pool?

Taylor:  This very thing has happened to me so many times I can't count them anymore, and like Samantha, in my mind, I ALWAYS press send. The truth will never be known, however. Did I? Or did I just think I did?

Rad-Reader:  Do you really think Renee would have a problem now if Sammie and Tristan got together?  Especially, after almost a week of being together in a car cross country?

Taylor:  No, I don't think she would have a problem with it. Her problem came from the secrets they kept from her.

Rad-Reader:  Tristan didn’t ever just say no let’s just tell my family either time they got together.  Why is that?

Taylor:  He respected Samantha's wishes, and could see the delicate situation they found themselves in. 

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…

Sammie:  Amanda Seyfried

Tristan:  Brett Young

Renee:  Aviva Mongillo

Phin:  Kyle Davey

Mark:  Luke Evans

Steven:  Chris Pine


Tristan:  This is hard! In my mind, Tristan is a young Chris Hemsworth! But maybe William Moseley?

Steven:  This is also hard!  But I like Rad-Reader's choice! Chris Pine!

Rad-Reader:  What song or songs best describes your couple or book as a whole?

“I Wish I’d Known – MacKenzie Porter”
When She got her first kiss ever from the most unlikely person ever.  If she would have just told her BFF how things could have been different.  5-hour car ride home changed everything.


“Do You Think About Me – Carrie Underwood”
After that night when things went wrong after coming back from the cabin and Tristan went off to college.


“Beauty of Who You Are (Live) – Marc Broussard”
After six years of not seeing her and missing her getting to drive her cross country with her.  Even if she is hating on him the whole time.


“Never Be The Same – Camila Cabello”
How Sam has always felt about Tristan from the minute he kissed her.  But never thought it would happen again.  When it does, it explodes again, over nothing that he will explain to her again.


“Sometimes I Cry – Chris Stapleton”
For six years he has lived with the fact that he could have possibly made the wrong decision that night they came back from the cabin.


“More of You – Chris Stapleton”
After snubbing her at the wedding & reception after her declaration he needs to let her know he made a big mistake.


Taylor:  Oh my gosh! First, I love all of your choices! Some I have never heard before but will be adding to my playlist ASAP!  Especially 'Beauty of Who You Are' by Marc Broussard.  
Due to my huge crush on Ed Sheeran however, I would have to choose one of his songs. For me, it's' Ed Sheeran's 'Perfect'.  The lyrics go like this:  Cause we were just kids when we fell in love, not knowing what it was-- and for Tristan and Samantha, I feel this was part of their downfall.  Maybe if they were older and wiser, things wouldn't have worked out the same way after the lake house? 

Then later: We are still kids but we're so in love, fighting against all odds, I know we'll be alright this time. To me, this is Sammie and Tristan present day. They're older, still making mistakes, but determined to stay together.
And the chorus:  Baby, I'm dancing in the dark, with your between my arms, barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song. To me, this symbolizes their faith in one another. Their willingness to close their eyes, allow themselves to be vulnerable, and dance, not knowing where their future leads them.

Rad-Reader:  How long did it take you to write this book?  Will there will a sequel to it?

Taylor:  So far, each book I have written has taken me a year to produce. That's from writing the first word, to all the back and forth with my editor.  I hope that one day I will be able to produce two books a year, but while my babies (who aren't babies anymore)are still at home and needing me, I'm happy with only one. As far a sequel goes, I've had many requests, so it's definitely on my radar. Until the story starts playing in my mind shower, I have no idea what it will be about! So someday, I hope! 

Rad-Reader:  Did you family always know you wanted to be a writer growing up?

Taylor:  Only my little sister. Everyone always knew I was a dreamer, and for sure a romantic, but my writing was very much personal to me, and still is! But my sister and I have always shared the love of a good romance novel, and even though she is three years younger than I am, started reading them years before I did! 

Rad-Reader:  How did you go about deciding to either to go a publisher or go independent?

Taylor:  When I first wrote Home to You, my goal at the time was to finish the novel. I had no dreams of publishing, or even letting others read it at that point. But one day, in my efforts to learn more about the writing process, I stumbled on a forum called Scribophile. It was there, shaking in my chair, that I shared my work for the first time. I was given praise, as well as advice, and later encouragement to publish, and send my baby out into the world!  Upon my research, I decided that self-publishing was the path for me. I like the flexibility and the control, and being able to tell the story in my head without anyone telling me otherwise.  I haven't looked back since! 

Rad-Reader:  Do you get a say with how to pick your covers?

Taylor:  Very much so! I actually create my covers. Before I started writing, I was a photographer, so it always seemed natural for me to do it myself. Since then, I've created covers for so many authors I've lost count. 

Rad-Reader:  What are three things you will not leave home each day without?

Taylor:  My water bottle, my cell phone, and my kids. LOL

Rad-Reader:  Do you use a storyboard to write?

Taylor:  Sometimes. It seems there is always a point in each story when I get lost and have to draw everything out so it all makes sense. Though I'm not sure anyone would ever be able to understand it, me! 

Rad-Reader:  Do you keep a notebook or computer list of characters, features, traits, etc.….?

Taylor:  No... Though I probably should! LOL

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?

Taylor:  My next book is called Eight Steps to Alpha.  It's a romantic comedy, and should be out sometime at the end of Summer/Early Fall!  Later than I'd hoped, but life happened, and I lived it... 

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books? Links, please.

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web?

Amazon link: 


Twitter: @AuthorTSullivan

Thanks so much, Taylor for being with us.  It has been a pleasure reading your book.  I really enjoyed this couple and their journey across the country together but more their banter and to find each other.  You too are now a Rad-Reader Misfit come back and let us know when you have a new book coming out by using our Shout-Out: An Author's Place page.
Thanks again,

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