Local Girls and Rich Boys... and Ice Cream

LB-RG-covers.jpg Those are the titles of two novels in Jenny O'Connell's new "Island Summer" series (minus the ice cream part). I'm into the combo titles... and all they imply. I haven't had a chance to read the books yet, but I did have a chance to talk to Jenny while she's on her Girlfriend Cyber Circuit tour, and I got her answers to three incredibly important questions:1. Did you have a point in your life--a certain summer maybe--when you made a really big change, or felt something shift? There was a summer like that and actually wrote about it in the anthology It's a Wonderful Lie. I'd had the same boyfriend through college, and after college we lived together. After five months living under the same roof, we broke up. Just in time for summer. For the first time I was on my own, I got my own apartment and lived alone. It's a very strange feeling being alone when you're used to either being with friends or your boyfriend. It ended up being the best summer ever and I think it changed me from being someone who always had to be out with friends doing something into someone who could just hang by herself and enjoy it. 2. What parts of you can we see in your characters? Actually, Kendra (in Local Girls) and Winnie (in Rich Boys) share my favorite ice cream!! We all prefer chocolate with sprinkles. There is a lot of me in my characters, even some similar experiences. The thing is, when it's happening to Kendra or Winnie I get to choose how it turns out! 3. Did you ever have an amazing summer love? Do share! Between my sophomore and junior years of high school I spent the summer at The Rhode Island School of Design in Providence (my parents were convinced I was an artist, but after seeing the other people I was there with I realized I wasn't nearly as good as they were). On our first night at school some girls and I walked up to Thayer Street for ice cream. As we were about to walk into the ice cream store, this guy walked by us with his friend. He was absolutely adorable, totally hot. I watched as he walked away and then I went into the store for a chocolate ice cream cone with sprinkles. After we'd all ordered we walked outside and a second later there he was again, walking past us the other way. I knew it was my chance to do something or I'd never see him again. So I stepped in front of him and said, "Hi, want some of my ice cream?" Looking back I can't even believe I did that (and no, he didn't have any of my ice cream). But he stopped and we talked and we ended up going out on a date and spending the whole summer together. He was about to start as a freshman at Brown and lived outside Providence. We went to Newport to the beaches and had an amazing summer (even if I never did become a fabulous artist). When I left to go back home he came to visit me and I even went up for a few days to visit him before he started college. We had a blast, and that was the end of it. Funny thing is, when I was in college my freshman year some friends and I went to Brown for the weekend and I saw him. He was still adorable. But, much to my heart's dismay, we didn't walk off into the sunset together. Ooh, but that is still a great summer story. Anyone else have a summer love tale to share? PS-Go to Jenny's blog for a chance to win a Local Girls/Rich Boys t-shirt! PPS-Watch the trailer and go to Jenny's website to learn more about the series. Does it look ultra summery, or what?!