Tuesday, 7 January 2020


Title: How To Speak Boy
Author: Tiana Smith
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Release Date: 7th January 2020

BLURB supplied by Xpresso Book Tours
Two sworn enemies start to fall in love through anonymous notes in How to Speak Boy, a fun and charming YA novel from Tiana Smith.

Quinn and Grayson have been fierce speech and debate rivals for years. They can't stand one another, either in competition or in real life.

But when their AP Government teacher returns their school assignments to the wrong cubbies, they begin exchanging anonymous notes without knowing who the other one is.

Despite their differences, the two come together through their letters and find themselves unknowingly falling for the competition. Before the state tournament, the two of them need to figure out what they want out of life, or risk their own future happiness. After all, what’s the point of speech and debate if you can't say what's in your heart?


Tiana Smith is a copywriter turned novelist who grew up in the Rocky Mountains. When she isn’t writing, she’s chasing after her ninja boy, reading, or binging the Disney Channel. She’d love to be fluent in sign language, but for now she gets by with awkward hand gestures and even more awkward French. She has double degrees in Honors and English from Westminster College but wants to go back to school to be a lion tamer.

Do you listen to music or have something else that you use whilst writing?
I do usually listen to music. Typically it’s something without words, like movie soundtracks or classical music, that way I won’t focus on the lyrics instead of writing.

What or Who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
Honestly, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do as long as I could remember. My parents and teachers were all really supportive of my writing from a young age, which helped me feel like this was something I should pursue. I became more serious about it after my son entered school. My debut novel came out last year.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
Depends on the situation! Generally, I like ebooks best, simply because they’re so convenient. I also really like audiobooks for when I’m at the gym or running errands. I buy a lot of hardbacks though and love that they’re so easy to lend out to friends.

Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so, what was it?
I re-read books all the time! I’m trying to branch out more recently, which means that I haven’t been re-reading as many books as I used to. But there are really too many for me to name.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designs the cover of your book(s)?
As a traditionally published author, I actually don’t get a whole lot of say into my covers. But my publisher did ask me for examples of covers I liked, plus things I was hoping to see. My first cover was designed by Liz Dresner and Emily Osbourne, and the cover for How To Speak Boy was designed by Sophie Erb.

Where did you get your inspiration to write your book?
I was a big speech and debate nerd all through high school (state champ my senior year, woot woot!), and I’ve always wanted to write a book about that experience. I may or may not have had a huge crush on a boy who competed for a rival school. No, I’m not naming names, haha. That was a long time ago. Let’s just say, the fact that we were competitors felt like a deal breaker, despite all our flirting. I thought I’d be fun to explore that competition dynamic in a book. Plus, You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorite movies, so it just made sense to combine those ideas.

Do you have a playlist for this book?
I do! I put it into a YouTube playlist, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/HTSBPlaylist

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover alone?
Yes. I’m a sucker for a good cover!

What is your favourite film based on a book?
Is it cheating to say Harry Potter? Because I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and I love all the movies.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Right now I’m listening to Map of Fates by Maggie Hall on audiobook. I’m also reading Stealing Home by Becky Wallace, in hardcover.

Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
I like dabbling in graphic design and web design. I actually used to run a web design business before becoming a writer full time. But it’s something I still like to do occasionally. I also really like anything to do with music, listening to it, performing it, you name it.

Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I do! I tweeted my book trailer here. I think trailers are a really fun way to promote your book, but they are a lot of work!

Do you have a “Dream cast” in mind for any of your books?

When I first started writing How To Speak Boy, Jordan Fisher immediately came to my mind for Grayson. When my publisher asked me what he looked like so they could design the cover, he’s the actor I pointed out. Quinn would probably be someone like Sabrina Carpenter. (Weird that I picked two people who can sing—maybe that’s part of why I think they’d look cute together!)

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