Exclusive Interview: Casey Griffin Talks Gaming, Chemistry, and PLAYING HER SECRET CRUSH

Summer is the perfect time to dive into some lighthearted romantic comedies and author Casey Griffin has just the book to suit your needs!

Playing Her Secret Crush follows Katie, a gamer girl who’s used to not getting her way, especially when it comes to her crush on longtime friend, Alex. There’s a chemistry between them– They laugh together, share advice, and play their favorite game together constantly. But something alway holds them back. When Alex asks Katie to help him find a serious girlfriend, things start to get REALLY awkward.

Thanks to Entangled Teen, we asked Casey Griffin some questions about best friend relationships, writing, and of course, gaming! Check it out!

When did you first develop your ideas for PLAYING HER SECRET CRUSH?

I always have ideas percolating in the back of my mind between books, so I guess this has been brewing for a couple of years. I thought it would be fun to have a book that partially plays out in the gaming world, because to gamers, sometimes that is their reality. I suppose the inspiration came from many years of playing video games, and my nephew is really into the online gaming scene.

What’s your favorite part about Katie and Alex’s chemistry?

I love how they’re best friends and know everything about the other person, but they don’t know each other that way. It’s like they understand each other better than they do themselves, and yet, there’s this huge, unexplored territory—the romantic connection between the two of them. Opening that can of worms takes a relationship that’s solid and comfortable and flips it upside down.

While PLAYING HER SECRET CRUSH is a romantic comedy, there’s also a serious element as Alex is still reeling from his brother’s death. How does this shape his character and his relationship with Katie?

While the death of Alex’s brother happens long before the story takes place, the lingering pain plays a huge part in the story. Alex still has unresolved feelings about it, and he allows it to take over and control his life—not to mention his feelings for Katie. It plays a big role in keeping them apart.

At any point in your life, did you ever fall for your best guy friend?

There have been times when I’ve considered it, because who would be better suited for you than your best friend, right? There’s a reason they’re your bestie, after all. But there was always that age-old doubt standing in the way: if you go for it, would it ruin your friendship?

Katie and Alex bond over video games. What are some of your favorites and how did you decide which video games to include in the book?

Haha, I poke a little fun at The Legend of Zelda in the book for being everyone’s typical go-to, but it’s definitely mine. It was the first game I remember playing. When I was young, I’d watch my big sister play for hours, and then she’d hand me the controller and I’d instantly die. Even now, I’m anxious for a bit of spare time to continue playing Breath of the Wild (and seriously, why has no one been hired to write a book based on these characters? Just putting it out there, people).

When it comes to the actual game played in the book, though, I chose to create my own. I didn’t want to use a real game in case it pulled fans out of the story if they disagreed with something or I messed up on some detail. I’m a fangirl, so I totally understand what it’s like when something you love isn’t represented how you feel it should be. Instead, I wanted it to be something new that the characters love and that didn’t distract from the story.

What are some of your favorite friends-to-more-than-friends stories in books, film, or TV?

I just watched Set It Up, so I’m kind of crushing hard on that right now. It was a pleasant surprise. But some of my other faves off the top of my head are: What If, Friends with Benefits, When We First Met—because Adam DeVine is hilarious—and What’s Your Number?

What’s your writing process like?

Sporadic and totally nonsensical. I have a weird day job schedule of ten days off and ten days at work (13 hour days), so I write whenever I can. That might mean writing on a plane, a bus, in a lunch shack, or in the middle of the night when my family is sleeping.

Playing Her Secret Crush is out July 2, 2018. You can preorder it now via Amazon!

All her life, Katie has been chosen last for everything: the last picked on the playground, the last picked by her absent father, and definitely the last picked by boys—even her secret crush, Alex, friend-zoned her. This senior year, Katie is determined to come first.

But then Alex asks her to help him find a date?!

Alex has been living life in the fast lane, but he’s ready to slow down—with a girlfriend. The last person on earth he’d consider? The girl his brother developed serious feelings for before he died: Katie. The only way Alex is going to get over Katie is by falling for someone new. And who better to help him find his new crush than the girl he can’t stop thinking about?

What can possibly go wrong?

About Author

Kait is a New Englander, a YA book and adaptation lover, and a Slythindor, as well as a red velvet and red wine enthusiast. She likes to like things. Catch her on Twitter: @kaitmary

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