“Cami Wimberley has a plan, and that plan includes no room for boys—especially the big time party animal, Hunter Wilder, no matter how handsome and charismatic he is. She’s beautiful, a senior, extremely talented, gets good grades, and is working her way toward her dream college to be a musical theater major. Everything is perfect. Hunter Wilder does not want a girlfriend—that would complicate his life way too much right now. He especially doesn’t want this girl, Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes, so how come he can’t keep his eyes off her? He tries to keep her at arms length, but fate seems to keep pushing them together. Before long, it’s obvious to everyone they’re crushing on each other. As sparks begin to fly, Hunter finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into hot water. Soon he’s scrambling to keep Cami from discovering his dark secret—one that can destroy their entire relationship.”
-Official “Crush” synopsis
Lacey Weatherford is the bestselling author of the Of Witches and Warlocks series, “Chasing Nikki”, “A Midsummer Night’s Fling Anthology” and “Crush”. Her most recent novel “Crush” was released October 20th! You can purchase “Crush” here. Read our interview with Lacey below. You can also view our interview with Lacey about her novel “Chasing Nikki” here.
Who was your first crush?
“Brad Brewer, who was my neighbor when I was in grade school. I liked him clear into High School. He moved away during our sophomore year to another state. His family came back for a visit one summer. He came over for dinner and we went on a date, which basically consisted of us walking around town holding hands and visiting for the rest of the night. I got to see him again recently when his brother got married and he still looks great, and his wife and kids are adorable!”
How did you come up with the concept for “Crush”?
“Crush was one of those story lines that just popped up one day while I was working on some images in Photoshop. It tore through my head like a wild stampede and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I put it on the back burner for next year, but it didn’t want to wait that long. I ended up cancelling another book I had planned and I moved Crush up into that spot. I wrote the majority of the story in three days. It was insane how fast it poured out. I really loved writing it.”
Are any of these characters based off real people?
“Cami is very much based on attributes from my oldest daughter. My daughter is a brunette, but she is very beautiful, musically gifted, and her dream is to one day be cast in Phantom of the Opera. She has actually been invited to come audition for the play after she met and sang for one of the Phantom’s in the Las Vegas show.
Hunter’s “uncle” is named/styled after my cousin, Chris Napier, who recently passed away at the age of 24. I asked his mom if I could use his likeness in the book as a tribute to him, and a way to keep him alive in my mind.”
Do you believe in ghosts?
“Not in the scary, horror-movie, traditional sense. I do believe in spirits, though, as many people in my family have said they’ve seen loved ones who’ve already passed on.”
You told “Crush” from both Cami and Hunter’s perspective. Which was easier to write for you?
“Both were equally easy for me, but I think writing Chasing Nikki from Chase’s point of view kind of opened things up for me male perspective wise. I seem to easily slip into the heads of my male characters these days. This was the first whole book I did switching back and forth though. I’d read other books that way, and I didn’t like it. When authors would back track and repeat the same things from two perspectives that was annoying to me. So I figured I would try not to do that, because it really was a story that needed to be told from both points of view to paint a clearer picture.”
Cami and Hunter are not your typical names. How did you come up with them?
“Cami’s name was spawned off my daughter’s, Kamery. The last name, Wimberley, was chosen off an alphabetical list to be close to Wilder, since they were seated next to each other in class. Hunter Wilder was the name that immediately popped into my head for this character, because it fit his actions.”
Did you always know what Hunter’s secret was or did you have a couple options it could be?
“I always knew. His secret came from something based on reality that happened during my teen years. Sorry I can’t elaborate more due to the plot spoiler.”
What was your favorite scene from “Crush” to write?
“I don’t know if I have one. I loved writing this whole book. I honestly sat at my computer with the music cranked up loud, grinning like a silly kid while I madly typed away!”
Does the cover do a good job of depicting how you perceived Hunter?
“I found the picture first and wrote the character off the image, so yes; he is exactly Hunter in my eyes.”
Is Phantom of the Opera your favorite musical?
“Phantom is my favorite musical. I’ve seen it live seven times, as well as doing back stage tours, the movie—I can’t even count, and I own the anniversary additions of the stage play as well. Ironically, I hate the classic novel. LOL I don’t know how such a beautiful play was written off of it, but I’m glad it was. Kudos to Andrew Lloyd Webber for such a fantastic vision and moving music!”
Both “Chasing Nikki” and “Crush” deal with drugs and death. Is there a specific reason you wanted to include those topics in your YA books?
“Not a specific reason, other than they worked well for the stories and I like to have things that bring a sense of reality to the books. I love writing fiction, but I also think it’s good to show realism with certain issues. Many people often struggle with problems, and while I’m certainly not any kind of therapist, I hope my stories can bring some sort of comfort and encouragement to anyone who might be experiencing that. Life isn’t always easy, and it definitely isn’t cut and dry. I like to believe that people are always inherently “good.” Sometimes they might get caught up in “bad” things, but there is a story behind each person and the reason they may, or may not, do what they do. Instead of judging someone for doing things differently than we would, perhaps we should offer a hand of friendship instead. Not only might we help the struggling person, but they may teach us a few things too. I think of the relationships in these books that would’ve been missed had the girls listened to the rumor mill or only dated those who others felt were appropriate for them. So using drugs and death helped to facilitate in showcasing that.”
Who do you think is the bigger romantic Chase or Hunter?
“As far as the book characters go, I’m thinking maybe Hunter. Hmmm, I don’t know now. I think of things Chase did too and I’m second guessing myself. I’m going to help myself out and make it a tie! How’s that? Ha, ha! I think they both are motivated by a strong romantic desire, and when it comes to pleasing their girls nothing is too big or small. They both have a lot of love to give!”