Tuesday, May 15, 2018

2 Christa Desir, author of FOUR-LETTER WORD, on taking 19 years to complete a novel

We're thrilled to have Christa Desir stop by to chat about her latest novel, FOUR-LETTER WORD. 

Christa, how long did you work on FOUR-LETTER WORD?

This book took me 19 years to complete! Yes, 19 years! Most of my readers weren’t even born yet when I started! For me, it was a timing issue. I kept coming back to this idea and then putting it aside again. It was a story I felt like I had to write but I needed the right moment and the right frame of mind. This story has been on my mind for so long and now I finally have it out in the world!

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The sex scene. Surprisingly. I wanted it to be authentic so that meant I had to take my time while writing it. It was important that everything flowed and that the scene matched the tone of the story. I hope I achieved that. If anything, I feel like it’s honest and awkward, which was what teenage sex was for me:)

What’s with the nail biting in your MC?

I have a horrible nail bitting habit. While writing my main character I felt that she and I share that disgusting (and pretty embarrassing) habit. I made hers much worse than mine but I felt it helped to make her character stand out.


Four-Letter Word
by Christa Desir
Simon Pulse
Released 5/15/2018

Eight friends. One game. A dozen regrets. And a night that will ruin them all, in this high stakes gripping story of manipulation and innocence lost, from the author of Bleed Like Me.

Chloe Sanders is ready for a change. She’s tired of watching her best friend Eve turn away from her for the more interesting and popular Holly Reed, and tired of living with her grandparents while her parents volunteer overseas. Chloe spends her days crushing on a guy named Mateo, being mostly ignored by Eve and Holly, and wishing the cornfields of Iowa didn’t feel so incredibly lonely.

Then a new girl transfers to her high school—Chloe Donnelly. This Chloe is bold and arty and instantly placed on a pedestal by Eve and Holly. Now suddenly everyone is referring to Chloe Sanders as “Other Chloe” and she figures the only thing to do is go with it.

Chloe Donnelly introduces all her friends to a dangerous game: a girls vs. guys challenge that only has one rule—obtain information by any means necessary. Chloe Donnelly’s got power over everyone—secrets she’s exploiting—and she uses it to keep them all playing. When the game turns nasty, soft-spoken Mateo chooses Other Chloe to help him expose everything Chloe Donnelly has done. But neither realize just how much the truth could cost them in the end.

Purchase Four-Letter Word at Amazon
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View Four-Letter Word on Goodreads


Christa Desir writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her novels include FAULT LINE, BLEED LIKE ME, OTHER BROKEN THINGS, LOVE BLIND, and the forthcoming FOUR-LETTER WORD. She lives with her husband, three children, and overly enthusiastic dog outside of Chicago. She has been working as a rape victim activist for nearly twenty years, both in hospital ERs as an advocate and as a public speaker. She is a founding member of the Voices and Faces Project, a nonprofit organization for rape survivors that conducts an international survivor-based testimonial writing workshop, including working with incarcerated teens. She also works as an editor and part-time bookseller at an independent bookstore. editor website: www.editorchrista.com, author website: www.christadesir.com


Have you had a chance to read FOUR-LETTER WORD yet? Do you have a story idea that you keep coming back to but haven't written yet? Have you given your main character any of your bad habits? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Charlotte, Anisaa, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann


  1. 19 years! That is both mind-boggling and encouraging. I haven't read this book yet, but I intend to. Thanks for the interesting post.

    1. That's what I thought too - and I'm inspired to keep going with my novels.


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