Call It What You Want is my tenth published novel, but it’s the very first time I’ve written about a relationship between two sisters. I can’t believe it took me so long to write a sisterly relationship, but it’s not too surprising, because I’m constantly surrounded by men and boys. I only had a brother when I was growing up. When I worked in finance, I worked on a team with four men. I have four boys in the house, plus my husband. Boys—and brothers—are everywhere, but sisters are more rare.
I was so excited to be able to give Maegan a sister in Samantha, because their relationship is simultaneously close yet fractured, as the girls struggle to find common ground despite all their differences. I loved that Maegan, my protagonist, was a little more reserved, because she felt like she’d grown up in the shadow of Samantha, who was outgoing and sarcastic and beautiful. It gave Maegan a chance to discover her own strengths of honesty and loyalty and intelligence, which might not have been the same as her sister’s, but they were definitely all powerful in their own right. I wanted to show that all styles of femininity have value and worth, whether we’re quiet or loud or shy or outgoing or gentle or aggressive.
One of my favorite moments in the book (which I won’t spoil), is when Maegan is finally the one to stand up and be strong because her sister can’t do it. We all have moments where we finally have to cast fear aside and do what needs to be done, and I was cheering for Maegan when she found hers.