{Tour} Heather Demetrios #ChooseYou Bad Romance Blog Tour (Author Interview & Relationship Tips!)

Welcome to Swoony Boys Podcast! This is our stop on the #ChooseYou Bad Romance Blog Tour. It’s no secret to anyone that knows us that we are obsessed with all things Heather Demetrios, which means that when our friends over at Macmillan asked us if we wanted to be apart of a tour promoting her latest book we responded with the biggest YES!

Bad Romance is the latest masterpiece by Heather. It follows the relationship of Grace and Gavin. Their story is not your typical YA romance. It’s full of heartbreak and sorrow. It addresses the topic of abuse in a very real, and very important way. It’s not a light and fluffy read, but it’s an amazingly written, hauntingly beautiful, and oh-so-important read that you need to get your hands on as soon as possible.

Today we’ve got an amazing Author Interview (Seriously, guys! This is officially one of our top 3 favorite interviews ever!) plus a few relationship tips to share with you too! You don’t want to miss any of it! Ready to go? Let’s start with the 411…

***About the Book***

{Tour} Heather Demetrios #ChooseYou Bad Romance Blog Tour (Author Interview & Relationship Tips!)Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Also by this author: Blood Passage
Published by Henry Holt and Co., Macmillan on June 13th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Goodreads Buy the Book

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.


Hi, Heather! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. We always love chatting with you and we’re excited for our readers to get to know you and Bad Romance a little better. Let’s get started!

You already know we love everything you write, but we have been on the edge of our seat waiting for this one. Tell us a little about what sparked you to write Bad Romance. Was it easier, more difficult, or about the same to write as your other books?

You guys are the best—it means so much to know when other people care about my books. I don’t have kids, so they’re my babies! ☺ I wrote Bad Romance because I was tired of seeing other girls go through what I went through in high school. I was in a horrible long-term relationship in high school and my husband—who teaches high school in Brooklyn—was telling me that he was seeing all these students of his in similar situations. I knew it was time to speak out and to let these girls know that they deserve better. That’s what the #chooseyou hashtag is all about—choose YOUR happiness, YOUR sanity, YOUR safety. This book was really hard to write – I didn’t want to write it at all, but I knew I had to. So I re-read all my journals from that two and ahalf year relationship and started writing. This one’s very autobiographical, even though a lot’s been altered.

Every book you write just gets better and better (how is that possible?) Which makes us want some insight into how you work! Tell us about your writing environment and a typical writing day.

Man, I am not writing enough right now. I’ll be writing like crazy all summer to meet my deadlines. Ideally, I write for at least three hours a day and get out 2K words. More is always better, but I’m also a creativity and writing coach and that takes up quite a bit of time. I try to write two books a year. I have my own tiny office in my apartment and the walls are this bright, cheerful green color and they’re covered with cork boards. Each board is for a project and has all kinds of inspiring stuff related to the book on it. Sometimes I listen to music, but I usually rock nature sounds. I write full time, so I’m home all day—every now and then it’s nice to get out and write at a café.

We know that everyone will have their own list of favorite scenes in Bad Romance, but we want to hear about yours. Do you have one? (Or maybe more than one?) Were there any scenes that were cut in editing that you wish had made it into the final print?

My favorite scene happens on a school bus that’s driving to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It involves a boy named Gideon who is quite possibly the sweetest, most adorable human being that ever lived. He’s based on a real person that tried really hard to be there for me during my own bad romance in high school. But I fucked it up. So now he’s immortalized in these pages and he gives Grace something she really, really needs. There was a whole part of the book that was cut out when it was originally a memoir that had to do with my church youth group and my youth pastor. I really wanted to get into the mess of being a kid with faith who isn’t supposed to have sex until she’s married, but I just couldn’t make it work once the book became a novel. I’m hoping to get into faith stuff in my next contemporary.

Bad Romance touches on a difficult theme. A topic that others might shy away from. Why was it important for you to put Grace and Gavin’s story out in the world? Especially in the YA world.

It just breaks my heart to think of other girls going through what I went through. I want them to learn from my mistakes and escape some of the heartache and psychological distress that I experienced. I also just want them to know they’re not alone. I wrote this book for teen girls specifically, but I realized as the story came out of me that I was also writing it for myself, and for other women who have been in abusive relationships. It was super cathartic. It’s sad: every single woman I know who has read the book has either been in a messed-up relationship like this, or knows someone who is. 1 in 3 teens are affected by teen dating violence. It’s a serious problem. I’ve got lots of resources, inspiration, and encouragement on the Bad Romance tumblr and I think that will help, too.

Grace is the kind of character that a lot of readers are going to relate to. Her story couldn’t have been an easy one to tell, but it was definitely an important one to put to paper. Where did you draw your inspiration for her from?

Me, myself, and I! Grace is me, except probably a little bit cooler—right down to Rent being her favorite musical. It also takes her a little over a year to get out of her situation, whereas it took me twice as long.

Let’s talk about Gavin. He’s not like any of the other boy’s you’ve written and he’s definitely not the stereotypical “perfect” YA boy. Was it difficult to write him? How did you decide where to take his actions in this story?

For most of the time, writing Gavin made me want to throw up in my mouth—it just brought back waaaaaay too many bad memories. He’s definitely no Patrick Sheldon or Josh or Raif. BUT he’s a sexy enigmatic rocker guy that reads picture books to the girl he loves when she’s sick, so there is quite a bit of swoon potential. I will have utterly failed, though, if you’re rooting for him by the end. In terms of where to take his actions, I started with what happened to me and then spent a lot of time with Grace and Gavin to figure out where their story diverges from mine. There is really only one person—my best friend, Sarah, who would know what actually happened and what is made up. Not even my ex would know because I doubt he’d remember a lot of things that made a big impact on me. And, like any girl, I had my secrets.

We thought it might be fun to play a quick found of This or That with you so everyone can get to know you a little better. Ready? Let’s do this:

  • E-book or Printed Book? Printed! But I do love my Kindle (I never thought I’d say that, but it’s true!)

  • Introvert or Extrovert? Extroverted introvert. I have a theater degree and am pretty used to public speaking, especially as an author, but I need to recharge a LOT on my own.

  • N’SYNC or Backstreet Boys? Man, this question’s tearing up my heart! ☺ N’Sync. I love me some Justin Timberlake.

  • Classic or Current? Classic. I’m all about vintage, snail mail, and Bach. But there are current things that I dig, too (Radiohead! Running Water!)

  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate. I mean, come on.

While we’re getting to know you better, let’s talk about teenage Heather. If you could write a letter to yourself at 17 years old, what would be in that letter?

I would BEG her to break up with her boyfriend and say yes to the cute boy who got her and wanted to be with her and lent her his Radiohead CDs. I would tell her that from my excellent vantage point here in the future, I can say with complete certainty that she is neither fat nor ugly. At all. (I recently found some old high school photos and I couldn’t believe how tiny I was – how sad is it that I thought I was fat all during high school??? I was a size 2!). I would tell her to go to Sadie Hawkins with the hot water polo player, not the tragic drama guy that was going to screw up the next decade of her life. I would remind her that her friends are pretty much always right and to just freaking listen to them when they say she deserves better. I would tell her that she isn’t going to Hell for giving a boy a blowjob and that, actually, she should listen to her gut when her church tells her to believe horrible, hateful things. I would let her know that life is going to get much better and probably teach her how to meditate, so she can deal with all the crap at home that’s going down until she moves out after graduation.

Let’s talk about other author’s books for a second. What’s on your current to be read pile? Are there any upcoming releases that you can’t wait to get your hands on?

I’m obsessed with everything Sarah J. Maas writes, so I’ve got her newest on my TBR and can’t wait for more Throne of Glass goodness. Ibi Zoboi’s American Street is on my list—she’s one of my best writer friends and I can’t wait to dig into that. Dying to read E. Lockhart’s newest and am super lucky because I get a sneak peak at the sequel to Blood and Salt by my girl Kim Liggett (author perks!). Seriously, there are so many books I want to read. I have a TBR bookshelf. It’s actually kind of stressing me out.

You know we can’t let you leave without asking you about swoon. We’ve asked you this question before, but it’s been awhile and we’re dying to know if it’s changed. Tell us what boys are currently on your list of favorites! What makes them list-worthy?

This question is ALWAYS the best. Okay, so I’m super late to the party, but I read Outlander and watched the first season and OH MY GOD JAMIE. Major, major swoons. He’s so sweet and hot and protective – what’s not to like?! The king in The White Queen (I’ve only seen a few episodes) is to-die-for hot and, this is terrible, but I kind of love that he’s a dick. Luckily I’ve stopped falling for that type in real life. Any boy Sarah J. Maas writes is always going to be near or at the top of my list. They’re always sexy and a little bit (or a lot) dangerous. Clever will get you everywhere. I want to see more swoony boys in uniform. I miss hanging out with a hot Marine every day when I was writing I’ll Meet You There. We need more of those. 😉

Thanks so much for stopping by, Heather! You’re the best. Now don’t mind us while we read and re-read your answers over and over…


*Our Top 5 Relationship Tips*

  • 1. Communication Is Key– Nope, it’s not a cure all. But it sure is a ‘cure a lot’. You can’t expect your partner to read your mind. If you do, you’re going to be disappointed… lots. You have to speak up for yourself when you don’t like something that’s going on, but it’s also important to say something when they do something you like! Stop and listen to them and really hear what they are telling you. Be open. Be honest. What happens when you slip and mess up? Admit it and *gasp* TALK ABOUT IT!

  • 2. Remember They Don’t Have To Be Perfect, Just Perfect For You– No joke, you guys. Perfect is boring. Your significant other doesn’t need to be exactly like you in every way. By being with someone with different likes and dislikes it will take you outside of your comfort zone and make for some fun and adventurous times. That’s not to say you can’t be with someone who is just like you, to each their own, right? But what it does mean is that it’s okay for you to have your own likes and things that you do just for you and for them to do the same. Not only is it okay, we think it’s pretty darn important.

  • 3. Don’t Hold A Grudge– You know how you always hear that you shouldn’t go to bed angry? We think that’s so true! It’s not always easy to do, but it will make you both feel better in the long run. When you don’t feel like ending a fight at the end of the day, remind yourself that you can’t take time for granted. You never want to leave things on a bad note when you don’t know what the next day will bring. And remember, once a fight is over. Let it be over. Bringing it back up again later won’t do any good for either one of you!

  • 4. Laugh Every Day– There’s not much that laughter can’t heal. Having a sense of humor is what will get you through happy times and hard times. It can help end an argument, turn around a bad day, and it can make you feel even closer to a loved one. If you can’t share a giggle with the one you love, you might be doing something wrong. Laughter is good for your health- so go ahead and tell a knock-knock joke and make it as cheesy as possible!

  • 5. Treat Each Other Like You Did In The Beginning– Sound strange? It might be, but we all know that the new relationship feeling is a great one. Recapture that by doing your best to always treat your significant other with that same kindness that you felt in the very beginning. Surprise them. Compliment them. Smile at them. Hug them. Most importantly, make an effort to not just love them, but to be kind to them every single day.

  • ***BONUS*** Learn Each Other’s Love Language- It might sound corny, but holy crap is it helpful. You may feel love through physical touch and words of affirmation, but they may be all about gifts, quality time, or acts of service. It’s so important to love them the way they feel love and for them to do the same to you. Remember that communication part at the top? It comes back into play here! Not sue what your love language is? Take this quiz to find out- http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/


***Meet Heather Demetrios***

Author Heather DemetriosWhen she’s not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her other novels include Exquisite Captive, the first in the Dark Caravan Cycle fantasy series, I’ll Meet You There and Bad Romance. She is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for underserved youth.

Find Heather Here:
Website | Twitter | Series Blog | Goodreads


Good luck and happy swooning!

Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour here:







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