posted on July 2, 2013 by J. K. Rock

Welcome to Summer Camp

tentsonlyI’m so excited to be back at Writerspace today to celebrate the release of my Young Adult debut, CAMP BOYFRIEND. This is a project I penned with my super sister-in-law, Karen, and we took a joint pen name as J.K. Rock, which is pretty darn close to each of our real names anyhow.

If you haven’t read a Young Adult book lately, I can tell you that it’s fun to put yourself back in those teenage shoes again. We’ve all been there—those months and years of your life when you feel like NO ONE gets it.  The teen experience feels so isolating, yet looking back, we can see how balluniversal the feeling of isolation really was. Prom queen or chess champ—each of us felt misunderstood for some reason or another. That’s what makes YA fiction so relatable no matter how old you are when you read it. Pick up a YA, and I guarantee you will relate!

Anyway, I’m really drawn to YA fiction and was excited to work with Karen on a book. When we tossed around ideas for plots and settings, I really wanted to do a “summer” story. As a teen, summer is a time of great change. You go on vacations or take summer jobs and get out of the ordinary routine. Summer can take us away from our everyday peer groups and teach us something. In debating possible summer ideas, someone mentioned “camp.” Then someone mentioned boys and summer relationships. Then- and I distinctly remember this someone was Karen- the name “Camp Boyfriend” came up.

bugjuiceImmediately, we wanted to write that story. When we shared the idea for the book, or even just the title with friends, people would smile and say… “I had a camp boyfriend.” Or at very least, they would say that summer camp sounded fun. It’s a world we really wanted to bring alive.

For those of you who’ve never been, summer camp for teens involves new friends and new friend drama. There are hikes and volleyball tournaments, campfire songs and marshmallows. There is bug juice and gorp, s’mores and breakfast cereal in tiny boxes you can turn into a bowl (though we don’t recommend it). Summer camp means friendship bracelets and matching t-shirts, cut-offs and mosquito bites. But most of all, summer camp changes you.

blogtourTime is more intense at camp. Friendships are made quickly when you’re hauling a buddy through the water for a water rescue drill or if you have to rely on others to catch you on a challenging ropes course. Long days spent together forces the need for good conflict resolution. It’s tough to hold a grudge when you share a set of bunks. Camp is about trust and friendship and fun. And sometimes… when you’re a teen… it means romance.

jkrockWe hope you’ll give Camp Boyfriend a try this summer and enjoy a trip back to those teenage years that are drama filled and so memorable. We’d like to invite you on the Camping Out Blog Tour where you can win lots of prizes (see here for stops and dates) and we encourage you to check out some of the amazing prize packages we have available on contests going on at Pinterest (Camp Crushes Countdown – re-pin your favorite guy) and Tumblr (reblog the contest to win). Happy Camping!

Website / J’s Twitter / K’s Twitter / Facebook / Barnes & Noble / Amazon / Goodreads




J. K. Rock

J. K. Rock

Writing partners Joanne and Karen Rock pen Young Adult books as a team in addition to solo careers as adult romance writers (learn more below). Married into the same big, boisterous clan, Joanne and Karen quickly bonded over a shared love of books. After a decade of replotting their favorite films during family parties, they decided to write a book of their own. They sold their first attempt a year later, and look forward to the release of their debut, Camp Boyfriend. Now the launch book of both a camp series and the Spencer Hill Contemporary imprint for Spencer Hill Press, Camp Boyfriend has already been noted as a story to watch in 2013. Joanne and Karen are busy plotting new camp stories and look forward to meeting readers this summer. With any luck, they’ll be visiting a summer camp near YOU!

Meet Joanne...
Joanne Rock writes both contemporary and historical romance for Harlequin. Her next Harlequin Blaze, My Double Life, is a May 2013 release. Prior to writing, she received a Masters in English literature from the University of Louisville in KY. Her love of reading made her want to be a writer from an early age. To this date, Black Beauty and her collection of Nancy Drew books have a place of honor on her keeper shelves, and she is as likely to re-read Wuthering Heights on any given weekend as she is to download something new. When she’s not reading, writing or gabbing with friends about one of the former topics, Joanne is usually at a sports field cheering on one of her three sons in athletic endeavors too numerous to mention.

Learn more about Joanne by visiting her at:
Joanne’s website
Joanne’s Facebook page
Joanne’s Twitter

Meet Karen...
In a quest to provide her eighth grade students with quality reading material, middle school teacher Karen Rock read everything out there and couldn’t wait to add her voice to the genre. Now an author for Harlequin’s Heartwarming line, Karen is thrilled to pen stories that moms can share with their teenage daughters. Look for Wish Me Tomorrow, her debut adult romance, in September 2013. As half of the writing duo J.K. Rock, Karen also pens young adult romance. When she’s not busy writing, Karen enjoys scouring estate sales for vintage books, reinventing her gardens to suit her moods and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter and two King Cavalier spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch.”

Learn more about Karen at:
Karen’s website
Karen’s Facebook page
Karen’s Twitter

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