Bridget Morrissey: On Taking the Leap from YA to Adult Fiction

Author Bridget Morrissey explains the differences in her process for writing her first adult debut, Love Scenes, compared to her YA novels, what she wanted to explore in adult fiction, and more!
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Bridget Morrissey lives in Los Angeles, Calif., but hails from Oak Forest, Ill. When she’s not writing, she can be found coaching gymnastics or headlining concerts in her living room. This is her adult debut.

Bridget Morrissey

Bridget Morrissey

In this post, Morrissey explains the differences in her process for writing her first adult debut, Love Scenes, compared to her YA novels, what she wanted to explore in adult fiction, and much more!

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Name: Bridget Morrissey
Literary agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary
Book title: Love Scenes
Publisher: Berkley
Release date: June 22nd, 2021
Genre: Romance
Elevator pitch for the book: An out-of-work actress gets roped into taking a producing job on her famous family’s latest movie, a romantic war drama starring her least favorite former costar of all time.
Previous titles by the author: What You Left Me (Sourcebooks Fire 2018) and When The Light Went Out (Sourcebooks Fire 2019)

Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey

Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey

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What prompted you to write this book?

One of the most pivotal moments in Love Scenes came to me in a dream. I woke up obsessing over the idea of two actors with a complicated past starring in a romantic drama together. As I fleshed the idea out further, I pulled in elements I love to write about, namely large, messy groups of people. In this case, it’s a Hollywood family full of witty, guarded, creative types, all working on the same movie. I also wanted to examine forgiveness. What does it take to move forward with someone who has hurt you in the past?

(The ABCs of Story: Plots, Subplots, and Sub-Subplots)

How long did it take to go from idea to publication?

This was definitely my fastest book! I came up with the idea for Love Scenes in April of 2019. Had a finished draft by August. Did a round of notes with my agent. Went on submission in October. Sold to Berkley in January of 2020. The core idea for this book never wavered, but I definitely tested out many different beginnings. In the published version, we open on the first day of filming the movie within the book. In earlier drafts, we met the main character, Sloane, a few months before that. There were a few different iterations of this, but ultimately, we wanted to tighten the timeline and make the movie aspect the central location, which was absolutely the correct move. Sometimes you have to start a novel wrong to get it right!

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is to be ready for absolutely anything! Titles change. Covers change. But the words inside the book will always be my own. It’s really helped me to just buckle in and embrace the twists and turns. I’ve ended up with a book I am really proud of, and that’s a great place to be.

(10 Authors Share Their Biggest Surprise in the Publishing Process)

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

I am such a huge romance fan. For some reason, it never before occurred to me that it was a world I could inhabit as a writer. Giving myself permission to create a romance of my own completely changed the game for me. And the biggest surprise was how much I absolutely loved writing it. My YA novels are much heavier fare. They are wonderfully weird and sad, and I adore them. But they were intense to write. I had so much fun working on Love Scenes. That was a breath of fresh air.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

Love Scenes is about messy, big-hearted people making messy, big-hearted mistakes. They do not get everything right. But they’re trying their hardest to figure out how to love each other as best they can. I hope that resonates with readers and they put the book down remembering that we are allowed to ask for better from the people we are closest to in life. We can also ask for better from ourselves! Amazing things happen when we let our relationships evolve. That’s ultimately the heartbeat of this story. Giving yourself permission to forgive and to grow.

Bridget Morrissey: On Taking the Leap from YA to Adult Fiction

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

Write what fills the well inside of you. Not everything has to be about publication! Some things can just be for fun. Or just for you. Because if you want to see your novel on a bookshelf, you are creating a story you will live inside for years. After it’s out, you will carry those characters with you for the rest of your life. Be tender with your heart here! Who do you want in your back pocket forever?

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