Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales is out on March 9, 2021. Pre-order the book here!
By Karis Rogerson
Sophie Gonzales is the author of the YA rom-com Perfect on Paper, as well as several other queer young adult novels.
Perfect on Paper is the story of Darcy, an anonymous romantic advice-giver whose secrets include using her power to tank a budding relationship for her best friend. So when she’s blackmailed by a senior into helping him win back his ex-girlfriend, she really has no choice but to play along.
In light of her book’s impending release, I reached out to Gonzales and we chatted via email about her history writing, the book, and advice for aspiring authors.
Gonzales shared that an author’s visit during her early school years actually inspired her writing journey. This author spoke to the class about starting a story and then prompted everyone to write their own story beginnings and read theirs aloud.
“When I read mine, he told me he could see me in a bookstore one day, and made a big deal out of how talented I was,” she said. “That was the first moment I remember being aware of the idea that I might be good at writing.”
As for why she writes now, Gonzales’s response was simple: “I write because I have no other choice,” she said. “If I didn’t write, I would suffer. If no one read my writing, I would write it for myself.”
People do read her writing—this is Gonzales’ third published book, with a fourth to be released in the fall of 2021, co-written with Cale Dietrich. And Gonzales is excited for this book to publish for a few simple reasons.
“Fan art and fanfiction!” she said. “(I pray!)”
In writing this book, Gonzales was partially inspired by the ways attachment styles, something she already knew a little about as a psychologist, can affect relationships.
“I realized I have an anxious attachment style, and it has been forming the rocky basis for many a romantic relationship throughout my life, and through finding this out, I was able to start recognizing my patterns and changing them,” she said. “I wished I knew about this earlier. This is one of the reasons I decided to include this in Perfect on Paper.”
Gonzales said she has written more than 100 stories, of various lengths, and that she has never before written entirely from the perspective of a girl—something she did in Perfect on Paper, and which proved somewhat challenging.
On the flip side, she said she loved writing a specific scene set at Disneyland.
“I traveled to America in 2019 and made sure to go to Disneyland so I could describe it properly,” she said. “I never have the opportunity to write about places I’ve been!”
For writers who aspire to be published themselves one day, Gonzales advised, “Don’t get too set on one book. Sometimes a premise isn’t right for the market for whatever reason. If you move on, you’ll improve, and you’ll just be giving your future agent/publisher more back catalog to work with.”
Karis Rogerson is an American, Canadian, pseudo-Italian who loudly (but only sometimes fluently) speaks 2.5 languages and is proud to be of the auburn-haired club. As a reader and writer, her childhood heroes included Anne of Green Gables and Jo March (classic), and these days she admires authors like Angie Thomas, Sandhya Menon, and Heidi Heilig, who are changing the world one brilliant story at a time. Find more of her writing on her website, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram for writing updates and pictures of Italy and New York City.