What genres do you write?
YA-age category, including rom com, sci fi, and thriller. All my books have an important romance thread!
Coffee or tea lover?
Name one thing on your bucket list.
Appear on a reality tv show, such as Survivor or The Amazing Race
Do you have pets?
Does my six-year old son count? He claims he’s a cat who snuck in through the window in the middle of the night because it was cold outside.
When I wake up every morning I…
Write! My days get so chaotic and busy that if I get a few words in first thing, it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Weirdest or unique thing you own.
I have a cross-country t-shirt from high school — twenty-nine years old — that I still wear. No joke. I did the math the other day and couldn’t believe it hasn’t fallen apart yet!
Do you have any hobbies or particular skills?
I’m not sure if this is a skill, but I’ve written my last eight books entirely on my cell phone. That’s because I have fibromyalgia, and typing on a keyboard creates intense, debilitating pain. I dictated for over a decade, but I discovered with my first smart phone that I was able to tap on the screen — so long as it’s locked in portrait position — without pain. Even landscape position, the keys are too far apart.
What do you hope readers will experience or gain when reading your stories?
I hope that my readers will laugh and swoon and cry while they are reading one of my books. Reading has always been my escape, and it is my dearest wish that my stories will sweep my readers away and bring them pockets of joy in an otherwise stressful world.
What inspired you to write Dating Makes Perfect?
I’ve had so many conversations with other Thai Americans and Asian Americans, whose parents seemed to change their minds in an instant about their children not dating and settling down. One moment, the parents wanted their children to focus on their studies, and the next, all the parents asked about were relationship statuses and grandbabies. That magic moment might happen during college or grad school or a first job, but all these instances were characterized by an abrupt and sudden switch.
I thought it would be fun to turn this phenomenon on its head. What if the parents realized that their stringent rules about dating backfired? What if they had to completely backtrack and require their youngest to date in high school? What if they had no experience dating in America and had to rely on classic rom coms to draw inspiration for the fake dates?
Presto. Dating Makes Perfect was born.
Two or three words that best describe your writing style.
Sweet, funny, heartwarming.
The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.
In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.
In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.
The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.
If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.
Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn
Published by Entangled: Teen on August 18, 2020
Buy on Amazon
Excerpt of Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn
DATING MAKES PERFECT
By Pintip Dunn
Excerpt: The First Kiss
Ah, I love first kisses – both reading about them and writing about them. Winnie and Mat used to be best friends. And then, they were enemies. And then, their parents make them fake date, in order to practice their relationship skills. Here, after a long, slow, and sizzling build-up, Winnie and Mat finally admit their feelings for one another. Enjoy!
“I’m not afraid to shine.” I stop. My thoughts take another lap around the twisty track that is my mind. “I just don’t know how.”
“Be yourself.” He shrugs. “That’s it. That’s all.”
“How?” I look at him, my heart in my throat, and on my sleeve, and in the butter stain on my shirt.
He considers me for a long time. And then he gets to his feet. “Good luck figuring it out. I have to get to class.”
“Wait.” I rush around the table and put my hand on his wrist. He goes perfectly still. And I get an inkling of what it means to be myself. “Could you help me?”
His eyes flash. “Why in the eighth level of hell would I want to do that?”
The words should hurt. They should send me running to a quiet corner, as so many of his cutting comments have done over the years.
But his voice shakes on the last syllable, and that’s when I know. I can see right through the walls he erected to protect himself. I can read the feelings that he’s not voicing.
Most of all, I’ve figured out how to be myself.
I just pray to the pra Buddha cho that I’m right.
“Because you like me,” I say softly.
The wood of the picnic bench bites into my thighs. The grass tickles my ankles, and the sun slants over the courtyard in long, lazy rays. I lift my hand from his wrist and place the pads of my fingers on his bare forearm. Slowly, I skim my fingers up his arm, over the bunched sleeve at his elbow, and onto his shirt-covered biceps. Here, I pause, feeling the solid rock through the waffle-patterned cotton. Holy hotness, this boy has muscles.
My neck is all of a sudden too warm, and I’m light-headed from the sensation underneath my fingers.
Mat clears his throat. “Well, yeah. I mean, we used to be friends a long time ago.”
“You like me more than just a friend, Mat,” I say.
“I do?” His voice is gruff, approaching strangled.
I run my hand over his shoulder, up his neck, and onto his face. He stands there, completely rigid, a bronze statue under the glow of the sun. I can almost believe he’s stopped breathing.
I continue my exploration, tracing his jaw, chasing his warmth. The moment I touch his mouth, however, my world narrows to the single tip of my finger. I rub my index finger gently over his lips. Full, fascinating. I could stay here all day. The entire week.
“Winnie?” My finger moves with his mouth, his hot breath moistening my skin. I stare at his lips, entranced. He could read aloud the entirety of Paradise Lost—what we’re currently studying in English lit—and I wouldn’t get bored. “Why do you think I’m interested in you?”
I swallow hard. This is it. The biggest leap I’ve ever taken. Let’s just hope that if I fall, the pra Buddha cho has conjured up a net to catch me.
I take away my hand. My fingers ache where they’ve been touching him, but I know that this separation is necessary. Hopefully temporary.
“The reason I know,” I whisper, “is because of this.”
And then I wrap my hands around his neck and pull him down, until his lips meet mine.
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