In conversation with... Helen Hoang

Hi Helen! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Kiss Quotient. Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: The Kiss Quotient is a gender-swapped Pretty Woman, featuring an economist on the autism spectrum and the male escort she hires to help her with relationships.

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing or did it develop before your eyes as the characters grew on the page and did something that you were not expecting?

A: I daydreamed the entire story before I wrote it, so you could say it was outlined beforehand.

What kind of research did you have to carry out for this novel? Which aspect of it did you enjoy the most?

A: I did quite a lot of research on autism spectrum disorder/Asperger’s Syndrome, particularly in women, and I was deeply fascinated by this research as it led to a greater understanding of myself. One aspect that I particularly enjoyed was interacting with other women on the spectrum, people who share similar characteristics and experiences with me.

If this novel could be turned into a film, who would you cast in the roles of Stella and Michael?

A: I honestly don’t know who I’d want to play Stella, but I’ve always imagined Daniel Henney in the role of Michael.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: That first scene at Michael’s mom’s house where Stella failed socially was extremely challenging. I can’t predict when I’m going to horribly offend people (if I could, I wouldn’t do it!), and devising that type situation twisted my brain in a new way. I rewrote the scene at least half a dozen times and needed lots of outside feedback to get it to where it is.

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: Yes, massive parts of the first draft were discarded and/or completely rewritten. It would be easier to pick out the parts that remained the same--Chapter 1.

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: The next book in the series is The Bride Test, and it features Michael’s cousin Khai. He believes he has no feelings and avoids relationships, so his mother takes matters into her own hands and gets him a mail order bride. The book follows these two over the course of a summer of forced proximity.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: I’m generally pretty active on social media. I like connecting with other writers and readers. When I’m on deadline, however, I scale back or go on hiatus, otherwise I’d get nothing done.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Publishing is all about luck, but luck won’t do you any good if you’ve quit. Hang in there, for as long as you can, and then longer still, so when your luck comes, you can grab it.

Thank you for your time!
You can click here to read my review of The Kiss Quotient and to find out how you can find a copy of the book.


  1. I've seen this book everywhere lately. Great review of it :)

    Elle Inked @ Keep on Reading


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