I Always Will
by Jacqueline Ramsden
Released: November 16, 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Why this book and why now?
I’m pretty sure it was early September with all of the back-to-school happenings. I’d just finished the first draft of my Christmas novella and I was coming out of that and into autumn and school and cosy things settling in, and the idea of two kids who meet on their first day of secondary school, become best friends, lose touch for years, and then find each other again struck me. I was intrigued by what it would look like to meet your first love years later, whether all of the ways you’d each changed could still mean you were perfect for each other, and then throw in the complication of this being the person you’d made a ‘if neither of us is married in twenty years, let’s marry each other’ pact with, and I couldn’t resist finding out what would happen.
What is a significant way your book has changed since either the first draft or the way you thought it would turn out when you first had the inspiration?
After the idea and the first draft of chapter one, I told my girlfriend, Lily, that I was writing something that was fun, fluffy, and low angst. I’d written The Other Side of Leaving earlier in the year and I knew from the get-go that one was going to be angsty, so I went into this one planning to not do that. That resolution did not last long. It wasn’t a conscious decision, the angst just found me! Lily reads as I’m writing and, by the time we were at chapter ten, I was tearing her heart apart and she was looking at me in confusion asking, “This wasn’t supposed to be angsty?!”
What TV show would your main character(s) most likely binge watch and why?
My first thought here is such a niche, 90s British reference! I feel like they’d watch ‘Jonathan Creek’ together, which is about a magician who helps solve impossible crimes. I feel like Hailey would be loudly guessing who did it and how the whole way through, would be completely wrong, and Alexandria would get it right but wouldn’t say anything until the end because she loves hearing Hailey speculate.
For shows that more people might be familiar with, I think Great British Bake Off is required viewing for them given that Hailey’s in food and Alexandria could do with relaxing! And A League of Their Own for obvious sapphic reasons.
What 3 things would your main character want with them if they got stranded away from civilization, and why?
A Discman. A mixed CD Hailey made for her. A pair of earphones.
A huge part of Alexandria’s story is Hailey making mixtapes and CDs for her and the two of them listening to them together, one earphone each. From very early on in their relationship, this is how Hailey expresses her feelings for Alexandria–especially all the ones she’s not ready to actually own up to yet. And, considering how much time the two have spent listening to music together, lost in their own little world, I think they’d be more than happy lost somewhere together, listening to a mixtape.
Publishing a book is a huge accomplishment and it’s time to party! Choose a celebratory beverage for one of your main characters to toast the release of your new book.
Alexandria hasn’t done a lot of partying for some time, I think, so I imagine she’s drinking a black tea (she’s also very me and I LOVE a cuppa!), while Hailey’s ordering a Sex on the Beach and making suggestive comments at her the entire time. Waggling eyebrows included, of course.
What song does your character put on to start your book launch party?
“I Know a Place” by MUNA. Overall, I think it’s a banger and I can absolutely imagine Hailey loving it. I also think the message of the song is super relevant to the story in I Always Will. Hailey struggles with her family and Alexandria becomes a safe place for her to go. They each become the other’s sanctuary, and they find a whole collection of places and spaces that are just for the two of them, physical and otherwise, so I think it really suits them.