In the 90s …
texting involved paper and a pen …
… our selfies were Polaroids …
… our favorite music was on mix tapes.
Sex was dangerous, music was raw, and falling in love felt nostalgic.
We were friends and lovers.
We thought we knew everything.
We knew nothing.
We were here.
Set in the early 1990s, a time before the internet, social media, and smart phones, We Were Here is the prequel to Geoducks Are For Lovers. This book can be read as a standalone.
“This story has it all! Just like a mixed tape; we get a dose of steamy romance, angsty ballads and sweet love songs woven together in a compelling, heartwarming and sometimes heartwrenching journey of self-exploration.” Helena Hunting, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Links to purchase We Were Here
That’s What (Mostly) She Said
Exclusive Author Interview with Daisy Prescott
BFF K: This entire book brings back college memories for me. It is so much fun to immerse myself in the 90’s again! What was the most fun part of writing a book set in that era? What was the most challenging part?
DP: Most fun was reliving my college memories, as well as SO and readers sharing their own memories from the 90s as I was writing. I’m not saying several events in the book happened in real life, but I am saying details were changed to protect the guilty. The pop culture and music references were tons of fun to write and revisit.
The most challenging part was returning to a time where communication and keeping in touch were more complicated. We take being constantly connected for granted these days. Communication, or the lack of, is a big theme of We Were Here.
BFF K: Why did you decide to revisit the gang?
DP: After I published Geoducks in 2013, I still had these characters in my head. Because Geoducks is a reunion book, writing the beginning made sense. New Adult/college romance has been a popular trend and I wanted to put my own spin on a NA book. There is so much nostalgia right now for the 90s, the timing was perfect to write these characters’ backstory.
BFF K: Because of the way the books have released, most of us have come to love you through Geoducks Are for Lovers. If someone is new to the Modern Love Stories Series, would you recommend reading Geoducks Are for Lovers first and then We Were Here or switch it around now that both are released?
DP: I think you can read them in either order. Several of my beta readers had not read Geoducks because I wanted to know if WWH could stand on its own without knowing the future versions of the characters. When my betas loved WWH, I knew it could work either way.
I’d say if you are the type of reader to peek at the ending, read Geoducks first. Otherwise, read We Were Here first. I think readers will want to read the other book either way.
BFF K: Evergreen State College is a real place! How are you so familiar with the college? How did it come to be the birthplace of the Modern Love Stories Series? What are the similarities between Evergreen in real life and Evergreen in WWH?
DP: I have friends and family who attended Evergeen. It’s an amazing, creative, non-traditional college. Geoducks Are for Lovers was my working title and originally I had the characters attending a fictional college in the Pacific Northwest. SO reminded me that Evergreen’s mascot was the geoduck (Go Speedy!), so Evergreen made perfect sense and gave another layer of meaning to the weird title.
Things I kept the same: I generalized Evergreen to make the college experience more universal for readers. However, the campus references are all real places at Evergreen. Culturally, Olympia and Evergreen were at the center of the grunge and Riot Grrrls music movements. I couldn’t write a book set at Evergreen in the early 90s and not mention these things. That “three piece with some Zen Buddhist name” Ben mentions? Nirvana, who played on campus and around Olympia at the time.
There are are a lot of small details that I fictionalized for the story. Specific differences include: the grading system (Evergreen doesn’t give grades), class types, and living situations (most students live off campus after first year or in on-campus apartments).
BFF K: How did this wonderful cast of characters develop in your head? Was it one character first and then the others or did you start with the idea for the group first and then develop each of the characters?
DP: My original inspiration came from watching The Big Chill. A few weeks later while I was talking with a group of friends planning to attend their 20th college reunion, I wonder what a Gen X version of that movie would be like. I started with Maggie and I knew there would be a second chance love story for her. Then the characters began to take on their personalities and histories. When I decided to set it at a beach cabin, I knew it would have to be on Whidbey, my former home and one of my favorite places on the planet.
BFF K: There is not much in the book about the families’ of the gang. (I think that’s two-fold: they are each other’s family and it is so descriptive of the 80’s and 90’s latchkey kids.) But, in your head, do you envision a family-centered backstory for any of the characters? What is Quinn’s family like, how about Maggie’s?
DP: It was deliberate. In college, we break away from our biological families and build independent friendships and romantic relationships which take priority. That’s a big focus of We Were Here.
During the road trip, the characters share bits about their families when they talk about names. There are a few other details scattered throughout the book and also in Geoducks.
We get a glimpse of Quinn’s family life in his intro. In high school, he ran away for a few weeks and “camped” on the beach. In my head, that’s when he came out to his family. He’s the gay, artistic son of a retired Marine, so we can fill in some things about their relationship from those details.
Maggie’s family life is revealed in the beginning of Geoducks, so I didn’t want to repeat it too much. An only child, her parents are married, she’s close with her grandmother on Whidbey… in many ways, she’s blessed with a close family.
BFF K: Have you ever spent Halloween in the Castro District?
DP: I have indeed! I went to college in the Bay Area. I think I went to the Castro for at least three Halloweens. Castro hosted the best street parties ever!
BFF K: Will we get Quinn’s story? (Please! I love him so much I just want a whole book of Q!)
DP: I love Quinn! However, I don’t think he’ll get his own book. But… see the next question. (cough)
Quinn is happy in Geoducks. We get small future glimpses of his life in Ready to Fall, Missionary Position, as well as the short, Give and Take. He likes to show up in other people’s books. (cough)
BFF K: In this book, Lizzy broke my heart. I LOVE her so much. What was Lizzy’s story between the end of We Were Here and her death? She received a post card from England, but wouldn’t tell Q who it was from or any details. Did she ever reconnect with **Spoiler Free**? What was Lizzy’s life like? Were the friends with her when she passed?
DP: I love Lizzy, too! I can’t answer these questions because …
Lizzy is getting her own book!
I dropped this as an Easter Egg in WWH’s end matter. Happily Ever Now is Lizzy’s story. It begins about five years after college while she’s living in NYC. We’ll see lots of Quinn, some Maggie and other cameos!
Tentative release date is Winter 2017, but if I can get it out quicker, I will. I’ve had this book outlined since it popped into my head while driving last year. I needed to publish We Were Here first to introduce Lizzy. Now that you’ve met her, I promise you’re going to LOVE her book, especially if you like second chance love stories. Ahem.
BFF K: Which Modern Love Stories Series character is your favorite to write?
DP: I love writing Quinn. He’s so fun, but also cuts through the noise with emotional truth like no other. I love his flirty, clever, confident personality, and his big heart. Selah is a close second. Ben surprised me. His section of We Were Here is one of my favorites. I love Maggie, but I’m still mad at her for some of her behavior in Geoducks. I know it sounds crazy, but she wouldn’t do what I wanted. At all. I think she gets her stubbornness from me. I love writing all of them! I think that’s how this book ended up being SEVEN POVs.
(Note from Daisy: I decided to ask SO these questions instead. These are his answers, with my commentary.)
(Note from BFF K: SO is her husband!)
Backstreet Boys or New Kids On The Block: No comment.
Teen Line or No Teen Line: Teen Spirit?
River Phoenix or JFK Jr: River Phoenix
Singles or Reality Bites: Singles
Chore Wheel or Every Man for Himself: Every man for himself (obviously-D.P.)
Study Abroad or Stay at Home: Study Abroad
Nirvana or Pearl Jam: Never live in a world where you have to chose.
Flannel or Rugby: Flannel if it’s more “formal”.
Hairstyle, Scrunchie or Crimped: Scrunchie
(sidenote: SO had long hair in the early 90s. See Singles answer above.)
Spinal Tap or Rocky Horror Picture Show: Spinal Tap
Beaches or Steele Magnolias: Steel Magnolias (side note: he answered without hesitating.)
Mix Tape, Better to: Give or Receive: Better to be both a giver and a receiver. 😉
(winky emoticon added by Daisy)
THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME ON THE BLOG TODAY!
I’m grateful to Daisy for answering my most burning questions about We Were Here and for simply being amazing! I <3 you more than Quinn loves snappy Dolly Parton quotes! <3 😘
Daisy’s We Were Here Playlist on Spotify
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling Author Daisy Prescott writes romantic comedies with heart.
Her Modern Love Stories feature characters in their thirties and forties finding and rediscovering love in unexpected and humorous ways. Her Wingmen books star regular guys who often have beards, drive trucks, and love deeply once they fall.
Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband and an imaginary house goat. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.
To learn more about Daisy and her writing, sign up for her mailing list here
Send her an email at: email@example.com