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Meet the Author of HOME ICK, Karen Bischer!

Meet the third of four amazingly talented authors joining the Swoon Reads family, Karen Bischer! We feel head over heels for her banter-y contemporary that transported us back to high school in all the best (and worst!) ways. Don't miss Home Ick!

Where did the idea for Home Ick come from?

The foundation of Home Ick came when I was in 7th grade (seriously!). I had a home economics class and we were sat in groups by alphabetical order. There was an overcrowding situation in my group and our teacher asked for someone to volunteer to move. It was basically decided for me that I had to go because I was the only one not in the popular clique, like the other four kids in the group (womp womp). It wasn't traumatizing for me like it was for Ellie, but it always stuck with me as good plot potential.

Over the years, I was writing other stuff, but little bits for Home Ick always came to me: The main character being forced to join a group of guys, Montague the dog, a confrontation in a snowy parking lot, etc. Then it was like, "Well, if this is going to work, the class has to be overwhelmingly awkward for Ellie, so she's standoffish with the guys right off the bat." I remembered one of the most uncomfortable things I had to deal with with was having to watch an ex date someone else in a close setting, and it was suddenly like, "Bingo: heartbreak! That's why she leaves her first group AND has so much animosity toward the class itself." It all came together after that.

It's nice when old angst can actually come in handy!

Home Ick takes place in what Ellie thinks is going to be an easy class. What was your favorite class in high school—and your least favorite?

I absolutely loved history—all of my teachers made it so interesting and absorbing. I will say, the most-impactful-on-everyday-life classes I took were typing and cooking (which I also pulled inspiration from for Home Ick!), and my present-day self is grateful my school offered them! My least-favorite class was math. Always. Anything outside basic math was a struggle for me.

Who would play your characters in a movie?

Ellie: Isabella Gomez (when One Day At a Time first premiered, I texted a friend and was like, "She's Ellie!")
Luke: Ansel Elgort (with slightly shaggier hair)
Isaiah: Miles Brown (Black-ish)
A.J.: Montana Jordan (Young Sheldon)
Hunter: Milo Manheim (saw him on Dancing With the Stars and was like, "Ah, Hunter!")
Brynn: I'm kind of stumped on this one, but maybe Mackenzie Foy?
Jodie: Peyton Elizabeth Lee (Andi Mack)
Alisha: Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers)
Mrs. Sanchez: Judy Reyes (Scrubs/Claws)

What makes you swoon?

In books/TV/movies, I love a really good slow-burn romance with a sprinkle of "will they or won't they" and a satisfying payoff. In real life, I've always been a sucker for the funny guys. My first TV crushes were Jack Tripper from Three's Company and Mork from Mork and Mindy, so it started super young. Also: Guys wearing navy blue!

Author spotlight

Swoon Reads Staff

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