Chloe Brown has a stable but boring life. Triggered by a near-death experience, she decides to change up her life and spice it up a little. She comes up with a to-do list that contains the following:
- Move out
- Enjoy a drunken night out.
- Ride a motorcycle.
- Go camping.
- Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
- Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
- And… do something bad.
Talk about a wild ride!
Get a Life, Chloe Brown doesn’t paint its characters as perfect and their lives flawless. In fact, this story of modern romance births from the protagonist trying to break away from perfection and live a life that’s at best dangerous and at least, exciting. More importantly, its about learning to live on your own terms.
In my interview with author Talia Hibbert about her latest book, she shares some profound insights on the topics of romance, millennial dating, and identity. Enjoy
Get a Life, Chloe Brown is a story of romance but also of finding/redefining oneself and identity, what drew you to this theme?
Romance novels are so intensely personal that you could probably get away with calling ‘identity’ a theme of the genre. In most romances, one or more characters have to truly understand and accept themselves so they can have a relationship, and that journey is one of the things I love most. That’s why I chose to deal with this theme so closely in Get a Life, Chloe Brown.
Usually, when people are told to “get a life” it means getting more grounded but with Chloe Brown, it starts with wanting to be “reckless and adventurous”. Why did you go with this arc?
I think people with disabilities often have to be more grounded and, I don’t know, adult than everyone else. We have to plan more carefully, prioritize ruthlessly, deal with pain and inconvenience and disappointment a lot. It’s possible to go too far and leech all the fun out of your life—or have it taken from you. So I wanted to write a chronically ill heroine fighting against that.
Besides the six things on Chloe’s list, what other tips do you have for a millennial to “get a life”?
Find what you love and make sure you do it! We have so many options these days, and it makes people feel like they have to do everything. You kinda like this, or you sorta like that, and you have the opportunity to consume it or take part in it, so you think you should. But really, it’s better to cut down on the constant onslaught of ‘everything’ and focus on your thing.
Would you say your protagonist represents the modern millennial landscape of dating, love, and life?
When I think of explicitly modern, millennial romance, Alisha Rai’s The Right Swipe and Andie J. Christopher’s Not the Girl You Marry come to mind. I don’t know if Get a Life, Chloe Brown has that kind of feel. Chloe and Red meet because they share a building, and they get together by working on Chloe’s list, all of which feel pretty classic. On the other hand, they are both millennials with millennial attitudes. I think that’s especially clear with Red’s character. The way he heals from his abusive past flies in the face of toxic stereotypes about ‘masculinity’.
As a romance author, how much (if at all) do you let your dating life inform your writing and your stories?
I don’t really have a dating life. I’ve been with the same person since I was eighteen, and I’m not particularly romantic, so we spend a lot of time hanging out at home. Funnily enough, I’ve had people call my romances domestic. My characters tend to take care of each other and cook for each other and fall asleep together. So maybe that’s why!
What do you hope is the take away from this book for your readers?
I hope that Get a Life, Chloe Brown reminds readers of the pleasure to be found in self-care, of the romance to be found in selfless love, and the laughter to be found in dull or even dark moments.