The Climb was originally inspired by a chapter that never made it into my memoir Things Nobody Knows But Me, about my high school puppy love. Our relationship was a slow burn and our timing timing was always slightly off and he was always slightly immature and not ready for me, but he was the first boy who told me he loved me, who showed it, and with whom I shared my first romantic kiss of passion.
By creating Noah and Zephyra I had the opportunity to put things to write and tell a story about two friends and their romantic misadventures as they try and work out whether they should be more than friends. By writing in an alternating point of view I could play with my favourite romantic tropes of slow burn romance and friends to lovers.
The Climb references the physical climb of their bike marathon as well as Noah and Zephyra’s emotional climb as they traverse new territory of being more than friends and try and hit the right timing where they are both interested in each other at the same time.
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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