Ali Hazelwood’s latest book Love on the Brain published this week. Ali is the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis, as well as a writer of peer-reviewed articles about brain science, in which no one makes out and the ever after is not always happy. Originally from Italy, she lived in Germany and Japan before moving to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience. She recently became a professor, which absolutely terrifies her. When Ali is not at work, she can be found running, eating cake pops, or watching sci-fi movies with her two feline overlords (and her slightly-less-feline husband).
My 19-year-old daughter is a HUGE fan of Ali Hazelwood and was thrilled to read Love on the Brain early. She devoured it several months ago and loved it even more than she did The Love Hypothesis so I was excited about this opportunity to do a Q & A with Ali about her latest book.
Synopsis of Love on the Brain from the publisher:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new “STEMinist” rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results. Neuroscientist Bee Königswasser lives her life by a simple motto: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the leading role on a neuro-engineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead alongside an engineer who also happens to be her archnemesis. Levi Ward made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school – he hated her, plain and simple. But when Bee is faced with one career dilemma after the next, it seems the tables may be turning. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally… or maybe even something more?
Ali answers some questions that I posed to her about Love on the Brain:
1. Can you share something with me about your book that is not in the blurb?
Cats are heavily featured! You’ll get to meet two of them, and they’re probably my favorite characters.
2. What do you hope your readers take away from your book?
I hope they get a few hours of fun and escapism. The reason I love romance is that I know the happy ending is guaranteed, and that I can get lost in the characters’ story knowing that in the end everything will be all right—and that’s what I’d love for my readers to experience when they pick up my books.
3. Do you have any say in what your book cover looks like?
Yes! My team at Berkley is actually really inclusive when it comes to making a cover. Usually my editor asks if I have any ideas, and once we have a sketch I’m able to say whether there is something I don’t like or want changed. Also, from the very start Berkley was very supportive of me working with Lilith who has been a dear friend ever since our Star Wars fandom days.
4. What was your favorite part and least favorite part of the publishing journey?
My favorite was definitely getting to meet likeminded people who are now really beloved friends. Though this is related to my least favorite, which is the constant crippling anxiety. I think publishing comes with a lot of fear and insecurity: will people like my book, is it a good story, will readers be sad they spent money on it, should I just stop writing and disappear into the forest never to be seen again. But, the good thing is that when I feel this way I can go to many of the friends I made, and often they feel the exact same. So it comes full circle!
5. Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with me?
I’m finishing up edits for my third book, which will come out in summer 2023. It’s a fake-dating story set in physics academia, but it has a twist: instead of ending up with the man she’s fake-dating, the main character ends up with his brother (oops).
6. What are you reading now and what have you read recently that you loved?
I’m currently reading A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera, and I am obsessed with how good and original and fun it is! My last read was Marlow Banks, Redesigned by Jaqueline Firkins, which is the story of a costume designer who finds love with famous actor and truly spoke to my heart—excellent!
Buy Love on the Brain at Bookshop.org.