Virginia M. Sanders shares her story of being 30 and never been kissed in her debut novel The Kiss Chronicles. In this novel Virginia takes decisive action by planning to auction off her first kiss for charity. As she attempts to put her plan into action she faces many unexpected glitches that leave you wondering if she will ever have that first kiss.
I had the pleasure to meet Virginia through BlogHer Chatter and now consider her a true blogging friend. She was gracious enough to give me an interview about her thoughts on first kisses, love, and friendship.
One kiss can create a sacred bond between two people and that allows for them to instantaneously connect on a higher level. Was it your hope to save your first kiss for that special someone?
In my case, I wasn’t necessarily saving my first kiss for a special someone. It just, for a lot of reasons, never happened. But at the same time, because it never happened, I started thinking about it and wishing for it harder — and for a much longer time than most. By hoping for it and looking forward to it for so long, I unintentionally gave it a really special meaning in my heart. That’s roughly what sacred means, isn’t it? In a sense, it means having a special place in the heart.
Love comes in many shapes and forms, but eros is the connection of two souls. Do you believe in that connection?
I absolutely believe that two souls can form a special bond.
If you mean soul mates, though, that’s something I’m on the fence about. Also, the term is very fuzzy and can mean different things to different people. Some people think of soul mates as two people who have the two halves of one soul. Others think of them as people with complete souls who are uniquely and perfectly suited together. Whatever the definition is, I do love stories about soul mates, gobble them up fast. They’re fun. Could soul mates exist for real? Maybe. I don’t want to say “never,” because the world is really big and mind-bogglingly mysterious. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy…” and all that. However, soul mate theories aside, the really satisfying love stories to me are when two people form that bond with each other over time, growing together.
In your novel you mention an almost kiss with your good friend Sean. Do you believe men and women can be just friends? Or will there always be an underlying tension with the hope of friendship turning into something more?
Men and women can just be friends. In some cases, it’s complicated with attraction, but sometimes it isn’t. In my friendship with Sean, there was attraction mixed up with our friendship in the past, but I have friendships with other men where attraction never played a role. This debate about whether men and women can be platonic friends has always left me baffled, to be honest.
So many of us in our youth made many unsavory choices and mistakes, but reading your novel you seem to have made many wise choices to keep you on the straight and narrow path. What influences in your life helped to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground?
Oh, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. I think that, overall, my parents have been my biggest influencers for moral grounding. They instilled my faith and gave me two great examples for what it means to be a good person. Also, Aesop’s Fables. Because, really, that fox was a jerk to everyone, and he always got his comeuppance.
You mention the loss of your brother and childhood friend at such early stages of your life. How has that influenced you in being the person who you are today?
It has probably influenced me more profoundly than I can ever really fathom. Probably one of the biggest influences it left me with is a sensitivity to grief. Grief is a complicated, difficult, and messy emotion, and it isn’t necessarily just about when someone dies, though certainly it is that. It’s also about loss in many, many other forms. It can be the loss of an ideal, a friendship, or a romantic relationship. Everyone has grief. If a friend opens up to me about grief and I can help with it, I try to.
Sometimes people let us down and it can be hard to get over such as the case with your friend Amelia. How did you find the grace to let go of the bitterness and forgive?
I worked really hard for that grace and didn’t give up until I got it. Grace is a gift, one that I believe is freely available to everyone. But there’s a big catch: It’s right there, free to all, but it’s still up to the individual to reach out and take it and use it. I held onto a deep anger for months before I could let it go. I had to make a significant personal sacrifice to cut that anger loose, and I felt immense relief as soon as I did. Still, a bit of the bitterness lingered after that, though it wasn’t nearly as bad. Writing the Kiss Chronicles book helped me clear up the rest of those mucky feelings.
It seems like you have had to overcome many obstacles to get Kiss Chronicles off of the ground and raise money for such a worthy charity. Why is there so much red tape?
Why it’s there, I have no idea. All I know is that it’s my job to find the scissors big enough to cut through it!
If you could share a kiss with a famous celebrity and choose anywhere in the world to have it – Who would it be? And where?
You know what? I’d much rather kiss a guy with whom I share a mutual attraction than a celebrity who has no idea who I am. I have my celeb crushes the same as anyone, but I wouldn’t want to kiss a guy if he didn’t have a genuine desire to kiss me.
As for the “where,” I’d love another shot at a kiss in the middle of downtown Indianapolis late in the evening, with the white lights sparkling on the circle around the monument. Wow, sorry, having a girly moment. I think my heart just fluttered.
Giggles! It sounds like a beautiful moment! Much better than my first kiss!
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. It is always a pleasure to connect with you, Virginia.
Thank you, Darcie, so much for reading the book and for giving me this interview!
Are you curious if Virginia has had her first kiss? Download the free e-book at Smashwords to find out! Well it’s free but a suggested donation to charity would be nice too.
Do you remember your first kiss? Was it a magical or awkward moment?