Jenny Han, bestselling author of the “To All the Boys” trilogy, recently revealed that Taylor Swift’s music has had an impact on her novels.
The author mentioned Swift during a “CBS Mornings” interview on Monday, where she discussed her experience being a co-showrunner for “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” a new Amazon Prime series based on Han’s trilogy of the same name.Han helped pick songs for the show’s soundtrack, which includes tracks from artists such as Swift, Cardi B and Olivia Rodrigo.
According to Han, it was her biggest wish to have one of Swift’s songs used in the show, noting that the artist’s storytelling ability helped her “tap so quickly into emotions that I need to get to when I’m writing.”
“I’ve been a fan for years,” Han shared. “As I was writing the books, I was listening to her music… I think that she understands young womanhood in a way and also love stories. That means a lot to me.”
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“The Summer I Turned Pretty,” which premiered on June 17, tells the story of Isabel “Belly” Conklin, a teenage girl who spends every summer with her family in a beach house owned by her mother’s best friend and her sons, Conrad and Jeremiah.The trailer for the show teased some of Swift’s songs, including “This Love (Taylor’s Version),” which had yet to be released at the time. “This Love (Taylor’s Version),” “The Way I Loved You (Taylor’s Version),” as well as three tracks from Swift’s 2019 album “Lover,” can be heard during crucial moments of the show.
Han’s recent interview also touched on Asian representation in the media, with the author recalling that publishers told her several years ago that readers would not be interested in stories about Asian Americans and Asian American families.
“I think it didn’t even really hurt my feelings because it was just so matter of fact,” she said. “I had tried to sell a book with an Asian main character before [‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’], and people weren’t really interested in it. The thing I would hear is, ‘We already have a book with them.'”
Belly, who is white in Han’s trilogy, is an Asian American character in the show. Han noted that she was eventually able to diversify her characters’ backgrounds in her novels after receiving more trust and support from her readers.
“Even with my first book, it was important to me to put my picture on the back of it,” Han shared. “It wasn’t really done at the time, and I thought, ‘Well, I want other young Asian women to see that and think it’s possible.'”
Han also revealed that the second season of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” is already in the works.