Author Guest Post: How to Speak Boy

How to Speak Boy Blog Tour

I am beyond excited about hosting Tiana Smith today in celebration of her sophomore novel, How to Speak Boy! Tiana writes the cutest rom-coms, and you can find out more about her debut novel, Match Me If You Can, in this interview and from my aesthetic. So without further ado, here’s Tiana with her writing playlist!

Writing Playlist for How to Speak Boy

Okay, I’ll admit. When I saw this topic for the guest post, I might have squealed a little. Because if there’s one thing I love almost as much as writing, it’s music. So, when you put those two topics together … well, let’s just say I had way too much fun with this. 

So. Here’s some songs that I listened to while working on How To Speak Boy (but not always while writing, because sometimes I can’t listen to anything with words in it). These songs inspired a lot of the emotion in certain scenes, and I’d listen to them to get me in the right mindset or mood. If you want to listen to all of these songs in a playlist format, I created a YouTube playlist that you can find right here. I even put them in order of the scenes you’d come across in the book, because I’m nice like that.

Okay, first up … 

Foreign Language by Anberlin
This one I had to include simply because of the book’s title. The song is all about communication, especially in relationships, and how things aren’t always smooth sailing. 

Start Over Again by New Hope Club
Quinn and Grayson (my main characters in How To Speak Boy) end up going to a dance together. This song captures what Grayson was probably thinking after things go south.

I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift
And now for what Quinn is thinking! After that weekend, Quinn firmly puts Grayson in the “enemy” category. Of course, she knew all along he belonged there.

What Doesn’t Kill You by Kelly Clarkson
Competition is hard, but both Quinn and Grayson are up for the fight. They throw themselves into speech and debate and try to forget about their budding relationship. 

Fall for You by Secondhand Serenade
Of course, some things are hard to forget. Feelings have a way of coming back when you least expect. 

Why Won’t You Love Me by 5 Seconds of Summer
I kind of laugh whenever I hear this song. The way they draw it out—whyyyyyyy won’t you loooooove me? It feels so authentic to how we all feel during times like that. 

Want You Back by 5 Seconds of Summer
You only miss something when it’s gone, am I right? Sometimes you just can’t fight your feelings, no matter how much you want to. 

Never Give Up by Sia
Speech and debate is a big part of this book, and they have lots of competitions. Quinn has a “take no prisoners” kind of approach to competition, and even when she’s down, she never gives up. 

Risk it All by The Vamps
There comes a time in every YA romance when someone has to make “the big gesture”. This song is one of my favorites ever, because it perfectly describes that feeling of throwing caution to the wind and going for it, even if you don’t know how it’s going to turn out or if they’ll reciprocate your feelings. 

Broken Glass by Rachel Platten
These lyrics really speak to me. “So what, still got knives in my back . . . I’m gonna dance on broken glass. Here I go, here I go.” Despite everything, despite something happening (not going to give any spoilers here!), Quinn still goes into the final competition holding her head high. 

Unstoppable by The Score
If any of you ever need a song that totally amps you up and gets you ready to take on the world, this is it. This is Quinn’s ultimate song for the final round of the state competition. 

Still Falling for You by Ellie Goulding
We’re back to the love story now. Even with all they’ve gone through, Quinn and Grayson realize they’re right for each other. This wouldn’t be a romance if it ended any other way. 

How You Get the Girl by Taylor Swift
This is another song that describes a general mood of this book. The boy gets the girl. The boy loses the girl. The boy gets the girl back. And they all live happily ever after.

So, there you have it! A playlist that helped me write How To Speak Boy and also describes some of the things going on in the plot. If you like rom-coms, stories with anonymous letters, or competitors who turn into more, I hope you’ll check out How To Speak Boy!

How to Speak BoyAbout How to Speak Boy

Release Date: January 7, 2020
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Two sworn enemies start to fall in love through anonymous notes in How to Speak Boy, a fun and charming YA novel from Tiana Smith.

Quinn and Grayson have been fierce speech and debate rivals for years. They can’t stand one another, either in competition or in real life.

But when their AP Government teacher returns their school assignments to the wrong cubbies, they begin exchanging anonymous notes without knowing who the other one is.

Despite their differences, the two come together through their letters and find themselves unknowingly falling for the competition. Before the state tournament, the two of them need to figure out what they want out of life, or risk their own future happiness. After all, what’s the point of speech and debate if you can’t say what’s in your heart?

Tiana Smith

About Tiana Smith


Tiana Smith is a copywriter turned novelist who grew up in the Rocky Mountains. When she isn’t writing, she’s chasing after her ninja boy, reading, or binging the Disney Channel. She’d love to be fluent in sign language, but for now she gets by with awkward hand gestures and even more awkward French. She has double degrees in Honors and English from Westminster College but wants to go back to school to be a lion tamer.

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