Writing Wednesdays: Celebrating 10 years of The Kissing Booth!


In this week's Writing Wednesdays post, I'm celebrating ten years of The Kissing Booth on Wattpad

Well, in case you've missed it on my social media lately and the title of this blog post didn't give it away... This month, I'm celebrating ten years of The Kissing Booth!

Seriously. TEN YEARS. That is wild. So in this post, I'm going to take a look back on the whole journey.

PS. Before we get into it, don't forget to enter my Instagram giveaway, check out my recent vlogs reacting to your favourite sections of the book, and read Noah's Story, a one-shot from Noah's point of view on Wattpad!

PPS. If you want to grab a copy of The Kissing Booth, you can find it on The Book Depository here! And pre-order TKB3: One Last Time here!

How it all started...

So for anyone who doesn't know, The Kissing Booth originally began on Wattpad back in April 2011. I was fifteen years old, a little tired of paranormal romance, in the middle of my GCSE exams at school, and I just really wanted to read a regular high school romance. I loved the never been kissed trope, I loved a bad boy character, and I really wanted a male best friend that wasn't a love interest. 

I had such a clear idea of the kind of characters and mood I wanted to read, but I couldn't find it anywhere. So I just decided to... write it. I've always loved writing and had been writing stories for years already, so this didn't feel like a big, crazy idea - just something fun!

And I figured, since I was already on Wattpad, why not post it on there? I didn't have anything to lose, I figured, but maybe a couple of other people might enjoy reading it.

Oh, boy, did I underestimate. The Kissing Booth racked up over 19 MILLION reads on Wattpad, winning the 2011 Watty Award for Most Popular Teen Fiction on the platform, and then in November 2012, a week after sending off my university applications, I got offered a three book deal.

I never expected anything to come of The Kissing Booth.

Seriously, I just did it for fun. It's the attitude I still have when writing my books now, because it's something that works for me. But I remember uploading to Wattpad one chapter at a time and people would comment that I should publish it, that they could see it as a movie. Lol, yeah, right, I'd think. As if. That'd be nice, but what a total pipe dream. Maybe one day, I thought, I'd get something published - but I didn't expect that to happen until I was maybe forty or fifty years old. 

Not, you know, seventeen.

But, here we are. Ten years after writing this book for fun, and it's become a five book series (plus a one shot!) and you can check out the correct order of the books here, and it's had not one, not two, but THREE Netflix Original Movies! Which is also wild! Well, almost three. I'm counting it, since the third one has been made and is due out later this summer. (Date still to be confirmed!)

I talk more about how I've changed since the movie came out, too, if you're interested in reading that post!

It's been translated into a whole bunch of languages, been a bestseller, seen me nominated for awards and dubbed in the press as everything from 'The Dickens of the iPad Generation' (love it) to 'Fifty shades of youth' (uh...), and it's allowed me to travel! You can read about my trip to New York for WattCon here, or my visits to Brazil here!

It's also allowed me to build a career as an author and publish more books! Outside of The Kissing Booth, I've published four other books - Rolling Dice, Out of Tune, Cwtch Me If You Can, and It Won't Be Christmas Without You - plus, my newest Wattpad book Lockdown on London Lane is being published next year!

Oh, and, as you might've seen on my social media lately... it's allowed me to buy a house?! Up until now, the only 'big' purchase I've made with the money I've earned from my books has been a Christmas charm bracelet from Pandora. Since my first book deal, I've saved to put money into a house deposit, and this month the time finally, FINALLY, arrived for me to actually spend some of those savings and put down a deposit on a house! Meaning I have FINALLY moved out of my flat after renting for the last few years and moved into a house where I can put all my Kissing Booth copies on shelves instead of piling them up in boxes in my unused spare room.

Anyway. BIG deal. HUGE. EXCITING. (I'll probably talk more about the house purchase on here and on YouTube another time, though.)

What's next?

This is both my favourite and most dreaded question after looking back on the last ten years and the whole journey of The Kissing Booth. Sometimes I find it hard to celebrate my wins, but I'm definitely trying to do that this month to mark ten years of TKB (although, no kiss-shaped balloons this time!) and trying to enjoy it for a little while.

As for what's next, I'm not planning any more books in the TKB series, and the third movie will be the last, too. It feels... really strange, that it might be over, when it's been such a huge part of my life for so long. I'm obviously still writing though, and I'm hopeful that there might be more movie adaptations of my books (fingers crossed, because that would just be so awesome!) 

What's next? Honestly, I'm not really that sure myself. But I'm sure as heck excited to find out.

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