Season 1 | Episode 1

23- 227- 01 | Finding Jupiter x Kelis Rowe

Show Notes:

Author Kelis Rowe is here to discuss her debut novel, Finding Jupiter. This summer romance is set in Memphis, Tennessee. Kelis shares tips for setting the reading mood and reenacts a favorite scene from the book.

Connect with Kelis Rowe: ⁠LinkTree⁠ | ⁠Website⁠

Connect with Books en Vogue: ⁠Instagram⁠ | ⁠Website ⁠⁠Milkshake⁠

Podcast Transcript-

Speaker 1 (00:00):
Give me a super sensitive male as a love interest, a headstrong female dual perspectives. Set it in my hometown and mix it up with romance, skates, and family secrets. And I am sold

(((♪♫The Books en Vogue Podcast  Intro ♪♫))) (00:25)

Speaker 1 (00:48):
Welcome book lovers to the Books en Vogue podcast. This is your premier listening experience all about immersive reading, helping avid and reluctant readers alike imagining book characters like never before. I’m your host Kat Trinidad. The format of the show is I introduce a book, share tips on how you can engage your senses as you read this title, because it’s one thing to be a mood reader, but you get a little something extra from the story when you’re a set the mood reader. And I’ll end the show with, a re-imagining of my favorite scene. Today We will discuss techniques for getting into Finding Jupiter with none other than the author, Kelis Rowe. Welcome Kelis.

Speaker 2 (01:32):
Thank you so much for having me, Kat. I’m super excited about this podcast.

Speaker 1 (01:38):
Please tell us about the book.

Speaker 2 (01:41):
Okay. Finding Jupiter is a literary young adult summer romance about star crossed teams from Memphis. Ray is a James Taylor and Beyonce fan, a poet, an artist home for boarding school, and she’s content with to keep everyone at arm’s length. Even her best friend. Orion is the shyest champion swimmer who lives with sensory processing disorder, and he’s headed to swim for Howard University in the fall. And Orion wears his heart on his sleeve. And when they meet at the skating rink on Ray’s fateful birthday, the world turns perfectly pink, knocking them both off their axis as they bond over shared grief and fall in love. Um, finding Jupiter examines paternal conditional love and absence and how that affects the way young people show up in life and in love. The book includes journal pages of art and blackout poetry from classic novels, including the Great Gatsby and their eyes are watching God, um, find The Jupiter is a bright edition to the growing canon of contemporary stories about black American teenagers that centers their humanity and not Black American trauma finding. Jupiter is a library guild gold standard selection and a Bank street best children’s book of 2023. And it’s perfect for fans of everything, everything love and basketball, anything written by Ra Tamani and Beyonce

Speaker 1 (03:15):
Thank you so much for that, Kelis. Do you care to share some tips for setting the reading mood?  

Speaker 2 (03:23):
Yes. Yes. Let’s get into it. .

Speaker 1 (03:26):
Okay. So book lovers. I hope you have your writing utensils ready because class is in session.

(((♪♫5 Senses Segment Intro ♪♫))) (03:35)

Speaker 1 (03:53):
So what’s the vibe?

Speaker 2 (03:56):
The vibe? So let me start by saying that I grew up in the eighties when Teen love, story love stories were all over everywhere. You know, all the Molly Ring wall movies, dirty dancing, like anything that was about teens and love, you could find it. And I was into it. Um, so I wrote finding Jupiter there. There’s definitely that vibe, the eighties, you know, romance vibe. But I wrote it not only to entertain, but also to, um, encourage young people to start their healing journeys early. And when I say healing, I mean those things that we, you know, have to survive. Those things that happen to us in childhood that we have to survive. And for all of us, that’s something different. Finding Jupiter deals with, you know, parent relationships specifically, uh, paternal the fathers. And so yeah, the vibe is kind of like expect to get entertained, but also, you know, be ready to kind of be introspective and dig a little, a little deep.

Speaker 1 (04:57):
Okay. Okay. So what’s the sound of Finding Jupiter?

Speaker 2 (05:02):
The sound of finding Jupiter, the sound of finding Jupiter. Um, if you’re, if you’re a person who can, you know, who can read with music playing in the background, I would say nineties r and b, um, Beyonce or Mariah, like the ballads. Um, if you’re a person who prefers to read in silence, definitely, um, the sounds of the nights, you know, how you can have the little, the crickets and the, you know, wind. Um, I would say that those would be the sounds if you’re a night reader, definitely do it outside. Um, if you like some music, definitely go with to the, with the nineties, nineties love songs, um, vibe.

Speaker 1 (05:52):
Okay. Okay. , do share the aesthetics.

Speaker 2 (05:56):
Okay. Visuals. Visuals. Uh, once again, I’ll have to say, you know, we have Jupiter’s the Planet, we have Orion’s, the Constellation, a lot of the book, you know, a lot of the big things happen outside at night, so the aesthetics are definitely moody. You know, dim the lights, you know, or literally be outside at night. Um, yeah, maybe a little, um, candlelight situation or, um, or even just being outside, just under the, under the stars.

Speaker 1 (06:30):
Okay. Okay. What’s the flavor?

Speaker 2 (06:34):
the flavor? So finding Jupiter is in Memphis during the summertime. Uh, the main character’s mother is kind of a green witchy kind of herb garden, you know, herbalist. So, um, there’s a big lemon tree in the backyard. There’s lavender, you know, that’s woven throughout the, the book. So I would say for the flavor, and it’s the summertime, so I would go with the, with the sweet, uh, lemonade. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Sweet lemonade, maybe a dash of lavender. That’s, that’s definitely gonna be the flavor. of fond juice. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (07:15):
Mm, that sounds delicious. What is the aroma?

Speaker 2 (07:20):
The aroma? I, I have to go back to the, the lemon and the lavender. I have to go back to that, you know, lighter candle, um, you know, some incense or if you have some fresh lavender, you know, if you’re the type of, you know, buy some, like get into, get into the, the Arab Garden vibe. Uh, the aroma for finding Jupiter is definitely gonna be lavender for sure.

Speaker 1 (07:50):
Okay. Okay. And how can we get more of the feels?

Speaker 2 (07:55):
Hmm. How can we get more of the feels cozy up at night? Um, I think nighttime is really the, the, the big thing, if you can, if you’re settling down because it is a book that, like I said is entertaining, but you’re also gonna be, you know, kind of thinking and, um, being introspective about how you, you know, what you’re healing from and what, how your childhood affects the way you show up with your friends and the way that you are in your love relationships or have been. So I would say, you know, definitely, you know, don’t, don’t read on the go. If you, if you can help it like cozy up at night, go outside, you know, in the backyard, on the patio, whatever, and just, yeah, get into it. Uh, I’m a good star.

Speaker 1 (08:44):

Well there you go, book lovers. These are your recommended supplies as you read this title. If you’re able, pause and get some of these if available or simply imagine. 

Because it’s time for my favorite scene!

Disclaimer: Please note that exact words, names, locations, and or scenarios mentioned in this reimagined reenactment may differ from the actual book.

(((♪♫Scene Segment Intro ♪♫)))

The Bluff

Starring Kelis Rowe as Orion & Kat Trinidad as Ray.

(((♪♫ Music Begins ♪♫)))

Speaker 2 (09:39):
“So…a theory…in theory. Got it. What’s the question?”

Speaker 1 (09:46):

 “What if we are the stars?” 

“I read that something like forty-eight hundred stars die every second. Only four humans are born per second. That’s a significant difference, which makes for a weak theory, but if you take into account all the other living things with souls, everywhere in the universe, including parts we haven’t explored, it starts to come a little more into focus. What if every time a star dies in the sky, life is sparked on earth? Think about it. Almost every element that makes up the human body was made in a star. Fact.”

Speaker 2 (10:35):
“I’m following. Nothing is just what it is with you. I think it’s dope how you see below the surface of things. Of books and stars. This what I been missing out on all these summers. You been right here.”

Speaker 1 (10:52):
 “And if we do come to life from the stars, as pure light, then the sky—outer space—must be heaven. Especially if we return there after we die, as reincarnated stars.”

Speaker 2 (11:12):
Wait. So “Space is heaven?”

Speaker 1 (11:16):
“Think about it. The conservation of energy—it’s the law of the universe. There’s no creation or death of energy, only the transfer of it. When we think about the circle of life, we think in terms of earth science, the animal kingdom—living things consuming other living things, and waste, death, and decay supporting the ecology and continuing cycle of life down here. But how are we here? And where is our energy transferred when we die? It’s all the universe, man.”

Speaker 2 (11:57):
Okay. Okay. “So what about hell?”

Speaker 1 (12:02):
“I’ve thought a lot about that, too. I think the evil that we do here, the part of our light that fades into darkness, that part goes into black holes, where some stars go to die, never to become stars again. Dark energy is slowly transferred into dark energy. Once something gets sucked into a black hole, that’s it. It’s gone forever. What if black holes are hell, eternal death, or whatever?”

Speaker 2 (12:34):
Wow. “Go on.”

(((♪♫ Music Stops ♪♫)))

Speaker 1 (12:43):

Wow. Book. Lovers!

If you have enjoyed this sneak peek, you can get more by reading the whole book.  Finding Jupiter is available at your local library and everywhere books are sold. And if it’s not, request it, because you deserve to read all the books that interest you!

And if you have already read Finding Jupiter, or are in the middle of reading it, let me know in the comments what you like to do to set the mood for reading. Please leave your feedback. I would love to hear from you!

Kelis, what’s coming up next from you?

Speaker 2 (13:19):
Thanks for asking. Before I answer that, I just wanna say thank you so much for having me onto your first podcast. When finding Jupiter was coming out, you were the most, the single most supportive person that I met online who really pushed this book. You pushed that gorgeous book trailer and you did it with so much heart and so much enthusiasm just because you loved the book. What a pure soul. I love you so much, you’re super creative, your content is so dope, and I’m so glad to be part of this. Okay, so what’s coming next for me is paperback. The paperback is coming out. If y’all liked what you heard about the setting, the vibe, the lavender, the tea, I mean the lemonade. I have really cool downloadable resources for book clubs on my website, kise And speaking of book clubs, the paperback is of finding Jupiter is coming out on March 5th, um, 2024.

Um, and since it’s coming out in March and National Poetry month is in April, to tie in with the poetry theme of my book, I’m going to, I wanna come to y’all’s book club meetings virtually wherever you are. If you get the paper back and y’all read it and have your book club meeting in April, I wanna come virtually, if you’re in Austin, I wanna come have tea. There’s a lavender, um, a lavender lemonade recipe in the download of a book club. Um, items on my website. You can also sign up for my newsletter so that you can keep up with that and all a bunch of other cool stuff that’s coming up for finding Jupiter and for for me, for Kise Rowe. So thank you

Speaker 1 (15:02):
.Well, you’ve heard it here, fellow readers, Kelis Rowe wants to come to your book club. Thank you so much Kelis for joining us today. Um, and thank you book lovers for listening with peace, love, and joy. Happy Reading.

(((♪♫The Books en Vogue Podcast  Outro ♪♫))) (15:30)

If you feel inclined to own this book, please consider buying from my Bookshop. The Books en Vogue Podcast receives a small commission for every purchase. Thank you!

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