A yellow duotone graphic which reads In Conversation with Yahrah St. John and Afterglow Editor Stacy Boyd. Author photo's in the bottom right corner lead into a book cover and microphone image.

In Conversation with Yahrah St. John

Harlequin launched Afterglow Books, its new spicy romance line, in January. Today, we’re presenting author Yahrah St. John in conversation with editor Stacy Boyd, on writing her latest novel, FREMENY FIX-UP, releasing in February 2024 from Afterglow Books.

Yahrah is a longtime Harlequin novelist and author of 48 published romance novels. She’s passionate about writing and we’re thrilled to have this chance to talk to her about all things spicy and writing for Afterglow Books.

Yahrah, what did you like best about writing Frenemy Fix-Up?

YSJ: I liked that I could write a longer story for Afterglow and take a deeper dive into my hero and heroine’s character development. Being able to write a sexier story and be grittier and less euphemistic when describing the love scenes was a bonus.

Stacy, what caught your attention about this book when you saw Yahrah’s proposal?  

SB: Yahrah is an expert at writing drama and sensual tension, and I loved how she took that expertise to a new and even more flirtatious level, to match the fun and energy we’re looking for at Afterglow Books. The light sports romance twist of a yoga makeover was also appealing!

We want Afterglow stories to reflect real life and the lived experiences of a wide range of characters. The dynamic female friendships plus the physical and mental health issues touched on in Frenemy Fix-Up gave the romance an additional layer of realism.

Yahrah, how was writing this book different from romance novels you’ve written for other Harlequin lines?

YSJ: I liked the freedom that came with writing for Afterglow, and that I could explore secondary characters. Since Frenemy Fix-Up is part of the Six Gems series, I was able to highlight the strong bond of female sisterhood and friendship. The hero didn’t have to be super wealthy, which was a prominent feature of the Desire line where I’ve published many books, he could be flawed, and I like that we see the hero be vulnerable during his health scare.

Stacy, as editor, what aspect of the book did you work on most closely with Yahrah?

SB: Yahrah chose a first person point of view for the book, which gives the reader an intimate view into these characters’ minds. Because all the previous books we’ve done together have been in third person point of view, we worked very closely on this one to create two distinct, active, first person narrators.

Yahrah, this book is about two characters stepping outside their comfort zones. Was there anything about writing it that pushed you as a writer?

YSJ: I usually write in third person so writing in first person required a lot of focus and staying present in the moment. Finding my voice in this new format while staying true to myself and the stories readers have come to love from a YSJ novel.

Stacy, same question to you from an editor’s perspective.

SB: Frenemy Fix-Up is one of the launch books for Afterglow, and through my work with Yahrah and the other authors in the line, I’ve learned so much about editing and revising novels for this new audience! Harlequin series books always include a fantastic romance, and there is room in Afterglow to go even deeper, with layered emotional themes and complex character journeys. 

Thank you, Yahrah and Stacy!

Cover image for Yarah St. John's Frenemy Fix Up

Curious about Frenemy Fix-Up? Check it out for yourself, plus get Yahrah’s book recommendations below.

Free-spirited yoga guru Shay Davis has only ninety days to get her workaholic former classmate Colin Anderson from work all day to namaste… All they need is a little common ground.

Looking for some new books to add to your to-be read shelf? Here are some titles from Yahrah’s reading list:

Before I Let Go, Kennedy Ryan

Seven Days in June, Tia Willams

The Secret to a Southern Wedding, Synithia Williams

The House of Eve, Sadeqa Johnson

Island Queen, Vanessa Riley

It Starts With Us, Colleen Hoover

November 9, Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love, Colleen Hoover

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Editor associated with this post

Stacy Boyd
Senior Editor

Stacy Boyd is a senior editor for Afterglow Books, a Harlequin series featuring spicy contemporary romances grounded in relatable character journeys. Before focusing on short contemporary romance, Stacy acquired and edited a wide variety of fiction, including romance, suspense, fantasy and YA. She is a past winner of the PASIC Editor of Merit award and currently works with an amazing group of award-winning and bestselling authors. Stacy holds a B.A. in cultural anthropology from New College, the honors college of Florida, and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons. An outdoor enthusiast, she spends her free time running after kids, taming her backyard and improving her jogging distances. Stacy is looking to acquire compelling author voices and stories with strong romance hooks and new twists for the Desire line.