11 April 2013

The Next Big Thing, and My Cover Reveal

Yes, I did just say MY cover reveal! Keep reading to find out more.

My friend Ty tagged me in The Next Big Thing blog hop whatchamacallit thingy that has been making the rounds. Please make sure to read his post, about his novel Flowers for Dionysus, which you should all be jealous to know I read an early draft of. And now onto the questions and my answers.

1. What is the working titled of one of your current stories?

I hate deciding on a title, so this novel was called a couple different things, including just "Charlotte" for a while, until I decided on the final title: SORRY'S NOT ENOUGH.

2. Where did the idea come from for the story?

Believe it or not, SNE grew out of the first novel I ever attempted in high school. Thinking back on that project, I have to thank my creative writing teacher for humoring me. I can't imagine how teenage-angsty and melodramatic and amateurish it all must have seemed. But through the years, there was still something about the two main characters that stuck with me. And as my writing grew and progressed, I revisited the characters and one aspect of that original story - a relationship between a high school student and her teacher - and wrote a new story. It took on a whole new life, and Sorry's Not Enough was born.

3. What genre does it fall under?

I struggled with this at first. I called it women's fiction, even though, in my mind, that term conjured an image of older characters and a different type of story. Because there's a relationship in the story, some early readers kept saying it was romance, but it's not. Because of the young age, some early readers insisted it was young adult, which it's not. Recently, the category of New Adult has become more recognized, and I think it fits SNE perfectly! Therefore, I am calling it Contemporary New Adult fiction.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I've never been one of those people who has a concrete idea of these things from the first word. I don't go searching for pictures for inspiration or anything like that. Which is probably why I've never joined Pinterest. There are only two actors I can think of off the top of my head who sort of look like how I imagine the male lead, but they're both a little too old to play 24-year-old Steven. Christopher Gorham and Matt Bomer both have the combination of charming and manly that I love about Steven's character. They'd have to wear contacts, though, because one of Steven's defining characteristics is his piercing green eyes.

As for actresses to play Charlotte... I'm not sure. I need to brush up on my pop culture, because I keep thinking of actresses out of age range! America Ferrera could work, but she's probably too old. Maybe Jennifer Lawrence.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your story?

After being betrayed at a young age by the one man she should've been able to trust, Charlotte builds emotional walls to keep the world out, but Steven ignores the Keep Out signs and falls in love anyway.

(Um, or something like that... this has always been the hardest part!)

6. Will you be self-published or represented by an agency?

Well, this is it. The big announcement. I said once before that I would self publish SNE, then pulled back from that for various reasons that are less important now. I'm happy to announce that I will, once and for all, be self publishing Sorry's Not Enough next month (exact date TBD). With the help of Calista Taylor at Covers by Cali, I'm even happier to unveil the cover art. I hope you like it!

7. How long as the editing taken you?

Hoo boy... SNE has gone through about ten different revisions, and it has been several years since I first started writing it. There was quite a bit of down time between a couple revisions, as I was frustrated and worked on other things. I'd say overall, from when I finished the first draft until now, the amount if time I spent actively editing and revising had to be around three or four years. So this has been a long time coming.

8. What other stories would you compare it to within your genre?

This is where I come across looking like an illiterate schmuck, right? I'm really not sure what comparable titles are for my book, because I don't read as often as I'd like, and when I do, I mostly read outside my genre. Is that totally blasphemous, or what? Oh well. *sheepish grin*

9. Who or what inspired you to write this story?

See #2. :-) But also, I'd have to say the only creative writing class I took in college, during my senior year, helped rekindle my passion. It reminded me how much I loved to write, and my instructor gave us advice that has stuck with me to this day. I never could have known then how important his attitude of celebrating rejection letters would be.

10. What else about your story might pique the reader's interest?

It was a critique of a scene in this book, from a writer I admire immensely, that first started me thinking about writing erotica and embracing that aspect of my writing. (SNE is not erotica, but it does have some steamy sex scenes.) Here's an extended description of Sorry's Not Enough:

Charlotte learned at an early age that people – including family – are capable of hurting you so bad “sorry” will never be enough. The obvious solution is not to let anyone close enough to do any damage, and she's doing just fine with that until a summer writing workshop brings Steven into her life. Unfamiliar with Charlotte's Stay the Hell Away from Me memo to the world, he uses his wit and good looks – or what Charlotte would call his obnoxious ego and his really, really good looks – to win her over. The unexpected summer romance screeches to a halt when Steven's job creates an ethical dilemma for the couple. Sorry doesn't begin to cover the hurt feelings.

Despite the secrets she's keeping and the renewed passion with which she pushes him away, Steven can't let Charlotte go. And so the cycle of their relationship begins. Over the course of four years they share moments as passionate lovers, periods of warm friendship, as well as months of barely-civil tension. 

When no amount of time or distance, and no number of men can make her forget the comfort of Steven's arms, Charlotte must dig into her painful past and face the man whose betrayal destroyed her capacity for trust to begin with. And by the time she finds the courage to do so, will “sorry” be enough to get Steven back?
 Now I get to tag someone else to answer these questions! I choose Robert K. Lewis. Since his debut novel just released, what better time to answer some questions about the sequel?

(4/13/13 Edit: You can now add SNE to your Goodreads bookshelf!)

05 April 2013

Review: The Siren, by Tiffany Reisz

The Siren (The Original Sinners, #1)The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been trying to write a thorough, intelligent review for some time now, and I'm having trouble putting my thoughts into words because I want to do the book justice. There are so many reasons why I enjoyed this book, why it's better than so much other erotica out there, and why it just works, but my brain refuses to compile that into a coherent review that will be useful to anyone and that also is less than five pages long. So for the sake of brevity, here's what you really need to know:

* I loved this book!

* This book is truly different from the typical "lots of (lukewarm) sex scenes + plot as afterthought" kind of erotica that is way too common.

* The characters are real and complex.

* When there is actual sex, it stems from the plot in an organic way, and is never overdone.

* Whether BDSM is your thing or not, you can enjoy this book, because it's not about BDSM. It's about the characters, several of whom happen to live the lifestyle.

* Sex, sexuality, BDSM, and the characters have an intriguing relationship to religion in this book, which I found fascinating.

* The sexy parts were sexy not just because it was sex, but because the book as a whole engaged my biggest erogenous zone: MY BRAIN.

The Siren was a great read that satisfied my love of intelligent fiction, interpersonal relationship complexity and drama, and smart sex. I would recommend it to anyone.

Disclosure: the author gifted me a copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews