This blog post might be a little all over the place, but it suits my personality.
First, and most importantly, I want to thank everyone for a great release day! Losing Hope was #1 on itunes in less than 15 minutes of release.
= mind. blown.
The reviews have been fantastic and I appreciate each and every one of you who have taken the time to leave one.
I struggled with the idea of writing Losing Hope. In one sense, we already know the story, so was the book even necessary? This seems to be a trend among authors now and some readers love it, while some understandably hate it. I’ve gotten emails from a few readers who don’t quite understand why authors write the same story from the male perspective. I’ve gotten emails asking if I wrote these books because they’re easy money and that some readers feel it’s a way of ripping them off.
I’m going to be up front and honest here, especially to those of you who are curious. I can’t speak for other authors who have written from the opposite point of view, but let me explain my side.
I receive incredible, amazing messages from readers. These messages are what keep me writing. Some may think that authors don’t read their emails, goodreads messages, facebook messages, tweets, etc., but I absolutely do. If you’re going to take the time to write me, I’m going to take the time to read it and, hopefully, respond.
When a book releases, it’s the most exciting time of all for me. The messages begin to pour in and it helps to squelch the insecurities and fears that invade my mind pretty much all the time. After the release of Slammed and Hopeless, the amount of readers who begged and pleaded to hear the male character’s thoughts were too many to ignore. If you’ve followed my blog from the beginning (just last January) then you know these books have completely changed my life. The readers who buy these books have completely changed my life. So when I see so many of the same pleas from everyone, I pay attention. I owe this all to you guys. I can assure you I agreed to write these books as a thank you to my readers who wanted them; not as a way to rip them off. 🙂
The thought that these books are written because they are easier for a writer to write is…well…I can tell you it’s absurd because I’ve written two of them. Let me explain.
When writing Hopeless, I never intended or even wanted to write the book from Holder’s point of view. I was writing from Sky’s perspective and therefore, walked in her shoes during that story. When Holder acted and reacted, I was mostly thinking about what Sky was thinking and where I wanted Holder’s actions to take them in their dialogue. He had his own personality and it was as if I had no control over it. Only Sky. So when he would do or say something (I know this sounds ridiculous) it would shock me as much as it would shock Sky.
Once I began writing Losing Hope, I (like a lot of others) assumed it might be a simple book to write. A lot of the dialogue was already there, but little did I know how incredibly difficult it would be to match Holder’s dialogue with his internal thought process..and have it make SENSE. Jesus, that boy was an enigma. The bracelet scene is a good example.
I had a good idea in Hopeless where his mind was at when he became so angry with her in the lunchroom, but not really. And why the hell did he stay away from her for an entire month in Hopeless? I never had to justify his actions in Hopeless because we were only in Sky’s head and I made his actions be what would help me in my storyline with Sky, never really thinking through the detailed reasons for WHY he did the things he did. I had a vague idea, but I was seeing the story through Sky’s eyes, not Holder’s. When I sat down to actually write Losing Hope, I had to justify all of this and tie it to his backstory and tie it to Sky’s story and tie it to all the things he already said aloud in Hopeless and to all the looks he gave her and every tiny little freaking thing until my brain felt like it was crumbling in on itself because it was dry as a bone.
And then that scene where he climbs back into her window after being away for a whole month? WHY did he do that? What prompted him to go over there in the middle of the night after giving her the silent treatment for a whole month? Of course, in Losing Hope we find out it’s a doozy of a reason. A heartbreaking reason, because he needed to be around her that night due to all the shit he was dealing with in his own life. But I knew none of that while writing the scenes in Hopeless, so having to create a whole new parallel world in the background was…really hard. And I pretty much love Holder, so making his life even more depressing was hard, too. 😉
There were so many scenes where I found it really difficult to keep him in character and justify the things he did and said in Hopeless because I wanted to change every word that came out of his mouth. When you write a book from scratch, if you don’t like a piece of dialogue…you just backspace and change it. You can’t do that in a companion book, because the dialogue is already there in some scenes. It’s permanent. You can’t change it. So as a writer, you have to mold it to that character somehow. I would stare at a scene for hours, wondering how in the hell I could make it make sense. I was wishing I could have been writing a full-out sequel or even a new, fresh novel because believe me…they’re a whole lot funner and a whole lot easier and since I brought it up, that’s really where the money is. Sequels and companion novels hardly ever make as much as a new standalone, so if it were all about the money when authors write these…they’d only be writing new books and nothing else. I think I can speak for a lot of authors when I say we really do continue on with characters, stories and alternate point of view’s solely for the readers who have supported us and ask for it. The readers who we appreciate more than they know.
So that’s my reasoning. And you know what? As hard as this book was to write (probably the hardest of all six) I am really, really happy with it. And if you’re afraid it’s just a re-run of Hopeless, I encourage you to give the sample a try if you’re hesitant, even though the sample is really depressing. But once Daniel makes it into the picture, he brings a lot of refreshing moments. 🙂
Speaking of Daniel…
I’ve had a lot of readers wonder why he wasn’t in Hopeless. Well, that’s because we never saw that part of Holder’s life, but also…he sort of WAS in Hopeless. Before writing Losing Hope, I read through Hopeless and took out certain things that I could turn into side stories in Losing Hope. Do you recognize this little paragraph from Hopeless?
I laugh. “Do I even want to know?” I tilt my head back and finish off his coffee, then hand him back the cup. He looks down at the empty cup and places it back on my desk.
“Well,” Breckin says. “According to some probing on Facebook, you had someone named Daniel Wesley over on Friday night and that resulted in a pregnancy scare. Saturday you had sex with someone named Grayson and then kicked him out. Yesterday…” he drums his fingers on his chin. “Yesterday you were seen running with a guy named Dean Holder after school. That concerns me a bit because, rumor has it…he doesn’t like Mormons.”
Sometimes I’m thankful I don’t have access to the internet like everyone else.
“Let’s see,” I say, running through the list of rumors. “I don’t even know who Daniel Wesley is. Saturday, Grayson did come over, but he barely got to cop a feel before I kicked his drunk ass out. And yes, I was running with a guy named Holder yesterday, but I have no idea who he is. We just happened to be running at the same time and he doesn’t live far from me, so…”
It ties into the scene in Losing Hope where Daniel gets into the fight with Grayson at the party for making a smart-ass comment to him about Sky. 🙂 Just a little behind the scenes thought process there. 🙂
Moving along. Okay, look what I got in the mail today from Atria! Copies of Slammed in Indonesian. I’m going to add one to THIS GIVEAWAY so if you haven’t entered yet, go do that. 🙂 And I can honestly say I’d never have pictured a cover like this for Slammed, but it’s really, really cool in person. Kind of a mindf*ck.
AAANNNDDD I can’t believe I’m posting this video link here because I really do like to avoid any and all videos of myself, buuuuut you asked and I answered. Here are some answers to your questions to the Q&A blog I did a while back. Watch it and see if one of your questions made the cut! 😀 Thanks to Atria for putting it together.
What else, what else, what else…
Oh! Lots of questions about our good boy Daniel from Losing Hope. I do have a small announcement (and no, it’s not a new book. Sorry guys.) But I think you’ll like it. If you want the announcement, tune in to my ustream chat with Abbi Glines on the 18th at 8pm this month. Here’s the link for our chat.
Oh, and if you’re a blogger who missed our big blogger payback post, there’s still time to enter here. We’ll be getting your links up to your posts next week.
I feel like I’m forgetting something. Luckily, these posts are easy to edit if I ever remember…