This week we’re continuing the blog hop with fellow Grand Central/Forever Romance author Eliza Freed. Her debut novel Forgive Me (Lost Souls) releases November 4. She and I have chatted about her Lost Souls series, and it is fascinating, envelope-pushing, trope-bending stuff. The kind of thing I ADORE! And I cannot wait to get my grubby lil’ hands on her stuff so she can blow my mind! Wanna learn more about this emerging voice? Well, how convenient! I’m hosting her blog hop right here today. And…you’re welcome!
What are you currently writing?
I just turned in the developmental edits for Forgive Me, and I’m waiting for the copy edits to come back as I gear up for its July 1st release. I cannot wait for this book to launch! You can read more about Forgive Me, and all the books in the Lost Souls Series, on my Amazon author page.
In the meantime, I’ve been working on something new I’m calling Joe Tobias. Joe’s a goal-driven accountant at a Manhattan investment bank, and as emotionally stilted as he is hot. From clean eating and working out to climbing the corporate ladder, his only faith is in himself and the results of his hard work as he pounds away at every aspect of his life. Joe and his thoroughbred girlfriend of four years are poised to take over the world, but he doesn’t realize he’s striving for the “good life,” at the expense of his own life.
His ascent is suddenly derailed by a pot smoking, bacon eating, Catholic girl who is soft, gentle, and kind, and will literally bring him to his knees as she redefines his understanding of strength.
Joe Tobias is written from Joe’s point of view. I’ve always wanted to get into a man’s head and at 30,000 words, I can attest it’s as hilarious in there as I thought it would be. The book also pokes a little fun at corporate culture because, well because it deserves it.
What makes your work different?
The Lost Souls Series has an inspirational message layered within the pages of drug use, curse words, and sexually explicit situations. It’s absolutely a love story, but it’s also a tale of faith and forgiveness. To say it was a challenge to find its position in the market would be an understatement. I’m hoping readers will identify with its very real depiction of our faith and our fight. We might get to our happily ever after, but in Lost Souls it’s a hilariously ugly journey through hell along the way.
The feedback I always hear about the main character, Charlotte O’Brien, is how incredibly real she is. Charlotte plummets into some dark depths and then cracks us up on her way back to the surface. She’s unsinkable, but flailing and gasping for air some of the time.
Why do you write what you do?
I love New Adult because it depicts a time period in our lives that lends itself to amazing stories. If you’re lucky you have some discretionary cash in your twenties and the freedom to explore–the perfect recipe for extraordinary adventures. I’m also drawn to New Adult because it’s still evolving. I like the rulelessness of it, the innovations with formatting, point-of-view, and voice.
I write about people hurting each other because I’ve recently become fascinated with our capacity to crush one another, and enamored with our ability to forgive. I spent years studying diversity and how it impacts our interconnectedness. Now I’m curious about how we are the same. Because regardless of our differences, we all love, we all hurt, we all need. I’m a passionate student of the human condition.
What is your writing process?
I always start with a character and then I imagine what they would say. With Joe Tobias I was walking around my house and noticed I have five clocks which are either grossly off on the time, or not working at all. I thought to myself, “This is a character.” I developed Lorelei, a quirky, free-spirit, who’s also a romance novel editor. From there I thought it would be most entertaining to pair her with someone rigid and disciplined. Joe Tobias was born.
I steal every quiet moment to think, “What will Joe and Lorelei say to each other? What’s going to happen to them?” I’ve been writing a lot about forgiveness and that doesn’t appear to be changing with Joe Tobias. I’ll imagine a dozen more conversations while I’m laying out the story. I don’t work off a complete outline, but definitely a firm idea of the big moments in the story.
Next stop on the global blog hop? Robin Muse . (Yes! That is her real name!) Look for her post next Monday, April 28!
I never wanted to be a writer. When I was little, I wanted to work in an office. My mother worked in a bank and she would bring home carbon paper for me to use in my “office” and I loved it. I wanted my own desk, and phone, and paper clip holder. By the time I was twenty-two I had exactly that and it was wonderful. But then things changed…and what I wanted changed…and I left my office.
I moved home to rural South Jersey. It takes twenty minutes to drive four miles here because you are sure to be stuck behind a combine, a tractor, or someone who believes cars as well as life should move slowly. The sky is bigger, the coast is closer, and the people are mostly related somehow.
Since moving home I’ve had this story idea running around in my head. What if a girl moved home because she was heartbroken and humiliated? What if she fell in love with someone new? What if she couldn’t forgive? What if, JUST ONCE, the girl was not an idiot and picked the “nice guy?” What if he wasn’t so nice? There were so many questions. I would drive the country roads listening to music and this girl’s story would unfold. I never considered it a book because I was not a writer.
Then I became a victim. It was a heinous crime committed every night for almost a year. The three of them–Charlotte O’Brien, Jason Leer, and Noble Sinclair–would invade my bedroom at 3 am and kidnap my most beloved friend–sleep. They would keep me awake and tell me their stories. I told them, “I am not a writer. I can’t help you.”
And they said, “Shut up. Either write our stories or you’ll never sleep again.” So to rescue sleep I began writing. They were an enticing threesome but oh, the pain they inflicted on each other every night. It was all over the place at first. Their tales were not in order; characters flew in and bowed out. They moved so fast. They would keep me from hating them with just a glimmer of understanding, delivered at exactly the right time. I wrote it all and it magically weaved into a story.
At 68,000 words I started to wonder what the hell was going on and I was certain it was horrible. It was the worst book ever written.
By 80,000 words I began reading my book at bedtime, because I couldn’t think of one I liked better on my shelf. I was in love with it.
By the time I typed The End, my book was 113,000 words and my goal was to self-publish so my friends and I could read it and laugh about it endlessly, but my husband encouraged me to traditionally publish. EVERYTHING I read about the process of getting a book published caused me to stress eat, but I promised him I would give it my best effort for six months.
Grab a cookie and follow along.
My very best,