Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Tour: Fearsome by S. A Wolfe Interview & Giveaway

New Adult / Romance
Date Published: 10/1/2013

Jessica Channing’s big city life should be more exciting than sixty-hour work weeks and popcorn nights with her girlfriends, but it’s not. She has worked hard fulfilling her role as a child prodigy and graduating college years before her peers. She’s the good girl, the brilliant girl.
Unfortunately, she’s also the dateless young woman.
That all changes with one phone call. Jess’s rigid, predictable life upends when she must visit a small, obscure town to deal with a relative’s death. This isn’t just any little speck of a town, though. Long lost memories come crashing down on Jess’s world when two men, the Blackard brothers, seem to lure her in. 
Dylan is cover model handsome, and pursues Jess the minute she comes to town. Then there is tall, dark and gorgeous Carson, who hides his own secrets behind his hardened reserve. 
For someone who has been governed by her own obsessive behaviors and fears, Jess lets her guard down and jumps at the opportunity to have an affair with a man she actually finds attractive for a change.\
There’s just one problem. Jess discovers that she can’t have a simple romantic fling because true passion does indeed come with some very big strings attached to it. She will have to own up to her own truths about love and face the two extraordinary men; both troubled in their own ways and both determined to have her.

This novel contains graphic sexual content and strong language. It is intended for mature readers.
439 pages

I got the idea for the novel from being around women who have advanced degrees in the sciences and math (I'm not one of those women.) and wanting a protagonist who is basically a social mutant when it comes to men. 

The images of the hero and heroine germinated from a memory I have of two very beautiful people I saw at a science conference years ago in Berlin. A tall gorgeous man with unruly dark hair who was wearing a leather jacket sat in the audience, and I also noticed a very beautiful young woman across the large lecture hall. I thought about how these two could meet and fall in love. Obviously, I wasn't paying much attention to the lecture.

Fast forward, years later, I'm writing Fearsome, and I remember those two people, but this time I place the young woman in New York City and she's forced to go to a small town to meet the hunky guy. It all flowed from there.

The title went through several changes. As I write and my story develops, I always end up changing my title by the end of the novel. I finally based Fearsome on a conversation between two of the characters, and I thought it was fitting to the attraction they felt for one another.

I decided to write in the New Adult Romance genre because I love the voices of the young, indecisive, emotionally-charged heroines and heroes. It's also a great opportunity to write about falling in love for the first time. A character may have been dating for years or have a boyfriend, but when real love hits them - I love that "wow" moment.

I've been writing for many years, and the most exciting aspect was deciding to publish and then engaging with readers who love the book. I am overwhelmed with joy when readers send me a personal message, telling me how much they enjoyed Fearsome and why certain parts rang true for them. I get all misty-eyed.

I am currently reading and enjoying On Dublin Street by Samantha Young.

My writing process used to involve heavy plotting, sometimes 60-pages worth. No kidding. I've streamlined my process quite a bit now. I do my research up front and then build my character biographies. For Jessica, I had to study the software industry, ask my husband a lot of questions on how he does computer coding, and study the paintings and process of artist Lora Zombie. For Carson and Dylan, I pulled out research on furniture designers and hand-crafted furniture manufacturers. 

Once I have visuals of characters and I've created partial histories for them, I start writing. I only bullet-list major plot points, twists, and reveals, otherwise, I write more like a "pantser." I know I'm going to have a happily-ever-after ending, but I don't know how I'm going to get there. Sometimes, as I'm writing, a new idea comes to me and that's where I start tweaking a character's back story or other feature that eventually becomes relevant to the story. There are times when a scene takes off, and I decide to take the characters in another direction for a while - that's the exciting part for me because it's almost as if the characters are leading me.

There's also the physical process of writing. When I start a new book, I have to work on the first draft every single day. That involves writing 4-8 hours per day to saturate my brain with the story, so I'm living, breathing, and sleeping with the characters talking in my head. That first draft is exciting and exhausting, and it takes me about three months. I may take a few days off here and there to do more research or organize my thoughts, but for the most part it's a marathon of writing. After that comes the revisions and heavy editing and that's where my beta readers come in and my professional editors.

So, for the first part, it's me and my solitary writing existence, ignoring my noisy family. After that, it's "all hands on deck" with beta readers, editors, and proofreaders going through my book, telling me what to change or fix. It's a lot of work.

Since my book was just released, I have only signed books that I sent through the mail. And, yes, I do write a little note inside, usually thanking the reader. It's easy for me to come up with something to say because I really am happy and grateful that people want to read my novel, or they read the ebook and want a print version as a keepsake. It's quite humbling.

People would be surprised to know that I've never watched a reality show. I've never seen the Bachelor, Dancing With The Stars, or The Voice, or any of the other shows I see people tweeting about. I'm always in the dark when people are dishing about most TV shows because my favorite reading time is during primetime television hours, I suppose. I do like Downton Abbey, but I purchase the UK DVDs and watch the season in one sitting.

I haven't had a bad review yet, but I'm sure it's coming. Some of my favorite novels by other authors have reviews from 1-star to 5-stars, so I would be foolish to not expect the same. While it's probably not fun to get a bad review, it's part of the business and you have to take it in stride. Of course, I'm full of hooey, because writers by nature are rather emotional, so they don't take much in stride. I suspect many writers use some amount of discipline and try not to read bad reviews if they've been forewarned. If I had a sweet tooth, I'd probably eat a box of Ding Dongs after reading a bad review.

I don't think I've officially celebrated yet. I've been too busy talking to readers, authors, and attending conferences, so I haven't had a champagne toast, or even an apple juice toast with my husband or anyone for that matter. Thanks for reminding me. I really should celebrate the publication of Fearsome before I move on completely to my next novel.

S.A. Wolfe
S. A. Wolfe lives with her wonderfully loud, opinionated children and husband. She is a voracious reader and passionate about writing, and when those two activities don’t keep her locked away in her room, she loves hiking mountains as much as she adores all the thrills New York City has to offer.

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