In the After by Elisa Dane
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Julie: I love that cover, don’t you? I’m excited to host Elisa Dane for today’s stop on her blog tour. Her new book sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to read it! I know she has some interesting things to share with us, so I’ll get out of the way and let her get to it. ♥
Elisa: Hello, and thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I’m so thankful you took part in my blog tour and I can’t wait for you all to read/meet Sadie and Hayden! I’m feeling rather chatty today, so let’s talk about the young adult and new adult genres and the challenge of keeping story-lines fresh and interesting, shall we?
I’m sure since you’re reading this you’re like me and a voracious reader and lover of the written word. No joke, over the past month I’ve read eighteen books. I don’t often get the chance to binge read like I have, but when I do, I want to be carried away by the stories I delve into. I want to get lost in the characters and their worlds. With the staggering amount of books available to us on Amazon and other retailers, it can be a challenge to find stories that aren’t familiar to us in some way. Therein lies the problem. How do authors keep stories fresh when there are only a finite number of tropes in which to write about? How do authors make their stories stand apart from everyone else’s?
For me, it’s all about voice, and knowing just how far you can push your readers to suspend their disbelief. I love writing fiction. I get to make shit up for a living. Pretty. Damn. Cool. That said, I write in the contemporary genre. I can place my characters in harrowing situations, but those situations have to be believable. Let’s say my main character’s name is Suzy and she’s never known her father, and recently lost her mother to drug abuse. Suzy is heartbroken and bereft. Suzy and her mother live in a quiet, suburban neighbourhood. It wouldn’t take any stretch of the imagination for us as readers to watch Suzy interact with police and social workers. I think for a lot of us, it would be both believable and suspenseful to read about Suzy being stalked by her mom’s dealer who wants the money her mother owed him. Suzy’s in school and doesn’t have a job. How will she pay the dealer? Even more shocking/suspenseful would be to read about Suzy having a run in with her mother’s pimp, who’d she’d worked for in an effort to pay off her drug dealer. Suzy had no idea her mom was leading a double life turning tricks while she was in school to help support her drug habit. Suzy falling in love with her mother’s pimp, getting pregnant with the pimp’s baby, and killing the dealer, taking all of his money in the process is where my suspension of disbelief cuts off. Um … no. I don’t believe for a second, sweet, innocent, virginal Suzy would fall for her mother’s slimy pimp, develop a heroin dependence like the one that killed her mom, get pregnant, and off a drug dealer with a sawed off shotgun before fleeing the country. Is it possible for Suzy’s character to do all those things? Yeah. Is it believable? Not to me.
Voice is another important factor in keeping any genre of writing fresh. The more the author inserts his/her voice into a character, the more I’m drawn in. No one wants to step into a flat, monotone character’s life. As readers, we’re trying to escape our reality for a little while and live in someone else’s life. If the character is flat or boring, we’re not able to escape. I’m a fan of real dialog, which includes the use of swear words when it’s appropriate. I’ve never understood people’s aversion to profanity in books when it’s realistic to the character/situation. If the character I’m reading about is hurting, I want to feel that hurt, and I want to see that hurt in their dialog. Another important thing about voice: it needs to change with each book. If I’m reading a series of books by the same author, I want that author’s overall style to remain the same, but I need each character’s voice to be different. I don’t want to read three different stories with the same character in each book with nothing different but a change of name and scenery.
As you can see, authors have their work cut out for them. Writing a book and struggling to incorporate the above elements along with at least a hundred others is no small feat. It takes patience and a lot of hard work. Hard work that is always worth it in the end when a reader tells you they fell in love with your characters and their stories. As a reader, I know what I want in a story. I want a fresh approach to storylines that have been done before, and characters that suck me in and force me to feel and fall for them. As an author, I work tirelessly to make sure I do just that.
Julie: Wow, that was some great insight into the genre from someone who knows and understands it so well. Thanks so much for being here and sharing your thoughts with all of us. XO
Want to know more about Elisa and her books? Check it out!
Sadie Reynolds is a liar with secrets. At school, she’s part of the popular crowd known as AE, despite being broken inside. She hides it well. She has to. The slightest bit of imperfection will land her in the same shoes as her Geeky neighbor named Ian.
Ian and his only friend are the object of Sadie’s friends’ ridicule, ire, and entertainment. The AE rule the school with intimidation and retribution against anyone who would dare question their supremacy.
Sadie steers clear of most of it, terrified someone will find out her secret. She isn’t the least bit perfect. In fact, she suffers from PTSD stemming from the murder of her mother right before her eyes when she was a child. She can barely cope from day-to-day, hiding her truth and trying to fit in. But she knows it’s only a matter of time.
Hayden is a “Waverly,” a kid with the misfortune of living in the small farming town of Waverly that borders the very affluent Lexington Parrish. The AE doesn’t mix with “Waverlies.” Ever.
Desperate to get away from her oppressive friends, Sadie crashes into Hayden at a bonfire and the attraction that sparks between them is nothing short of electric. But Hayden’s an outsider and when things heat up, Sadie will be forced to choose between her friends and her new boyfriend.
Only Queen Bee Britt isn’t having it. She will not allow Sadie to cross her. Sadie can either do what Britt wants her to do or she will reveal Sadie for the PTSD freak that she is.
Sadie does some soul searching about who she is and who she wants to be. She can’t live her life like this. Not any more. One fateful night will help her see how much things have to change.
She’s determined to no longer allow the AE to rule her life. She will be strong, stand up for Ian and love who she wants in Hayden. Determined and invigorated, Sadie goes to school feeling hopeful for the first time in forever.
But, the unthinkable happens.
Shooters attack dozens of students before the two eventually take their own lives, leaving the school a decimated shadow of what it once was.
Suddenly who lives where, wears what or loves whom seems like the least of Lexington Parish’s problems as everyone and everything changes forever in the after.
IN THE AFTER by Elisa Dane is a hard-hitting and heart-warming story of tragedy, love, loss and redemption. It is recommended for readers 14+.
Link to Goodreads:
Contest ends November 27, 2015
One (1) winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of In the After by Elisa Dane(INT)
Enter here!!! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c08c9e8e496/?
About the Author:
Elisa Dane loves books, chocolate, reality television, her family, and All Star Cheerleading. Not necessarily in that order! She writes contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. She writes what she knows, and it’s her hope that her stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you’ll find a new respect for the sport of All Star Cheerleading you may not have had before. She’s represented by Brittany Booker of the Booker/Albert Agency, and has published a NA paranormal series under her real name, Lisa Sanchez.
Link to Tour Schedule: