Lovestruck Tour Recap

The second book event I attended during my big trip in February was the Lovestruck Tour featuring Robin Constantine (The Promise of Amazing), Megan Miranda (Fracture), Megan Shepherd (The Madman's Daughter), and Kasie West (Pivot Point). I attended the tour stop at the Little Shop of Stories in Decatur (aka Atlanta), Georgia, which means I also got to see Lauren Morrill (Being Sloane Jacobs), who I met at last year's Dark Days of Winter Tour, and I also got to finally meet one of my favorite blogger friends, Aly of My Heart Hearts Books!

 me with Aly!

I was a little late to the signing because I had an eye appointment in Knoxville, TN, at 2, and this thing started at 7. ZERO extra time, but luckily my appointment went quickly, and traffic was good. I did allow myself a 5 minute stop at the Chattanooga McKays, but I was kind of disappointed that the books were so much more expensive than the Knoxville one. I understand why new fiction is worth more, but I'm sorry. It's a used bookstore; I'm not paying $18 for a used book, even if it's brand-new and in good condition. But I digress.The traffic gods were with me, and I made it about 5 minutes after they started so it was right into the Q&A after I ran upstairs (I seriously didn't miss anything. I could hear them blurbing their books as I bought a few downstairs). As such, I was a little less organized than usual, but I had already created the document on my tablet to take notes. However, as you'll notice, I did not keep track of the order everyone answered, which I usually do. Instead, I listed the authors alphabetically. Please don't stone me. :P As I was formatting this post, I was able to piece some of them together in the correct order based on the authors' answers.

Q1. How do you like your romance?
RC: Little gritty, not quite sweet all the time.
MM: The romance in I is like best friends deciding if they want to be more.a lot of awkwardness, a lot of saying the wrong thing. SPOILER ALERT (and yes, Miranda did spoiler alert those of us in attendance): Vengeance is more working to get the relationship to the next level.
MS: Mine has the biggest balance of blood and guts. What I like about the romance is the Victorian era and how romantic notions were so different.
KW: Probably more on the sweet first kisses side. The getting to know you part. Pretty in Pink meets Pride and Prejudice. You know... Just sweet.

me with Robin (sorry it's a little blurry)
Q2. How did you fall in love with books and writing?
I loved wandering through bookstore shelves. There was a Judy Blume book that my mom wouldn't let me naturally I read it! I love her voice. I always had my hand in it, but I didn't write until I had a baby.
MM: I had a million questions all the time. My mom's solutuon was to take me to the library; it became our tradition. Every thursday, we'd go together. We started out with nonfiction, but I started to gravitate to gritty fiction. I let writing go for like 10 years because I was too busy with life and kids. I thought, "why am I not doing this thing I love?!" It was a meandering road to get here.
MS: My parents' owned a bookstore so it makes sense that I was always in love of books, but I thought books were magical, that authors didn't really exist. After college, I was in the peace corps so I went to this village where they only had like 4 moth-eaten books so I went to a village elder, he told me their tribe's stories, we transcribed it to French, illustrated it, and gave the book to the kids.
KW: I was one of five kids so we'd climb into my parents' bed, and my dad used to read to us. I am very grateful my parents always read to us. I thought all kids were so into books, but now I realize I was very lucky. About seven years ago, I had an idea, and my husband said, "why don't you write it?" So I did. It was very bad, but I did love it.

Q3. What is your favorite part of writing process? 
RC: My favorite is revision. I like taking what I've written, which is horrible, and making the words sing.
MM: I like the point where I know what I'm doing. I'm not much of a plotter, I like characters. It takes like 100 pages to figure out the story.
MS: I hate the revising part. I love the brainstorming part, before the writing. I have an inspiration board with pictures. My husband calls it my serial killer board because I have pictures and words with string running across it
KW: I'm a first draft junkie. It's my favorite. I would write first drafts forever if I could, but then it gets hard.

Q4. Do you have a particular scene you were super excited to write?
The hookup scenes, surprise, surprise. The scene where they finally get together and admit their feelings. I had a Ray lamontagne song on repeat while writing it. [aside: love that scene!]
MM: The very first scene of Fracture. I take my kids to the library all the time. While I was in the car with them, I heard the scene and had the first sentence. We didn't go to the library that day. We went home so I could write.
MS: For those of you who have read it, the masquerade ballroom scene in Her Dark Curiosity. I just wanted to write that from purely an aesthetical standpoint. I was looking forward to writing the setting. The first book is tropical, and the second takes place in dark, wintery London. So I wrote a scene in a greenhouse to bring back the feel of the first book. [aside: both of those scenes are highly awesome]
KW: I don't want to give anything away, but there was this moment where one of the boys tells Addy she wouldn't choose this. He tells her not to worry.

I actually met Kasie last summer during the SWEAT tour.
Q5. Do you listen to music while you're writing? [aside: this is one question where, using the authors' answers, I was able to piece together the order they answered]
KW: I can't listen to music while writing. It distracts me.
RC: That's how I am, unless I'm revising.
MM: I can't listen to music while I'm writing, but I listen to it all the time while I'm not writing.
MS: I'm the same way. I can listen to classical music, but can't have lyrics. I watch a lot of tv and movies. I can't read a lot because I'll pick apart the style. Prison Break taught me how to write.
MM: I like to use the first season of Revenge to analyze story.

Q6. What is it like reading as a writer? 
KW: I still very much enjoy reading.
MS: I love reading as a reader. Some books break my heart because I feel like I can't write that beautifully. Especially when it's an idea I'd like to explore.
RC: The Book Thief. I got to a part that was gut wrenching and I was crying and I was wondering how he could do that.
MM: Yeah. I like to read as a reader, but I like to go back to analyze. How did they surprise me, how did it work, why do I love this. I try to read as a reader.

Q7. What are some books you love?
Kasie's Pivot Point and Side Effects May Vary by Julie Muphy. [aside: SEMV is awesome and pubs TOMORROW! Yay, Julie!]
MM: Tell the Wolves I'm Home [by Carol Rifka Brunt]. Matt de la Pena.
MS: The books I've been reading lately are all adult fiction. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaimon, but it does have some younger elements. The Night Circus [aside: not sure which one she was referring to, sorry!]. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
KW: These Broken Stars. [aside: by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner, and it's incredible, if you have not yet read it]

Q8. Why ya?
RC: I love that time. My voice does seem to go right there. I love the struggle where you're supposed to figure out what you're going to do but youre worried about crushes and tests and stuff.
MM: I love to read ya and everyone I know loves ya too. My mom reads ya, my grandma. There's something universal about that time in our lives. If I think of my 20s, I can kind of remember, but if I think of 16, I'm there. And my voice seems to fit that age.
MS: I love more the feel of it and the scope. Some ideas are too big for adult literature. Phillip Pullman said that. Possibilities and first love and death. I get a thrill thinkijg about how the world could be.
KW: I love the themes of ya. Discovering who you are.  Facing things for the first time. Everything felt larger than life.

It was so good to see her again!
Q9. Do you try to target a certain type of reader? 
MM: If I think too much about audience, there are too many voices in my head. So I think if myself and write the kind of book I would have wanted to read then and I want to read now. I definitely consider it but not in the first stage. Just me and the computer.
KW: Ditto. Exactly. There is a lot of pressure now so I I try to ignore that. It makes me freeze that. 
RC: Ditto. I write for my 16 year old self.
MS: After reviews, I had to realize that not everyone will love it. They're just not into the story. So I'm just going to write for the people who like it. You can't think of that. It's up to the publisher or parent to the teen.
MM: I have a friend who comes to me and says "I hated this book, it was too dark. You'll love it!"

Q10. Would you try adult or middle grade?
MM: sometimes I do get ideas that aren't fit for ya so yeah, I've been trying.
MS: If I wrote adult, it would be similar. It can be hard to write teenage characters so it would be nice to have a 23 year old woman who can do whatever she wants.
KW: I...tried to write a middle grade once...*pauses* The end. I mean, I liked it, but I don't think anyone else would like it. Maybe one day, but I like ya now.
RC: Same. I tried mg, but my voice just wants to go to ya.

Q11. What is the difference between adult books and ya?
MM: You're deliberately filtering through the naivite.
MS: The Ocean at the End of the Lane featurues an eight year-old character, but it starts as an adult looking back. Ya and mg start with that child pov.
KW: The themes.

Q12. Any writing advice for someone who hasn't experienced much? (ie, to write a romance if the writer hasn't experienced one yet)
RC: Imagine the characters in a situation, and see what happens. It might just grow out of that.
MM: Writing is like amplifying what I do know, imagining 10 times more, 20 times more.
MS: I feel like I haven' amok on a tropical island with monsters, but I have been afraid so I write that.
KW: You experience a lot of things by reading. Romance is not about the kissing scene. That's just the payoff. It's everything leading up to that.

 Megan Miranda, me, and Megan Shepherd
I met these lovely ladies at YAK Fest in January!

Q13. Like considering adult or mg, would you consider another genre?
KW: I write in...kind of two different genres. But I think I mostly stay with contemporary. I think I'm happy where I am, but it's just if an idea sticks with might happen.
RC: Same here. I would love to do paranormal, but it would probably be funny paranormal. I also have a mystery brewing, but it would be contemporary,  definitely.
MM: I'm writing a different story.  It's about soul printing and is a little more actiony, but there are themes and elements I keep coming back to.
MS: My next series is a young adult sci fi called The Cage. Six teens taken from our world by an  alien race are put into a human zoo. Both series have romance and mystery.

Q14. How do you work around the rules of "that couldn't happen"? It's fiction, but how do you work out things your characters do? (ie create your own science laws, etc)
RC: You can thing bigger, you can think outside.
MM: If there's one big thing, one big idea I'm asking you to accept, I will try to ground the reader in everything else. So I'll try to come up with the reasons on paper, even if it doesn't make it into the story. 
MS: There's a fair amount of science fiction in my books. You can't create animal men, but I have to come up with things that sound plausible. Jekyll and Hyde, he took a potion. I can't do that. So I did research, but I can't let it cover the story.
KW: The problem with fiction is it has to make sense, even if real life doesn't make sense. Readers will suspend belief only so much. I have really great critique partners. You have to have very honest critique partners.

Me being me, I have some books to give away! Open to the US & Canada, ends 12 AM cst April 1. Follow giveaway policies as stated in the Site Policies tab. Any entries not in accordance to the policies stated will be disqualified... blah blah blah. You guys know the drill. Basically, don't be a jerk and try to cheat the entries. There will be one winner chosen for this giveaway. The prize is signed copies of Robin Constantine's The Promise of Amazing, Kasie West's The Distance Between Us, Megan Miranda's Fracture, and Megan Shepherd's Her Dark Curiosity.

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  1. Thanks for the giveaway! I love all the questions the authors were asked.

  2. I loved the interview. My heart hearts books is one of my favorite blogs. Thanks for the epic giveaway ! All the books are great and signed to boot so someone is going to be very lucky:)

  3. I'm totally jealous of you, being able to eat so many fabulous authors at once! Such great questions were asked with even greater responses! Hope you had fun and thanks for the giveaway! <3

  4. Ahhh you're so lucky! You and Aly look adorable <3 I so want to meet Kasie West! She's one of my favorite authors! I loved the interview! :D

  5. So jealous (but also really happy for you!) that you get to go to all of these amazing events with these incredible authors! I wish I lived in your area!!! And thank you for so many generous giveaways. I love the pictures and the interview too! Thanks for taking notes so we could get to hear what they had to say too :)

  6. Lucky! That looks like so much fun! And it's so kind of you to give away signed books. Thank you!

  7. Sooo jelly! You weren't kidding you had a great giveaway (And more) going!!! I haven't met any of these authors yet, so I'm drooling with envy :-)

  8. You meet so many cool authors! I'm beyond jealous! It's so nice of you to share with your followers though. :)

  9. I love Megan! Hopefully I can go to an event with her soon! (: My phone ate my comment earlier. /:

  10. I don't think I can be any more jealous of you. Goodness! Anyway, seriously, I love Kasie West. Her books! I just love them all so much.
    Xo, Kristi

  11. I wish I could go meet four authors at once. I've only met three.

  12. I can't wait to read Her Dark Curiosity

  13. Oooh, what an awesome prize pack. All of these are on my wish list.