Before I get into this blog entry, I have a serious question about the future Anton book. I asked this on my facebook, and I got 1 response, so I'm asking again. Would you like to see it as a series, like the Professor and get 1 book a month for 4 months, or would you rather wait 4-6 months and get the book all at once? I know a few of my beta readers have already messaged me saying they are missing my daily emails, so I know their preference, but let me know- do you prefer a series or one novel?
I was describing the difference between my two contemporary romance novels that are available and the Professor series to my mother in law a couple of weeks ago. She'd read 'Love, but Never' but not 'The Weakness in Me' and described the sex scenes in LBN as "extremely graphic." In all honesty, I never considered them to be that bad, in the realm of other things I've read. Basically, this led me to telling her that the sex in "The Professor" series made my other two books look like children's books- which is why I considered publishing the series under a separate pen name.
That's not to say that I don't love LBN or TWiM- because I do. 'Love, but Never' was the first book I'd ever written. And, frankly, I wasn't sure I had it in me to write a novel when I started it. It's a deeply personal story that I needed to write, and I've learned all of my subsequent motivation comes from that book. I have it as a contemporary romance, because of the sexual relationship portrayed in the book, and there is an HEA. BUT the book is SOLEY about Marissa and her journey to find herself and to get beyond all the shit cards she's been dealt in her life. She needs to learn to trust herself and her decisions before she can truly be happy.
People have asked why it wasn't written in first person, because it is only ever told from Marissa's perspective. My answer for that is: I needed the book to be in 3rd person so that I could distance myself from the harshness of Marissa's life. There is so much pain and going through it as an outsider was hard enough.
'The Weakness in Me' is a book I'm extremely proud of. It is a second chance romance book, for which I'm a sucker as a reader. It, too, is a heartbreaking book. Samantha's husband is killed at the beginning of chapter 1 (spoiler alert) and she spends much of the book recovering and learning to love again.
I entered this book in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards in January of this year. I never expected to make it beyond the pitch round because I, literally, finished the first draft of this book on the day I entered it into the competition. There were 9,999 other entries to compete against, so I never had designs that I would win. I was mostly curious.
I was shocked to see my name as one of 400 Romance novels remaining in the competition after the pitch round. I was doubly shocked when I made the quarter-final round as one of 100 romance novels remaining. I was so grateful for the experience this competition gave me and the new author friends I made- like Brittainy Cherry, author of The Space in Between- a book I was so happy and grateful to beta read for (it's a great book, check it out).
Both Love, but Never and The Weakness in Me are slow developing stories, not like the whirlwind romance of Damien and Sabrina, but the love between Aaron and Marissa and Jason and his Sammy are still pretty amazing.