My goodness, it’s been a crazy ride so far. Forgive my lack of blogging—I will get better at this, I swear! I’ve really enjoyed connecting with all of you through Facebook and Twitter, but this is a great place to answer some of your commonly asked questions.
But first, let’s catch up! Last Friday, Love Between the Sheets invited me to do an Author Takeover on their Facebook page, and it was a blast! It was wonderful meeting so many new people and talking books, sexy teachers (shh!), and introducing TFoG to many new readers. I also gave away four signed copies of TFoG and two $25 Amazon gift cards. If you missed out, no worries. It won’t be the last time.
Speaking of giveaways, we’ve reached 2,000 Likes on my Facebook page (more like surpassed it in a matter of hours!) and I will be giving away two signed copies of TFoG this upcoming week. So if you haven’t “Liked” my page yet, get to it so you don’t miss out!
The reaction to TFoG has been extraordinary. After its release, it quickly became an Amazon bestseller, succeeding in several categories: Teen Love & Romance, Teen Contemporary Romance, Women’s Psychological, and New Adult & College. Amazon also featured it as a Hot New Release. So awesome. I wasn’t sure how the public would receive this “taboo” story, but most of you see what I was hoping you’d see: a love story. While I would never condone a student/teacher relationship, I wanted to write about finding that unexpected love—that uncontrollable, overwhelming, fall-flat-on-your-face love. And then add the “forbidden” element. Yum.
I understand a few people can’t get past the student/teacher thing, and I respect that. But the majority's vast outpour of love for this story has filled me with such humility and gratitude. You guys get it. I love it when I hear how people weren't sure in the beginning, how they tried to fight it, but then found themselves actually rooting for a student and a teacher to get together. One person said they were "morally terrified" in the beginning. Ha! I'd expect nothing less. Thank you for your passion, your support, and your excitement. It’s infectious!
Now to answer some commonly asked questions:
1. What inspired you to write this story?
Last summer (June ’13), during my short break from college, I was in search of a student/teacher romance novel. (You can’t judge me because you like them too!) I found quite a few and devoured them . . . but they left me wanting more. Not in a sex-crazed kind of way. (If you’ve read the book, you know that’s not what this story is all about, nor are there any graphic sex scenes.) It was more in a “that’s not quite what I’m looking for” kind of way. The books I read were great, don’t get me wrong! But I found a common theme: They met/dated/hooked-up before they realized they were student and teacher. And while I love that complication (super juicy!), I wanted a situation where the characters met as student and teacher. I wanted no excuses for the characters’ choices. I also wanted the story to take place at the high school level, not college. And I wanted the teacher more than two years older. The other books I found were dark, manipulative, and an abuse of power. I’ll admit, I liked those, too. But none of them were what I was looking for. So, during my six-week summer break, I wrote the story that I wanted to read. Much to my surprise, the story poured out of me faster than I could type, and I had the first draft completed in five and a half weeks. After that, I just prayed that someone else would love this story like I do. And as it turns out, you do. Thank you!
2. “For the love of God, WHEN IS THE SEQUEL COMING OUT?!”
Okay, this isn’t a direct quote, but it’s pretty much the gist of the panicky questions I receive daily. ;) (Remember how I said I love your passion? I do, I really do.) And here is where I would like to apologize.
Yes, I’m hard at work on the sequel, and I am typing as fast as I can. However, the process of getting TFoG out into the world was intense. I was a full-time student (17 credits a semester, God help me!) and it took much longer to get from the first draft to the final product. It took up all of my spare time because I had a tiny (but ridiculously hard-working) team of editors . . . and that team included me. I was highly involved in this process while trying to finish my degree—long story short, it delayed my start on the sequel. Then, everything took off rather quickly (which I am grateful for) and I had to take a break. I couldn’t dive right into writing the sequel without losing my sanity.
I wanted to have an official release date for you guys by now. But it’s still too early. Even though this is a series, I write full-length novels. I refuse to write 100 pages and throw it out there for you so I end up with eight installments. The story is top priority for me, and I want to be sure to always give you high quality, full-length novels. I promise I will announce the official release date as soon as I have it. I can’t wait to give that to you. I was originally shooting for an end-of-the year release, but I’m afraid that might be a little too ambitious. Hopefully it won’t be much longer than that, though. I will have a larger team this time around, but I’m still under an independent publisher, and there’s much more that goes into all of this that I won’t bore you with. ;) You just want answers and I respect that! But please know that when I announce the release date, it will be close to the actual date! Meaning, I won’t announce a date that is six months down the road. I will announce it, and you will have the book in your hands not too long after that. :)
Also, with the slightly larger team behind me, I will have more time to write! Which means next time I won’t make you wait so long for a release date in between books.
Thank you all for you continued support. You guys have been so kind and understanding, and that means a lot!
3. How many books can we expect in this series?
Yet another question I can’t quite answer. It depends on a storyline I’m currently working on. It will either conclude with the sequel, or it will be a trilogy. The thing is, I originally set out to write a standalone. But the story took on a life of its own, and I ran with it. I soon learned that Kaley and Slate’s story wasn’t over. Far from over, in fact. However, like I said earlier, I write full novels. And since I originally wanted a standalone, I was going to try to just write one more book to conclude the story. . . . But, this next installment has a lot going on and a lot of complications for the characters, so I’m unsure yet if it will be able to conclude. If not, I will write one more. What I don’t want is to drag it on. I never want to do that. I like fast-paced, no nonsense stories. That, to me, is more important than having the expected “trilogy” sitting on the shelf. But like I said, there is a lot going on in the sequel, so we shall see. When I announce the release date, I will also announce whether it’s the conclusion, or whether there will be one more book in the series.
4. Do you have any other projects you’re working on?
I’m soley focused on the sequel to TFoG right now, but I do have some exciting projects waiting in the wings that I’m dying to get to. I’ll just mention the two that are currently at the top of the priority list (as soon Kaley’s story is finished). One is a YA novel that will be much darker and dealing with some heavy stuff. I don’t know when I’ll choose to write this one, but it might be the most important story I ever tell. The other one I’m excited about is a thriller that will be New Adult. (At the moment, that one is at the top of the list!)
Okay, I think I’ve taken up enough space for now. I’ll post more of the common questions I receive in my next blog. (And this time I won’t wait two months, I promise!)
Again, thank you for your continued support. It means so much. Thank you for spreading the word and taking the time to write such passionate reviews, letting people know how much you love TFoG and why. :) That means the world to an author! And don’t hesitate to contact me via the contact page on my website (next tab over), or Facebook and Twitter. I'm not on Goodreads much, but I pop in when I can, so feel free to follow me there as well. (I do respond to messages, though!)
I love hearing from you. If I haven’t responded, hit me up again. I try to get to everyone!