Q+A: My Third Novel!

If you missed the news, my third novel is publishing on October 31 — in just a few weeks!

In honor of the countdown, I wanted to answer some questions so you can get to know the book, “The Engagement,” a little bit more.

What is this book about?

“The Engagement” is about a social media influencer named Savannah. From the looks of it, she has a life anyone would want: a supportive husband, a sweet daughter, and a booming career.

But, living life online has warped her view of what she wants in life, so she does everything she can to change it. She files for divorce, gets plastic surgery, changes her style, you name it.

Then, she jumps right into a relationship she’s certain is perfect. But, we all know nothing is perfect. Savannah keeps smiling through it, but her online followers know something is wrong.

Where did you get the idea for this book?

I used to follow several influencers on Instagram. But, I started to realize how fake their lives looked online, and wondered if they were even happy outside of what they posted on social media.

The book idea came from some of those observations, and also my personal experience working as a digital marketer. I’ve done lots of work on social media, and have also worked at startups, which is how i created Nolan, Savannah’s new boyfriend.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Most of the time, I have a name in mind based on the character. I try to pick names that are fitting to their personalities and the book.

However, for this book, I tried something new and crowd-sourced the name for Nolan. I knew he was going to be a startup founder and CEO, young, attractive, but also manipulative.

I put that description on Instagram and asked for ideas. I got 10 names and then let my followers vote. Several of the names would’ve been fitting, but I love that Nolan won. The person who submitted it got $10 for a coffee on me as a thank you.

What’s different about this book compared to “Oil & Ink” and “Neon Highway?”

Well, “Neon Highway” is the sequel to “Oil & Ink” so those books have some of the same characters and setting.

“The Engagement” is a completely new set of characters, place, and plot. Generally speaking, “The Engagement” is darker in tone than my other two novels.

In prior books, my characters are generally happy, and searching for fulfillment to lifelong dreams. In “The Engagement,” my main character is struggling to understand who she is and what she wants out of life.

Are you please with how this book turned out?

At this time, the book isn’t 100% finished! Wild, huh? I have a few more areas of it that I’m trying to edit and polish, but I’m certain that by publish day, I’ll be happy with the final product.

This book was more difficult to write because I don’t relate much to my characters. She’s getting a divorce, dealing with being a single mom, and pretty much goes off the rails in terms of her relationships and daily life.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I wrote my first two novels in 30 days during #NaNoWriMo in 2020, and 2021. This book took me a little more than a year to write.

Every writer is different, and likely, every book or project has a different timeline. Currently, I’m more focused on screenwriting and other projects, and being a successful author is not really my goal.

I write and publish books to contribute to my creative experience, and I know I could spend more time writing, editing, and updating them before publishing — all which takes lots of time. But, for the most part, I’m publishing my second draft of my books and moving on to my next idea.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I don’t think writer’s block is something you can not believe in — it’s real. Do I get it? No. I work really hard to keep my brain moving and stay creative.

I might have a tough time with one project or one section of a book, but I just move to another area and come back to the rough spot later.

How can we read “The Engagement”?

It will be available on Amazon in print and for Kindle.

Do you have ideas for other books?

Yes! I’m starting my next book Nov. 1 and will write it during #NaNowRiMo!

To see more writing from me, be sure to subscribe to The Bitter Lemon by clicking “subscribe” on the right side of your screen. Want even more? Subscribe to my newsletter to get roundups, book recs and lifestyle tips.

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