Remembering all the books I've read proved to be getting more and more difficult. I started this blog to keep track of anything I've read, answer the questions of those who need to know more before a purchase, or just need a recommendation. I'm just a person who loves to read and hopes to find others interested in this genre; Interracial and/or African American Paranormal ... But honestly ... As long as the leads are diverse (non-caucasian, differently abled, queer), I'm in.
1. I'm one of those weirdos who looks for books where taboo things happen. Consequences starts out with some heavy heavy stuff, and though it's written beautifully, it is a shock, but a good one that sucks you in. What prompted you to write Consequences?
First, Deva, thank you for having me on your blog!!!
Consequences started with an “idea” a “vision” of the opening scene. It was heavy... I really don’t know where it came from. I decided to write it down. In my original thought I didn’t know why “Claire” was in the bedroom – I just knew what had happened to her and what was expected of her. I know the subject is “heavy” and “taboo”... but I honestly read and watch a lot of stories that explore similar things.
2. How long did it take you to write it? How many re-writes?
Once I started writing “openly”, at first I thought my family would think I was crazy, I wrote the entire book in about five months. Then the re-writes started... that went on for four to five more months.
3. Is there any part of Consequences you think you could have done differently?
I love my story. It was my first attempt ever at writing! Every time I went to a seminar or listened to a writer speak, I came home and added and subtracted. Over and over I heard, “show -- don’t tell”. To that end, I wanted people who read to “feel” like they were there with Claire – like they could “see”, “smell”, “touch”, “hear” and “taste” everything as she did.
Honestly, I may have – okay, on some occasions, I did – overdo it. One reviewer (I really do try to read them all) made a comment about x-number of unnecessary pages about wedding dresses Claire didn’t choose. I went back and reread it. She was right! Even I didn’t care about all the detail. Funny thing, I told a friend and she said, “Oh, I loved the wedding dress part.” So, I guess even though I would now probably write some of it differently, I would do it because I thought it made the book better, not because someone else didn’t like it. I know I can’t make everyone happy.
4. John Hamm seems to be the Anthony Rawlings of choice among his fans. Is he also your choice? Also, is there any one thing about Anthony you think readers overlook (I personally appreciate the fact that he has a bit of chest hair)?
Honestly, I do like the pictures of Jon Hamm people have posted. But, as I wrote Consequences and Truth, Joe Magellano has been Tony. I even have pictures of him above my desk. He will always be my Tony.
Something about Tony readers overlook... hmmm, the chest hair – I like chest hair! I like how soft it is and how it tickles your cheek... so yes, I put that in my writing. I regress, what I think is overlooked by many readers is Tony’s blind trust. He doesn’t want to trust anyone; yet, when he does trust -- it is 100%. Take for example his trust of Brent and Courtney. He still has no idea what they did. They are his best friends, he told them to stay away from Claire. He never suspected they’d do anything other than what he said. I won’t even start with the obvious person he has trusted for a long time! Poor guy – no wonder he has issues giving that trust to anyone else.
5. Since this series is a trilogy, do you have anything in mind for another series after this piece of amazingness is done?
I do have some ideas. Honestly, I don’t know how I’ll handle writing “The End”. After all these years I have a difficult time imagining not thinking about Claire and Tony.
6. I'll be honest with you. I generally stick to African American and Interracial books. However, a Goodreads friend was going on and on about the Consequences Series in her update feed and that caused me to purchase and now obsess over it. What would you say to those potential fans who just haven't decided to branch out of their comfort zone and check out your book for whatever reason?
First let me say – thank you! Thank you for giving Consequences a chance. I guess that is all I can ask - give Consequences a chance. I feel bad when I read a review that is a DNF... or someone who “skims” and “the end makes no sense”. Although I may use too many adjectives – all the information is pivotal. It is there for a reason and if you pay attention as you read, at the end you will say, “OH MY GOD! I GET IT!” But that can’t happen if you don’t “give it a chance”. So, when I say “I feel bad”, honestly, I feel bad that, that reader missed out on the experience.
There have been many discussions on the genre of my books. According to my agent they are: contemporary dark romance / psychological thriller. Amazon lists them as thriller / suspense. I believe the problem stems from me – I have issues with “following the rules”. I’m a member of IRA and have been told a romance needs a HEA, I can only write in chronological order, I can’t have more than one POV in a chapter and my book wouldn’t work. Well, I’m not sure, but according to the reviews, I think some people are liking it? So, maybe it’s working?
Therefore, even if Consequences isn’t listed under a genre you usually read... or even if it is... I promise it is like nothing you’ve read before. “Give it a chance.”
READ MORE AFTER THE JUMP!
7. What was your inspiration for Claire? Who she was in book 1 and then who she became in book 2. Same question for Anthony.
In book 1, I wanted Claire to be strong. I know many people didn’t believe she was – but she survived! I thought about people like Elizabeth Smart and Jessica Duggard. They lived through their ordeals because they complied. In my opinion, in Consequences Claire did what she needed to do to survive... that does morph into Stockholm syndrome. Tony changes her... she became who she needed to be to live a life she found acceptable. Book 2 is different. She had a support system and freedom (a key component). Her true personality was able to emerge... yet, through her ordeal she developed feelings.
Who is to say if it is wrong to be with the person who makes you happy, even if others disagree? I believe the big difference in book 2 was that Claire made her own decisions. In book 2 she wasn’t making her decisions based on: What would Tony like? She made them based on: What do I want? What is best for me and my #1 interest?
Tony – in book 1 Tony was a culmination of every manipulative, narcissistic bad-boy I’ve ever met, read or watched. He was part Henry VIII from the Tudors, part Victor Newman from Y&R, part Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind (Yes, he could be an ass too!) And then he was also part Richard Gere from An Officer and a Gentleman and Pretty Woman... part every male character who did and said the perfect romantic, melt your heart thing! A blend of bad and good.
The difference between book 1 and 2 was that in 1 he was an ass to Claire. I admit, he was beyond that – to the point where we must question his redeemability. In book 2 you see him pulling out every stop to get her back! I LOVED writing the Gala chapters. So many of my friends texted, called, sent messages and dirty looks while they read those chapters. To me it was “classic Tony” with an overwhelming sense of desire and dare I say “love”. He would stop at NOTHING to get her back... I LOVED it! Seriously, I know it was manipulative, but what woman wouldn’t be blown away by the excessive measure he took!
8. I just want to say ... I'll be clinging to Consequences support groups on Goodreads until book 3, Conviction, is out. I must say I don't find very many approachable authors who actually interact with their fans. Going through the group, I appreciate you reading and commenting on suggestions for upcoming books and how we want things to go. But even more so, I appreciate you sticking to your gut and original 'outline' and not just trying to please the masses ... Thinking if you write what we want you to write, it will result in better sales. I can name a few that have done that and completely lost what they started out with that people loved in the beginning.
I think that goes back to what I said in question #6. I know what I like to read and what I don’t like. I like surprises and pushing the limits, I don’t like cookie cutter storylines. Therefore, that is the way I write. I’m surprised and thrilled that there are people who like to read it! Thank you!!!
And as for interacting... I LOVE it! I’m so honored that other people have become attached to these characters I made up in my imagination. Truly honored. If writing a comment or giving away a few books helps to let my readers know how deeply grateful I am to them for taking the time to read and review my books and also for telling others and spreading the word of the Consequences Series... I’m excited to do it!
9. Before we're done, give us a little background information on the amazing woman that is Aleatha Romig.
In a nutshell, I’m a wife (married my high school sweetheart!). We’ve been married for twenty-six years. I’m a mom -- we have three amazing children, of whom we’re so proud! (one is graduating college in a week! one will graduate college in May! and the other is still in high school). I’m a dental hygienist. I’ve worked in the same practice for the same dentist for eighteen years. Can you tell I don’t do change? That isn’t it... it is a wonderful practice where I have great friends and coworkers.
Honestly, I’ve had a blessed life with fantastic support. I can’t tell you how much the encouragement of family and friends has meant to me throughout this writing journey!
It is almost incomprehensible to me that Consequences and Truth have found their way to the masses... truly my support is now worldwide! I’m humbled.
10. I hear a giveaway may be in order?
I would be delighted. Again, thank you for having me on Urban Paranormal Book Blog. I hope your followers will take some time to look at the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and give Consequences a chance! In order to thank you for this great opportunity to spread the word and to thank your followers, I’d like to offer a printed, autographed copy of both Consequences and Truth. You decide the winner and I will get the set in the mail to that lucky reader as soon as possible. Good luck and happy reading!
Make sure you check the GIVEAWAY post and leave your comments there to enter!