Question….

I want to know what people think about his/her books. You know the one that’s told from the female perspective first and then retold from the male perspective.

As a reader, I’m not a fan. As I writer, I think they can be great if done right. I have a companion novel to No Place Like Home set to release this summer told from Jake’s POV. I initially wrote scenes from his POV while writing NPLH with the intention of giving him a few chapters in the book, but I really wanted it to be Jules’s story so I decided against it, but the alternate scenes did help me shape Jake’s character.

For me, it was important to do this because Jake has his own story to tell. He of course had his own struggles to overcome, and I think it’s important to address since things that happened in his life, like his father passing away and his break up with Ashley, weren’t really explored in NPLH.

To be perfectly honest, I like his story better than Jules’s and Jake actually has a lot to say. I can’t wait to share it with the world…

Bad Reviews

Let’s face it, bad reviews are going to happen. Even fricken Colleen Hoover has bad reviews (I know, I can’t believe it either). With that said, they’re still difficult to stomach, especially when you believe in your story and your characters so much. I normally ignore them, but they hurt. So bad. But I hate when people who’ve never been in a situation similar to what the characters experience say how unrealistic it is. 

First of all, let me make something clear, LIZ NEVER OFFERED TO PAY FOR JULES’S COLLEGE EDUCATION! Don’t ask me where the hell that even came from, but someone read my book and drew the conclusion that Liz offered to pay for Jules to go to college, which never happened. Liz merely mentioned in a joking manner that she had connections, and could help pull strings to get her in, but if you read NPLH, you’d know that Jules was completely capable of getting into college on her own.

Is it possible to believe you’ve found your best friend after one day? Sure. As a matter of fact, I have. Plenty of times. My best friend has been my best friend since middle school after just one conversation. She was at lunch and had forgotten her lunch money at home. I offered her my tots and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

Can two people feel an instant attraction? Absolutely!!!!!! I experienced this, and I can confirm that it does happen, and when it does its beautiful and unexplainable. If someone were to ask me what was so special about him at the time, I don’t think I could give a single definitive answer. I just know that it was something I felt. That pull is so real and so intense and sometimes it’s hard to make sense of it, but it does happen.

Can someone with a traumatic past let people in easily? Of course. It happens everyday. Sometimes, and again I’m speaking from experience, all it really takes is for someone to make an effort. People who have past traumas are not necessarily completely jaded. I wish I was brave enough to share my high school diary because although letting people in was a struggle at times, the real issue was that it seemed like no one made a real effort. And when the right people came along, they willingly made that effort.

I’m so tired of people saying that Jules’ story is unrealistic. This was not some story I just put together in my mind. I had a wonderful girl who was brave enough to tell me about her past, and her struggles with moving on from it. I was so moved by it I knew I wanted it to be the premise of my story. She was kind enough to offer advice along the way, and candidly let me into the darkness of her past. She let me use specific events in her life (ie moving in with her social worker secretly and quickly befriending one of the neighbor’s kids) that I had to incorporate in this book. I don’t understand why some  people are so negative and are so convinced that they are experts on everything to the point that they know when something is realistic or not. And let’s say that you have been in a situation similar to Jules. Is every situation the same? Is every person’s response to such situations the same? No and no, and that’s what I think these “experts” forget.

So after bashing my book, please don’t think that I’d ever give you the privilege of reading another for free, much less be a part of my creative process. Thanks, but no thanks. Go find someone else to release your pent up aggression on.

-B.

A Temporary Moment of Extreme Candor

Lately, I’ve been having a ton of sleepless nights. Those that know me well would probably immediately assume from that statement that I am a borderline insomniac because I’m probably reading or writing and am fully immersed in it.

I admit, usually this assumption is correct. However, tonight’s nothing like those nights because I’m not reading or writing (other than this blog post). My mind, however, is still running 100 miles/hour.

I’m not analyzing the words of the last book I read because I’m suffering from a severe book hangover. And I’m not agonizing over word choice for my next book. I’m sitting up thinking about the fact that I think I regret wanting to become a writer.

This is a hard business to get into, and with so many self-published books being released on a daily, it is even harder. So while yes, self-pubbing makes it easier to put the material out there, it makes it much harder for it to become noticed.

But I don’t think that is the only problem. I really doubt my skill and talent as a writer. I’ve never had people outside of close friends and family members read what I have written, and provide feedback. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad my friends and family members support what I do.  It’s just that I think the compliments from them have over-inflated my ego.

Most people I know don’t read a lot, and so most of them would probably never become novelists or publish a book, short story, or any other piece of literature. I’m not saying this to put them down. They have things that they are fricken awesome at that I’d probably (definitely) never be good at. I’m saying this because the fact that they’d never write an 83,000 word book, they are easily impressed when I tell them that I have.

I’m rambling a lot so I’m going to end this post soon so let me get to the point. The point is, I’m sending my work out to critics. I want to hear from people that do read to see if I have something good. To help me see whether or not I’ve got real talent. While I wait for responses from the critics, I’m taking a hiatus from writing/publishing material. I’ve spent a lot of time–no, make that invested a lot of time–into my dream of becoming a writer. Time I could be using to work on other things. Time that I can never get back. I guess it’s also fitting that while I’m on my break I also take a break from blogging and social media.

With all this said, I want to thank everyone who has supported me this far. You have no idea the joy it brings to me knowing I have people that love me enough to get behind whatever is my flavor of the moment (in this case, that just so happens to be my writing). I could never repay you for your unconditional support. I also want to thank those that decided to take a chance on me and have purchased and read NPLH. You all bring me hope. Good night, world.

-B.

DeAnna Holland is on Twitter folks!

Facebook and Blogger will remain my primary modes of connecting with people but hey, I think I kinda like twitter! !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

Before I wrote NPLH…

I had written maybe five or six other books. Each of them I can see me publishing someday, like Soundless. I started writing it last summer, and finished it right before Christmas–right before I started NPLH. I remember the day I typed the first words: “So, there really is no hope for me at all.” Before I started it, I had written a very, very personal story that is untitled, but I was emotionally spent after I wrote it. I turned to my boyfriend, and I was like, “Marcus, I’m ready to write another story.” And he goes, “Britt, really, do you ever take a break?” I didn’t answer that because he already knew the answer, which of course is no. But anyway, he suggested that I write about someone with a disability, like either someone who was going blind or deaf and is learning to adjust. SO…I chose to write about someone who is going deaf. It is a truly heart-wrenching story, but it’s hopeful and of course there is a HEA because that is a requirement for me. It was very personal because before my mother passed away, she went blind, and I witnessed how difficult it was to adjust sometimes, but she was amazingly resilient, and that’s something I wanted for my character. I can’t wait to share that story with you all. I’m aiming to publish it in May or June, but it has to be edited, and I can’t really say how long that process will take but I’m really excited to release it and share it with everyone! -B.