- I started the original draft (which was only 3 or 4 scenes) in 2007. In that version, David & Olivia were called Christian & Anna. Those names were chosen before Fifty Shades of Grey came out, and they were inspired by Christian Troy from Nip/Tuck and Anna Karenina from Tolstoy’s novel.
- It has some version of the word fuck 31 times.
- Some other possible titles for Come Undone included, What Happens, The Opposite of Us and Straight Lines.
- It was halfway finished when inspiration for book two struck. I wrote the opening scene of Come Alive on an iPod while on a bus in Croatia.
- It originally had a different cover: a close-up photo of gold glitter that I took myself. Sadly, it can still be found on Goodreads.
- It advanced to the 2nd round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award in January 2014. 2,000 were chosen from 10,000.
- It has 70,832 words.
- You can read its very first ever review on I Love Romantic Fiction.
- Originally, Olivia had Lucy’s job as a personal stylist and that’s how the bow tie scene came to be.
- Half was written in New York City, and the other half in California.
- The opening scene was an art gallery instead of the ballet, until I went to see Swan Lake at Lincoln Center in NYC. The setting was so romantic that I went home and rewrote it.
- I inadvertently share a character name with Sons of Anarchy: Marcus Alvarez (SOA) and Mark Alvarez (Come Undone). Not intentional, though they have some similarities!
Come Undone was my debut novel, written in 2013, and is book one in The Cityscape Series. (That's not one of the things. Hopefully you already knew that.) Below are 12 tidbits that might make you smile!
"I love books that make me feel a variety of emotions and feel them intensely. To question the things I thought I believed, to relate to characters for their moments of vulnerability, to see the layers of them as they unfold. I'm positively addicted, consumed, overwhelmed by these characters."--Amazon Reviewer
"This is what Jessica does. She creates a story so compelling that overwhelms you and takes you for the ride of your life. It changes you and what you believe. It shakes you to the core."--Mia's Point of View
"From the first sentence, this book had a slow burn that gradually increased until the ending where it was a raging inferno and it felt like my heart might beat right out of my chest...If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would."--A Risqué Affair Book Blog
Start the serial reviewers are calling "edgy" and "the ride of your life." Now available as a complete set on Amazon, or borrow free with Kindle Unlimited.
The Night Fever Serial box set includes the following novellas. Reader discretion is advised.
Night Fever (1)
Night Call (2)
Night Moves (3)
Night Edge (4)
JH: Louise, welcome to #ScriptFlip! I'm happy to have the chance to get my questions answered about the Lightning series. Have you always written fiction, or did something in particular spur you to write and publish your first book, Faithful?
Louise: Until 2013, I’d not written any fiction since school. I walked out of a job I didn’t like and I knew I wouldn’t find something else straight away so I wanted a task or a goal that would keep me occupied and give me some routine.
When I started Faithful I didn’t tell anyone until I was about half way through the book because before then I had no idea whether I’d give up. At the half way point I realized I could do it and more that I was really enjoying it.
JH: Sounds a lot like my process with Come Undone. I didn't tell anyone I was writing for a while. Jake Harrison from What The Lightning Sees seems to have it all—looks, ambition, humor. Is there one thing all leading men must have in your books? If you can say, who was your inspiration for him?
Louise: I think that all the men in my books have to be man enough to deserve the women they end up with. When I say man enough I mean I think I write men who are grown-ups. They’re not perfect but they’ve got broad shoulders and are determined to win their women round.
I didn’t really have inspiration for real life for Jake. Haven came to me first so Jake had to be man enough for Haven and that takes some doing. What’s nice is that they heal each other but it’s not until Haven that Jake realizes that’s what he needs.
JH: Haven writes for Rallegra, a women’s magazine. If you had her job and her deadline, what topic would you write about right now?
Louise: I would right about the rise in self publishing. People who aren’t readers or writers in the genre still see it as a fringe thing. Someone I know asks me from time to time whether I’m still “vanity publishing”.
JH: Oh, boy. Hard to believe they're not seeing the potential. Where did you come up for the title of What the Lightning Sees?
Louise: The title is taken from the lyrics from the Prince song Raspberry Beret. In the middle eight the song goes “The thunder drowns out what the lightning sees.” I’ve always loved the lyric and I thought it fit Haven and Jake well because I see Jake as being Haven’s lightning. He can light her up like no one can and see parts of her that she keeps hidden from most people.
JH: Haven had a few little quirks that were quite endearing, like constantly smoothing back her hair. What physical gesture gives you away when you’re feeling something specific, like nervous, excited or upset?
I have precisely NO poker face. Everything I’m thinking shows on my face, unfortunately. It’s a problem. I also babble.
JH: [Spoiler alert] Ash doesn’t have much of a filter. What do you think she would’ve said if she’d come face to face with Millie in the final scenes after learning the truth?
Louise: It’s true, Ash doesn’t have much of a filter but I don’t think she’d waste her breath on Millie. If she did, I’m sure she would just offer her a single, withering put down.
JH: Thank you for giving me a glimpse into Brit speak. It was fun getting to know some new colloquialisms. Are there any Americanisms that you find weird or humorous?
Louise: That’s so funny because I work quite hard so there isn’t much Brit speak!
We are so used to Americanisms because of US film and tv being so prevalent in our culture so not many surprise me. But one thing that when I’m in America that always surprises is that I get asked if I’m “all set” all the time. Mainly by waiter and waitresses but it’s so funny because we don’t use the phrase at all. It also suprises me how formal Americans are, particularly in business. In the UK we never address each other as Mr Jones or Mrs Green – even if we’ve never met each other before and would never use madam or sir. Oh and how can I forget “fanny pack” *titters*. Fanny is vagina in the UK.
JH: Aha! That brings me to my next question! I’ve stalked your page and discovered Ash is getting her story. You know I love a good triangle, but just as much, I am a sucker for unrequited love. Care to share any details of what we can expect?
Louise: I love a stalker, particularly when it’s mutual!
Ash’s book picks up where Lightning finishes so Ash is trying to put some distance between her and Luke so she can hopefully find a love for herself. We follow her journey. Is that too much of a tease?
JH: That's perfect! Looking forward to getting to know Ash and her filterlessness. (Yes, that's a word.) Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions!
JH: I'm beyond thrilled to welcome author Lisa Suzanne to the blog today & to have the chance to ask her some questions about her latest series, Vintage (Vols. 1 & 2). Lisa, thanks for indulging me! Have you always written fiction, or did something in particular spur you to write and publish your first series, the He Feels Trilogy?
Lisa: I’ve always written fiction—at least back to high school. I think the first book in the He Feels Trilogy goes back probably fifteen or so years. It wasn’t meant to be a trilogy, but after I published the first book, I had to explore what happened to Travis! And so the series was born.
JH: In your other life, you’re a high school English teacher. What’s your favorite book to discuss with your classes? When kids enter your classroom, what hashtag pops into their head?
Lisa: My top favorite is probably The Great Gatsby, but I also love teaching Into the Wild! As for a hashtag, probably something like #figureitout or #sheisobsessedwithherdog.
JH: Ha! Roxy Price is a complex, layered character. Which of her qualities do you admire most?
Lisa: I love her ability to bounce back. She’s been through a lot, but she’s tough even when she doesn’t want to be. I also love how grounded she is. She could easily get caught up in the world around her, but she remains true to herself.
JH: Completely agree—grounded is a great way to describe Roxy. During both books, I felt like I was right there on tour with Black Shadow. What kind of research went into creating that experience for the reader?
Lisa: I’ve always loved music and attending concerts. I’ve been lucky enough to get front row seats and meet & greet opportunities with some amazing artists. But the one piece of research that stands out the most happened last summer. I scored VIP passes to the Uproar Festival in Tucson from a new member of the band Seether. He and my brother played in a band together in high school, and he not only took us backstage, but he took us on his tour bus. To see a huge tour like that from behind the scenes was an amazing experience that I knew would end up in a book.
JH: That's amazing. Lyrics aren't easy, I'm sure. What’s the scoop on your current work in progress?
Lisa: I’m working on a romantic comedy that is set to release August 27! Not Just another Romance Novel is about Piper, a woman working toward her master’s degree in Psychology. She comes up with a project where she combines her love for romance novels with her passion for psychology. Her social experiment is to date all of the stereotypes in the books to find out which one will lead her to her happy ending. My beta readers are just starting to get back to me with feedback, and so far I’m hearing awesome things! I can’t wait to share this one!
With a week at the beach ahead of me, I needed a light-hearted romcom for my sunbathing, and I knew exactly where to find it: author R.S. Grey. Lucky for me, she has a new release that turned out to be everything I was hoping for & more. I laughed. I swooned. I almost lost my Kindle to an aggressive wave. The Allure of Julian Lefray delivers on its promise of comedy and romance, plus it incorporates pop culture, fashion and the ever-so-hot blogosphere. Jo's story is every girl's Cinderella fantasy, except in The Allure of Julian Lefray, the ball is New York Fashion Week and the glass slipper is a vintage Chanel leopard-print flat.
From my review: "It’s clear from the start that Julian Lefray has as much heart as he does wit, and matched with sharp, humorous Jo, the pair keeps readers entertained from page to page."
I had to find out more, so I reached out to R.S. Grey, and she generously took time out of her busy, wedding-planning, book-writing schedule to answer some questions for me...
JH: FANGIRLING. I mean... welcome, R.S. Grey! First question: have you always written fiction, or did something in particular spur you to write and publish your first book, Behind His Lens?
R.S.: Writing wasn’t a part of my life until a few years ago. I was always an avid reader, especially in my teen years. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for me to take two to three trips to B&N a week back then. My love for reading naturally morphed into a dream of writing my own novel one day. I had a good friend who convinced me to give it a shot and the rest is history!
JH: In The Allure of Julian Lefray, Jo is an in-the-know fashion blogger. Is fashion a passion of yours or did you have to do a lot of research?
R.S.: My guilty pleasure is to follow fashion bloggers on Instagram. My feed is littered with women who are living such glamorous lives (or at least it looks like it!). They served as the inspiration behind Jo.
JH: I love the title. Was it a lightning bolt of genius, or were there other contenders?
R.S.: The title took a little while to come up with. The title was originally The Danger of Julian Lefray, but I later changed it as I realized that there was nothing inherently dangerous about him, haha!
JH: Actually, the chiseled cheekbones/tuxedo combo kills more women a year than genetically-modified dinosaurs. True story, look it up. You design your own covers. Jo scrimps & saves by doing graphics & development for her up-and-coming blog, What Jo Wore. Is there a little of yourself in Josephine, and if so, in what ways?
R.S.: ABSOLUTELY. Before I wrote full time, I worked for a woman who owned a graphic design company. I’d help her with design in the mornings and then nanny for her in the afternoon. It was a fun set-up, but it was definitely a time in my life where I knew I was striving for more.
JH: Jo and Julian are stylish, attractive and kinda goofy. When they enter a room together, what’s their hashtag?
R.S.: HAH! This is a hilarious question. #Blessed <- but they would use it ironically, for sure.
JH: Jo has an unfortunate accident involving a bumpy car ride, too many beers and a face-to-face with Julian’s lap (not the good kind). Any embarrassing moments of your own involving a guy you were dating or interested in?
R.S.: There’s no moment that pops out, but I will say that I am someone who moves first and thinks second, so I’m always tripping over things. It’s seemingly charming, but I end up with a perpetual line of bruises on my shins because of it!
JH: Carter, thanks so much for stopping by the blog today for #ScriptFlip. I absolutely loved The Closer You Get. Have you always written fiction, or did something in particular spur you to write and publish your first book, Not A Chance?
Carter: I’ve always written fiction, but I considered it a guilty pleasure. I’d intended to pursue other avenues in the book industry, but then I read my first romance novel (Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie), and it was like a heavenly light burst forth and illuminated the path to my future. Yes. You heard me right. I’m saying that God wants me to write smut. I ask frequently, “Are you sure God?” So far, he seems pretty certain.
JH: Tell us a little about Rye and Cash Holcomb from The Closer You Get. Were the brothers based on anyone in particular?
Carter: I’m sure they’re composites of people and ideas I’ve encountered throughout my life, but I didn’t have anyone specific in mind. To be honest, I have never known where my characters germinate from. Rye and Cash were born in my mind together, though. They were brothers from the very beginning.
JH: Any fun facts you can share about The Closer You Get?
JH: Cora has a habit of playing herself down, especially with her gorgeous, Amazon-like sisters. Aside from her peek-a-boo dimples, what specifically do you think Rye fell for first (or the hardest)?
Carter: I think he liked when she flipped him off in the restaurant before they go to the bar. She showed some attitude and it caught his attention. She also rejected him, which offered him a challenge. So from that point on, I think he was falling in love with her subliminally. He just had to dig his way out of his own issues before he could really see her and truly appreciate her beauty.
And then because he was gay, my second goal was to make sure he wasn’t treated as a “token” gay character or as a convenient plot device for Rye. I want to buck those trends. (Jessica: Hear, hear!) We’re constantly reading/hearing/saying the mantra, “Love is love.” That’s what I wanted for Cash. For his romance to be romance. I believe gay romance belongs shelved with the mainstream romance. I’m not saying everyone has to like it. We all have preferences. But to be told by our friends, our media, even our Supreme Court that “love is love,” and then to walk into the bookstore and find out that “love is love, but gay love is inherently erotic and kinky and therefore located in that little section over there”…that’s just ridiculous to me.
JH: Do you have any tips or tricks that get you through dreaded writer’s block?
Carter: I’m the absolute last person who should answer this question. I’m a sloppy, undisciplined writer. When I get blocked on a project I either start a new project or lie around the house in a depressive state checking my temperature trying to find some physiological reason for my malaise. So no. I don’t have any tips.
JH: Can you share anything about what you’re working on now? (Any chance we’ll get more of Franny, Sully, Lyssa and the rest of Fidelity?)
Carter: Sully has caused me some problems. But I am pleased to say that I finally have him figured out and am going strong on his story. I hope to announce a release date in the next month. The title is Play It Again and it does directly follow The Closer You Get. Sully’s been keeping a very big secret for a very long time and, Franny is determined to uncover it. I’m so excited about this one!