You guys – I loved this book!
And more – I love the authors!
They are two very amazing ladies, who are capable of blending their work seamlessly together into one incredible book.
I was lucky enough to be able to ask Lila and Rachel a few question… random question.
And they were gracious enough to answer – letting you in on their guilty pleasures, hardest scenes to write, do they have road rage?… and much more!
Curious?! Well, let’s get to this interview then!
Rachel – Thank you for having me today Caylie and Haley!! I just love this blog!!! And you ladies of course!
Thanks Rachel! Thanks for being here and taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions!
In Striking, what was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Lila – Here’s the thing: I love writing the aftershocks of the breakup. I have no problem making my characters rip their clothes, vomit, cry on the floor, you name it, I love to make them suffa! That being said, I liked writing Stockton writhing in pain after—you know. It’s horrible of me, I know.
The other chapter I always love to write is the first one. I don’t know about other writers, but the first ten thousand words are a piece of cake for me. I have about seven manuscripts on my computer that all have the first eight to ten thousand words written on them. It’s easy and new and the characters are fresh in your mind, it’s another one of my favorite parts to write, always.
Rachel – This is a really hard question because the entire book was really great for me. It was one of the most enjoyable writing experiences I’ve ever had- thanks to Lila- so to pick one is almost impossible! So I’m breaking the rules and picking two!!!
The first chapter was really exciting for me to write. I have a thing for writing first chapters anyway, but this one was especially fun. As a writer I usually struggle with making sure my heroines are relatable and appealing to the reader. But with Cami’s first chapter I didn’t have that pressure at all. In fact, I was almost challenged to make you hate her. I love writing snotty girls, and obnoxious behavior, so her first scene was absolutely one of my favorite parts.
The other favorite scene of mine was Cami and Stockton’s date to the river. Their feelings are kind of laid out there, you get to see real growth and maturity from Cami and it’s just a really sweet, beautiful scene. I love how Stockton reacts and pursues Cami. And of course the getting almost naked part….
I love how you both like writing the first chapter of your books! Lila, it seems slightly twisted that you love writing the suffering scenes.. but you are so amazing at it, that I won’t complain! And Rachel, you did a great job at making me hate Cami in the beginning!
In any of your books, what was the hardest scene you have ever written?
Lila – The abusive scenes in Emerge were extremely difficult for me to write since Emerge is mostly based on my life. It was hard to revisit those moments.
Rachel – I’ve had several- probably way too many- scenes that were really emotional for me to write. I turn into a sobbing, hysterical, snot-nosed mess over my characters on a daily basis. But the hardest scene I’ve ever written is actually in my upcoming Adult Contemporary book, The Five Stages of Falling in Love. And it’s in the prologue! Which seems like a strange place for a difficult scene, since most of them take place in the climax or final scenes of my books. But it was probably the most emotional I’ve ever gotten while writing. And even now, just thinking about it, it can still devastate me.
Oh dear, I’m not sure I can read either of these books. I’m already an emotional mess most of the time – just what I need, a good ugly cry book…
What is the weirdest thing that has ever been said/done to you by a fan?
Lila – I had a fan once who wanted to send me a shirt to sign. I said great, send it on. I thought it maybe was a roller derby shirt or maybe a book shirt or something. So, I go to my post office box to get it and it’s just this plain white t-shirt and I unfold it, and it’s like toddler size. Seriously, it would be too small for most toddlers. I brought it home, signed it with my eyes darting around the room, waiting for the hidden camera show people to come out, and sent it back. I haven’t heard from them since. Kinda odd, right?
Rachel – So, between Fearless and the release of Endless I had a reader email me and offer to send me a box of potatoes. That was by far the most bizarre offer I have ever gotten. But, her husband is a potato farmer, which makes potatoes a little less random. And actually through the whole thing we became really, really good friends!!! I just love her to pieces now. But it is amazing that such a good friendship started over a box of potatoes!
Bahaha! Toddler t-shirts and potatoes?! You two have interesting fans!! I can send some good ol’ Wisconsin cheese… you know it’s amazing!!
Imagine all your main characters are on survivor. Who will be voted out first?
Lila – What a fun question! I would have to say Breaker James. He would probably quit before they even had to vote since he would be completely uncomfortable with all the cameras and attention.
Rachel – I would love to see all my main characters on Survivor. That would be the best TV show ever!! But if any one character had to be eliminated first, it would definitely be Ivy. She’s my anti-heroine heroine. And she’s a little bit girly. She’d be so gone.
Rachel, I was thinking maybe your characters would gang together and try to get the strongest players out first. So, my thought would be Avalon first, then Jericho.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure read, song and movie?
Lila – I can’t believe I’m going to admit to these things.
Read—The Black Dagger Brotherhood, every single time. ‘Ya feel me—true?’ Ugh, gets me every time.
Song—it depends on my mood. For something depressing, Great Expectations by Elbow or Tell Me Baby by Phosphorescent. Dancing with my kids in the kitchen—Take on Me, A-HA. Feeling pissed off—Coming Undone, Korn or When They Come For Me, Linkin Park. My writing is usually accompanied by Miner, Alpha Rev, Silent Film, Freelance Whales, Wild Child, Fink and lots of indies.
Movie—oh, I’m such a sappy movie lover. Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Center Stage, Jane Eyre, Becoming Jane, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, North and South, I love them all! I’m also a huge horror movie fan, like the old Alfred Hitchcock stuff.
Rachel – So, I think I have way too many guilty pleasures… But here we go!! As far as movies go, I like mine really shallow and really pointless. If I’m going to watch a movie I want to escape reality and not think at all. Some of my favorite guilty pleasures are Mean Girls, Empire Records and Clueless- and I probably have each of them so memorized I could repeat them for you word for word.
Songs, I’m just as bad. I am obsessed with 90’s music. But my guilty pleasure of the 90’s would have to be rap songs. I have a surprising amount of them memorized. And I can’t help myself!! I love to rap. But like, a certain kind of rap….. Think Coolio, Warren G, DC Talk, Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song… I’m pretty sure karaoke with me would be the most confusing event ever.
And then for books, I’m going with anything Shifter in nature. I try not to read a whole lot in the genres I’m writing. And right now that includes almost everything: Adult, Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal and even Dystopian. I’m not left with a whole lot of options. But I love a good Shifter novel. And as of right now I don’t imagine writing a Shifter-dominated story, so it’s also safe for me. And it feels maybe like a completely random choice for me if I had to choose. But I can’t help it. I love Shifters. There, I said it.
Um… Empire Records was my favorite movie when I was a teen!
And…and…and… Could you Please do a vlog where you rap the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme?!?! PLEASE?!?!
Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or slippers on, or still in your pajamas and when realizing it, just said screw it?
Lila – I have a pair of flip-flop looking slippers and many a time I have gotten to the store and realized that I had those on instead of real flip-flops. Does that count?
Rachel – Ok, I wear my slippers out on practically a daily basis. They have a hard sole and I always forget that I have them on!! I just wore them to pick up my kids from school last week. And pajamas?? Don’t we all do drop-off in pajamas??? Or am I the only one that prefers ten more minutes of sleep over getting dressed for the day? So, yes, to answer your question, I say “screw it” A. Lot.
Do you make your bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
Lila – I do! My kids make their beds every morning, so I kinda have to.
Rachel – While my personal hygiene might suffer, I do make my bed every day. I need clean spaces, and having a made bed makes me feel good about the rest of my house! It’s the first thing I do in the morning.
I feel like such a slob now….
Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers?
Lila – I don’t. I’m kinda laid back. There’s not a whole lot that pisses me off in general.
Rachel – Um. Yes. I’m a pretty laid back as a person… until I get behind the wheel. I don’t know what it is about driving that makes me angry, but it’s a little scary!!! I think there are two things that contribute to this… The first being that I am ALWAYS late. To everything. Every day of my life. I do not do things on time. And so I’m usually trying to get somewhere really fast and slow drivers really piss me off. And the second thing is that I’m not a very good driver to begin with…. My brother once told me that I’m not a “Defensive” driver, I’m an “Offensive” one. I’m not even sure I know what that means!!! But it’s sadly true… Instead of acknowledging my own faults as a poor driver though- I just blame everyone else!! And they make me angry. My kids have picked up the phrases, “Are you kidding me?” and “Oh, that’s real nice,” from watching me drive. Not one of my proudest parenting moments.
Hahahaha…. I’m sure my kids are going to be picking up a lot of bad words from being with me in the car. I can’t help it that every other person on the road is an idiot?! Right?!
Best life moment?
Lila – Seeing the boy across the classroom with the caramel skin who I knew would one day be my husband.
Rachel – Oh gosh. As in one moment? Only one?? I don’t know… publishing my first book was pretty great. And each of my four children, they were also pretty great!! I’m going to go with my wedding though. I got to marry the love of my life. It was a fantastic day. I do things differently- I just do. So our ceremony was really unique. And my wedding was no exception. I was really relaxed about the whole thing and we had a lot of fun. Zach is an amazing man and we laughed so much and just enjoyed the day and how it would change our lives forever. And it’s the last big-event memory I have with my dad while he was still alive and healthy.
Awe – you two are so cute!! Those are great life moments!
What advice would you give to… well, anyone?
Lila – I don’t really feel qualified to answer this question. I guess something that I struggle with is being present. Especially since starting to write, I struggle with being out with my family but having my characters or something career related on the brain. So, that’s my advice, be present in all you do. Live in the moment. Hell, just live! Not exist, not survive, not comply—live.
Rachel – I would say figure out who you are and be true to that. It probably sounds a little cliché, but it’s my saving grace, daily.
Maybe being a writer is a little more difficult than most in the self-esteem department. I’m judged daily in reviews and comments, message boards and blogs. And even the “nice” comments can carry criticism. It can be disheartening and discouraging. But mostly, it kind of sucks! I’m not complaining, it’s part of the whole deal. I’m publishing something with the purpose of being judged, I have to deal with it. And sometimes- a lot of times- it can be helpful. But it will probably never feel good, no matter how right or wrong they were.
What has saved me- what’s given me the drive to push forward, to see beyond the negative reviews and still find value in me at the end of the day- is that I know who I am and what I stand for. I’m not going to write a book that every single person in the world loves. That’s impossible. Not even the greats can do that. There will always be a critic. But I can write a product that I believe in, that I stand behind, that I’m proud of. And those are the moments I fall back on when things get rough.
Not everyone has to deal with criticism like I do, I know that. But I also know that this lesson carries over into every avenue of life. Because sometimes bad reviews seem a thousand times easier than dealing with the things I don’t want judged that get critiqued anyway- being a mom, being a wife, trying to get my new short hair into a pony tail and it’s just not working out for me, getting all my two weeks’ worth of groceries for a family of six through the check out and then realizing I forgot my wallet at home…. What I’m trying to say is that at the end of a bad day, if you know who you are and know what you stand for, the rest of that seems easy. Most of life seems possible because you know where you’re going and what you want in life. The negative chatter fades into the background because you can rely on your self-worth and confidence. And you can go after the things you want because you know exactly what they are.
Beautiful advice ladies! Thank you so much for doing this interview!!
Lila – Thank you so much for this amazing and unique interview. I’m so happy you enjoyed Striking. Brazing, Bridger’s story, will be out in December 2013!
I cannot wait to find out more about Bridger! The parts with him in Striking have left me wanting to know more about him!
Thank you again for taking the time to answer the question!! I loved finding out more about you two!
Striking comes out SEPTEMBER 1ST!!!
Mark it on your calendar… add it to your TBR list on Goodreads… and make sure you have no plans on September 1st!!!
Check out the other stops on the Reckless Rebels Blog Tour for Striking!