bookish, Interview

I Was Blessed Enough To Interview The Ever So Lovely, Elle Kennedy.

Elle Kennedy is an incredibly talented New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

Her works include the Killer Instincts novels, the Outlaws series, and the Off-Campus series.

She is located in suburbs of Toronto, Ontario where she grew up, and holds a BA in English from York University.

Most people struggle in which path to choose within their life, but she knew she wanted to be a writer and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

No matter what world Elle takes us in she creates strong heroines, alpha heroes.

Let’s not forget the amount of passion, emotion, and heat!

The Interview


AB: What is the first book that made you cry?
EK: Little Women! I cried SO HARD because of that book.


AB: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
EK: One of the great things about the romance community is that most authors are friends and support each other. Sarina Bowen always gives the best feedback and lets me text her at all hours of the day. My bestie Viv Arend and I talk on the phone all the time about plot and life in general. KA Tucker takes me to the best vineyards. Vi Keeland, Monica James, Nina Bocci… I wish I could name all the amazing authors who inspire me, but we’d run out of internet LOL.


AB: I know all of your characters are like your children- probably impossible to pick , but if you could bring one couple to life from your many series which would it be and why?
EK: The impossible question! I mean, I know I’d love to be friends with Brenna and Summer. But if I had to pick a couple to bring to life, it would probably be Hannah and Garrett.


AB: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
EK: Lots! I wrote many, many books when I was a teenager, and they’re all boxed away in my closet. I won’t ever publish any of them, but they’re fun to look at every few years. They’re not very good!


AB: What was one of your hardest scenes to write in your career?
EK: So many of the scenes in my Killer Instincts series were BRUTAL to write. There is one scene in Midnight Rescue that was so awful and made me so sad. I cried while writing it.


AB: Say a tv series or movie was made of any of your books, have you imagined anyone in a role in particular (a similar look or vibe) just for fun?
EK: Not really! I often get asked who I envision for my characters, but it’s hard for me to picture real people playing them. They live in my imagination.


AB: How did some of your stories come to you, did it start with an image, a voice, a personal experience etc…
EK: Bits and pieces of what makes up a character, or mannerisms they may have, or conversations in my books are sometimes taken (or inspired by) real life people or events. But usually I just picture my characters and try to figure out what their lives would be like, and that shapes the story. Or sometimes I think, “what if this happened” and then come up with a story around that premise.


AB: What is something that you have become accustomed to when writing, a writing kryptonite per say?
EK: Silence! I have gotten so used to absolute silence when I write, that even my phone ringing can completely knock me out of the writing zone. And once I’m out of the zone, it can take a while to get my head back in the right place.


AB: Many fans, including myself, would love to see some of your work appear on screen. Have you thought about that at all?
EK: Definitely! I’d LOVE to my stories adapted to film or television. But it’s not an easy process and requires the right people and a lot of luck. If you know of any producers, feel free to send them my way 🙂


AB: I know you have pursued writing since a teen, I was curious if you had a piece of advice for young writers like myself?
EK: I have two big pieces of advice – be open to criticism and keep writing! Most writers will hear a lot of no’s before they hear yes, but if you can take the feedback that people give you and keep going, you’ll do well. Writing is like anything else – the more you do it, the better you get!

Elle is one of the best people and her stories suck me and spit me out, in the best way a person who loves books can ask for.

She creates a world that we get to be apart of and fall in love with these character’s in such a beautiful way. Every topic Elle approaches is done with her heart, every single time, and as a fan it is so important.

Credit to Pinterest For This Amazing Hannah Mood Board.

It was such an honor to meet her and pick her brain, she is so humble and kind. Her Off Campus series is a favorite of mine and I highly recommend!

Please make sure to check out her newest release, ‘The Play’, the third installation in the amazing Briar U series!

Thank you so much to Elle!

x o x o , L O V E , A B I

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Interview

My Interview With Best Selling Author Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She has no shortage of novels to dive into, The Devil’s Night Series, The Fall Away Series, her stand alone books as well; Punk 57, Misconduct, and The Birthday Girl.

Suffice it to say she is one of my favorite authors, one of the most accomplished and down to earth people I have spoken to. Her stories and characters always have a special message for the world, and it gives me hope that one day I could possibly do the same.

The Interview

AB: When did you write your first book, and how old were you?


PD: I started writing my first book when I was sixteen. It was a serial killer love story! So, as you can tell, I was a little weirdo, even then. Lol. My mom threw it away, unfortunately. She was never particularly restricting, but she started looking through all of my handwritten pages one day and got a little freaked out, I think. I finished Bully, my first book, when I was thirty-six.


AB: Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?


PD: Yep!


AB: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


PD: Honestly, I can’t think of anything. I like what I write, and I’ve always followed my instincts and not listened to others or feared reactions enough to hold myself back. I would just tell myself to keep doing exactly what I want. ​


AB: How do you select the names of your characters- so many are unique and grab onto us the second they are introduced.


PD: I love unisex names for women. I named my daughter Aydan, so this is me and not just me trying to be edgy. 😉 Sometimes the name just occurs to me, like Tate, Fallon, Clay, Easton, and other times I need to look at baby name lists. As with my writing, if it speaks to me, I use it. I can’t write stories or use names that don’t grab me.


AB: How did you go about developing the idea for ‘Punk 57’?


PD: I remember wanting to write a love story in high school. I wanted it to be a faked-death kind of story, but I’m pacing my living room one day, trying to make this idea work in my head, and it just didn’t. Suddenly, pen pals popped in my head, and I remember I had a pen pal in fifth grade, so the idea took off from there. I built my Pinterest board and added the elements of a secret vandal on campus and Misha’s music. Good things come if I take the time to think.


AB: With so many people still falling under the spell of Punk 57, would you ever consider an on screen adaption?


PD: I would love an on screen adaption! Unfortunately, authors generally aren’t involved in this and have no control over whether or not it happens. I’m not a filmmaker, I don’t know any, and I don’t have the budget for a production. Sadly, we just wait for a company to express interest.


AB: Are there specific themes in your work that make your story tick, or does it just come as you go?


PD: I think I just go where my head takes me. Whatever inspires me. I love creepy things. Halloween, abandoned houses and hotels, carnivals and theme parks….And of course, I LOVE rain. These are all pretty prevalent in my work. I love young love and exploring that angst, and I love sending a message in my work, offering a perspective on life lessons.


AB: What is your writing process like?


PD: Haha…well….I love the beginning of my process. I make a storyboard on Pinterest, a playlist, and I start writing notes in my journal. I make an outline and start dreaming up my scenes. I’ll often write the dialogue in a chapter first, just so the pressure of knowing where the scene is going is solved, and then I’ll go back and fill in all the rest. If I’m stuck, I stop, and I don’t continue until I’m ready. Unfortunately, this makes for a long project that can take 8-10 months, but I like my stories, so I’m not going to beat myself up for taking “too long” anymore.


AB: Can you speak or tease anything you are working on for us who are anticipating what you do next.


PD: I think everyone knows I have a stand alone releasing soon, and I’m working on Nightfall. I also have the Hellbent series coming and Motel (a Birthday Girl spin-off). And then I have so many stand-alones I can’t wait to write. I’m excited to break out of my series worlds and write new characters.


AB: Were you a young writer, a late bloomer, or something in between? What advice would you give to others who took up writing at a similar life phase?


PD: I was a young writer AND a late bloomer. I wrote poetry, I wrote in journals, and I started to write a book as a teen, but then I abandoned it all as a self-absorbed 20 year old. I got caught up in my life and only came back to it in my mid-thirties. I’m so thankful I did, though. We all need to keep growing.

I cannot thank Penelope enough for getting to pick her brain. I always wanted to know what came behind Misha, Ryen and all the other characters we have loved.

I have first hand accounts of how many people truly love her stories, especially Punk 57, which was released in 2016 and people are still fawning over it, myself included. “We were perfect together, until we met.” another iconic line by Penelope.

Make no mistake- we love going back into her previous work, but we are itching to see what she does next.

This was such an incredible experience as a trying writer myself, and getting to know Penelope was a blessing in itself.

She is one of the kindest, most talented humans. I will be eagerly waiting for all the worlds she creates, and all the words that suck us in.

A huge thank you to Penelope Douglas , and thank you lovelies for reading!

XO, L O V E, A B I

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bookish

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Who Don’t Love Me Because They Are All Fictional

Ah, book boyfriends. Setting the bar impossibly high for all other men.
When we have the pleasure of reading someone’s words we instantly become a part of the world they created. We see things we wouldn’t always see in real life. We see the rise of a character, a fall of one, and redemption for someone you thought impossible.
Books show us so many sides to so many characters; leading us to the ultimate conclusion. Everyone is worthy of love. Everyone is going through something. We are able to see the way one talks to someone they love vs someone they don’t.
If they hold hands when they walk, if he pulls her closer at night. Does he admire her when he thinks she isn’t looking? Did she ruin all other girls for him? Did meeting them change everything? These are the glimpses we get into a love story, into a character. We fall in love with them. How could we not, when something is written so profoundly it makes you love them unconditionally.
They make mistakes, make you want to throw your book across the room. We lose ourselves in a book and they find us.
They give you butterflies and they give you hope.
Like our books they are there when no one else is, they changed the way we see things.
It is the idea that someone out there is made for you forever.

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Uncategorized

My First Blog Post

When a door closes..

One is never alone if they carry a book.

When I was younger my stomach hurt a lot. I never knew how or why, but there was one thing I could always connect it with- my Dad. Like I said I truly didn’t know much but all I knew was that the man in front of me wasn’t him. He sort of looked like him, minus the eyes.

But he did not smell like him, act like him or hold a candle to who i knew my Father as in my heart. The yelling would start, I would turn to my Mother and I would ask her why my stomach hurts, but she knew. When the yelling stopped I would ask “why am I so nervous, I don’t know why”, she knew.

I told my Mum day in and day out “I just can’t wait for Daddy to tie my shoes”, she looked at me puzzled- but my mother is a smart woman and it didn’t take long for her to realize that every morning my Dad would be at the steps waiting to tie my shoes before we began the drive to catholic school, and he would be my Dad again. Sober. Simple as that.

So a cycle started, because I still had glimpses and amazing patterns of time with my father-sober. There is no shortage in the amount that I love him. I became fiercely protective over my Mother, but also my Father. Because I knew he would be there to tie my shoes in the morning. He drank after work, it started quiet and the yelling would start, and I somehow thought I could change it. If I am here maybe the fighting will stop- but it didn’t. It still affected and continues to affect every single part of my life. That’s how childhood trauma works, it trickles into every part of your life slowly until you are faced with the broken person you see.

I am going to therapy which I honestly recommend to everyone. Some sessions consist of my therapist narrowing his gaze at me because he knows that I am still protective over my story, my childhood, my father.

I have the greatest Dad on the planet – sober. And thanks be to God he is coming up on over a year now and I couldn’t be more proud. Addiction is something so many do not understand but I can promise you every morning before he would tie my shoes; he would look in the mirror and he didn’t like himself.

To say I have been a little excuse my language (fucked up) because of things I have had to deal with doesn’t mean he doesn’t hate himself for the struggles I face- and to but it frankly it breaks my heart. Through all of this he has still been my best friend, a stand up man, and a one of a kind- give you the shirt off his back type of Dad. He is my Dad and I love him more than anything. Sharing this story is the most difficult thing for me to do because I know there are people that will look at him differently and that is not okay with me. He is sick with a disease and I wouldn’t change him for the world. I have just as many amazing memories with him, although there are close minded people who might think otherwise.

Now for how this relates to my blog- when the car pulled in at 5:30 pm, tie off, kisses hello. Noise would start. Yelling would start. My stomach would hurt, I felt nervous. Still did not know why, only that my Dad wasn’t my Dad and I was scared.

So I went upstairs. Shut the door. And opened a book.

This is about my love of literature and I can’t wait to take everyone on the journey with me.

L O V E, A B I

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bookish, Interview, Uncategorized

Looking For Alaska : The Onscreen Adaption

Like many of you I was a young reader engrossed in John Green’s novel Looking For Alaska. I knew it had been optioned for tv and was skeptical as any book lover is when a novel you love is making that transition- because let’s face it, nothing will ever compare to the book.

However, when I found out they casted the extremely talented Kristine Froseth as Alaska I knew they had something special.

I binged the entire series in one day and I sobbed my head off. It was the most perfect onscreen adaption, exactly like the book- I was stunned.

They struck gold and I am so in awe of the incredible series they created.

For those unaware of LFA, it focuses in on a teen from Orlando with a fascination for famous last words. He leaves home to attend a woodsy Alabama boarding school in an effort to find the meaning behind his favorite “last words” quote: “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”

Miles thinks he can find his great perhaps at an Alabama boarding school, where he meets a unique group of friends and becomes particularly beguiled by an outgoing girl named Alaska Young. While much of the show follows Miles’ outcast friend crew, and especially his relationship with Alaska at the crux of the show is the young woman’s addiction and depression that her friends fail to notice before it’s too late.

This is absolute on screen magic and it is a must see.

It breaks your heart in the best way.

I also highly recommend a song I have had on repeat since the series. I fell in love with the original by Death Cab For Cutie, but this cover gives me goosebumps.

Please check out ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark” covered by Miya Folick. Her voice will stay with you forever and it encompassed the series so stunningly.

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Uncategorized

Book Review

Addicted To You, Ricochet , Addicted For Now ; By Krista & Becca Ritchie

Summary: 

‘No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own. Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment. But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex. Their real vice may be each other.’

Something which isn’t unusual to me happened where I picked up a book and found myself unable to put it down. That being said , These books are not your typical love story, so if you are looking for something fluffy then this one is not for you, this book deals with real world problems that have the capability of destroying lives.

Lily is addicted to sex and her best friend Lo is addicted to alcohol. In their last years of high school they came up with a plan: pretend to be in a relationship to hide their addictions from their families. Lo kicks the boys that Lily brings home out in the morning, and she makes sure he doesn’t choke on his vomit in his sleep. Now three years later they are spiraling out of control. But their cover story is getting harder to stick too as people begin to infiltrate their carefully orchestrated lives.

I really enjoyed being in Lily’s head. A sex addiction isn’t something you hear about everyday. She talks about her shame, and how she is dirty. That no guy would ever love her. Your heart shatters for her. It isn’t as simple as to stop having sex for her; if she doesn’t she had painful withdrawals, she feels like she is dying. You can see how her addiction takes over her life, how she distances herself from her family, doesn’t have any friends besides from Lo. From just the beginning of the novel you can see that Lily is close to rock bottom, if not already there.
I loved Lo. Even though the story is told solely from Lily’s point of view I am in awe of the thorough glimpses we catch inside his head. He was open with Lily with where his addiction comes from, and even the possibility of getting help. They had the easy banter at moments, but seemed to understand each other the next. His addiction took a bigger toll on Lily then it did him, I think his whole reason behind getting help was for her. Of course for himself too, but I think Lily is what finally got him there. Also one word ; Ryke. The amount of love in this series really makes everything fall into the story so effortlessly.
Addicted is easily one of my favorite new adult books series. It was an emotional rollercoaster that had me laughing in one second and crying the next. Krista and Becca took a delicate topic and weaved it into a story loaded with feeling. Addiction is a disease I’m very familiar with so I was curious as to how it would be depicted and I am so pleased with real hardships this displayed thoughtout all the books.

“I love you, but I want to love you enough that I never choose alcohol over you. Not even for a moment. I want to be someone you deserve”

Not my image•

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Uncategorized

Mental Health Awareness Day

Today is mental health awareness day, it’s something I am extremely passionate about.

•I 𝚊𝚖 𝚊 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚙𝚝𝚜𝚍, 𝚙𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚌 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚘𝚛𝚍𝚎𝚛, 𝚊𝚗𝚡𝚒𝚎𝚝𝚢 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚎𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗•

If you could take a moment and not only read the rest of what I’m about to say- but really take it with you.

  • Resist the urge to treat pain with pain
  • You are not a failure just because you aren’t where you thought you’d be by now
  • •It’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to be angry, even furious. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to break down. You are only human. Let yourself feel. It won’t last forever.
  • It’s okay not to know what you’re doing, you’ll learn as time goes on.
  • Some days you just have to say “screw it, I did what I could today” and just let go of all the stuff you wanted to do. Life is too short to be angry with yourself for being human
  • Just remember, you have so many good things in life to look forward to. You may not know what all those things will be, but one day you’ll feel like you’re where you’re supposed to be and that feeling will finally stay.
  • We will survive this, all of it. even if it’s hard and even if it’s painful, we’ll survive it. because we’re survivors
  • It’s okay to be afraid. you are not weak for the way fear wraps around your heart, you are brave for continuing anyway
  • Repeat after me. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be treated well. I deserve the love that people show me. I deserve to thrive. I deserve to live
  • You won’t always wake up in the mornings with such a heavy heart
  • & In the wise words of Adele ; “It’s okay not to be okay”

To those struggling with mental illness, know you are strong, brave, and cared for. I am so proud of you for being here. It’s hard and it hurts, but you’re still here. I’m so glad you are.

🍃
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