Publication day

mysummerroommate My Summer Roommate is here!

While I throw confetti and pour myself some bubbly, you can go check the book out at various places. 🙂

The book is available in different formats on Evernight Teen’s website for only $2.99 for a limited period of time.

Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.com.au

Goodreads

Chloe needs a place to crash for the summer before college. When Chris offers, she moves in with him. It’s just for two months, no biggie. But soon she realizes she may have made a mistake. He’s too perfect—a former snowboarder, laid-back and kind to boot. And he’s smitten with her. But she’s got trust issues and a relationship feels daunting. When he keeps trying to win her over, the temptation becomes overwhelming.

Just as she gives in and decides it’s not worth fighting their emotions anymore, Chris reveals he’s made a stupid mistake which might ruin Chloe’s trust in him and tear them apart.

You can read an excerpt here or view the trailer for the book here.

And you can enter a giveaway for $50 GC for Amazon, $25 GC for Evernight Teen and 5 eBook copies of Letting Go

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Research

A lot of writers, agents and editors, or just people in general, will tell you to write about the things that you know, that you’re familiar with. Obviously, that has its merits, but it can be very limiting in terms of the subject matter you can use in your writing.

I don’t write science fiction or historical fiction or any other genre that would require a very specific and in-depth knowledge. I write contemporary stories about ordinary people, focusing on what they feel and how they behave. Still, for every book or story I ever wrote, I had to do some research. Mostly, that included details about a certain place, event or person, maybe some history, a few cooking techniques etc. This usually means that I do the research as I go along, while I write and when I come upon the topic that needs researching. I never do the research in advance.Google maps

Most often, I can do my research on the internet. On occasion I read a book or watch a film (an enjoyable type of research, I tell ya!). Google maps come in handy, too – in fact, I’m using it a lot lately since I’m writing a story that takes place in Paris. The most unusual topic I researched was how a car burns when doused with gas and lit on fire. Then there were mental illnesses, how to protect a vineyard against frost, and snowboarding.

Research is very rewarding in itself. I’ve learned all sorts of things (mostly useless, but fun) since I’ve started writing. For me, it’s very enjoyable because I like to learn and discover new stuff. So lately, I’ve been wanting to write about something that would require a lot of research. I don’t have any ideas yet, but I’d really like to enter a new world, an environment I don’t know anything about. I think it would be fun.

How much research do you do? Do you research before you start writing? Or do you write about the things you’re already familiar with?

First or third person POV?

As a reader, I never really paid much attention to the point of view of a story. It was only a question of whether I liked it or not. That mostly depended on characterization, so if I liked the character from whose point of view the story was told, I liked the point of view.
As a writer, you have to pay a lot more attention to the POV you use. Not all points of view are appropriate for every story. I realized this was the case while writing my two novels where the first one, Letting Go, was written in the third person point of view, told from Isabelle’s perspective. The second novel, A Pretty Big Love, I chose to write it in the first person point of view with two narrators, so that chapters alternate between Chloe’s story and Chris’s story.
The major difference between the third and the first person point of view that I became aware of while writing was that the first person point of view allowed me a lot deeper insight into the characters. On the other hand, it made things more difficult because I had to be really honest and very precise with the characterization. With third person POV, there are things that you can hide behind the fact that the story is not being told directly by the person in question. With the first person POV you’re there, you’re on the spot, you’re the person, you see what they’re thinking and you have to relate that in the story. You have to be exact about what the characters feel and think because you can’t hold something back and ten pages later use it as a plot twist. That does not sound real, does not sound authentic and it disrupts the narrative. It makes the reader distrust the narrator (this, of course, can be used to your advantage if you’re writing a story that can benefit from an unreliable narrator). First person POV is a very intimate POV, very revealing and very difficult to write.
Because I have two narrators – Chloe and Chris – I had to pay really good attention to the characterization. I had to make it clear who the narrator was, I had to pay attention to their speech patterns, the words they use, the things they hold back from one another. All these details are important in first person POV.
I also think this is a very rewarding way of writing because as a writer you feel closer to the character and I think that also transfers into the reader/character relationship, so that the readers also feel closer to the characters. With that, identification is made easier. There were occasions when I wrote the story when I realized things about my characters that shocked me or thrilled me. Although the characters from my first novel were close to me too (obviously), I think this time the closeness was even more pronounced. This made it easier to express very strong emotions throughout the story.
I started writing the story from the first person POV, but after a few pages I started doubting it and I rewrote it in the third person. But every time I started writing again, I subconsciously reverted into first person. Halfway in, I realized there’s no point in rewriting it. That proved to be the right choice since A Pretty Big Love is a lot better written in the first person POV.

 

*A Pretty Big Love is a YA contemporary novel, coming in August from http://www.EvernightTeen.com