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The Things We Can’t Undo | Blog Tour

I had the chance to interview the lovely Gabrielle Reid whose new novel hits shelves really soon so go grab yourself a copy!


There’s no backspace key for life’s decisions.

Samantha and Dylan are in love – everyone knows it. So it’s no big deal when they leave a party for some time out together. But when malicious rumours surface about that night, each feels betrayed by the other. 

Will Sam make a decision she can’t take back?


What was your main motivation behind writing the novel?

I wanted to start conversations, and I wanted those conversations to really consider things from more than one side. Without going into too much detail, I’ve had some personal experiences that made me particularly passionate about the topic of consent and how inadequate “no means no” is for teaching it. Several years back, I think it was around the time of the Steubenville High School rape case, I was discussing sexual violence on a parenting forum. One comment stuck with me, along the lines of “ask a roomful of men if they’ll rape a woman and you won’t find many who will say yes. Ask them ‘would you have sex with a girl so drunk she can barely stand’ and suddenly you get a much uglier picture of what guys will admit to”. At the time, I had a baby son (and no daughters yet), so I found myself thinking very seriously about the perpetrators and whether better education could have prevented them from doing such a terrible thing to that girl.

It was hard for me to empathise with the perpetrator. Really, really hard. Before I sat down to write the book, I disliked my main character, Dylan, and was prepared to write a story where he got thoroughly smacked down for his actions, but in trying to keep it realistic, that’s not the story I ended up with. I think that’s a good sign, though, because I want this novel to be the catalyst for conversations – ones that go deeper than ‘he got what he deserved’ and right to ‘how did this happen? What did he fail to understand?’. I hope I don’t excuse Dylan’s behaviour or suggest that the consequences he faced were in any way comparable to the suffering Samantha (his girlfriend and victim) experienced, but at the same time, I want his story to be a warning to young men, their parents, teachers and girlfriends. Because it really is that easy to become a rapist.

If there is one key thing that you would like readers to take away from this book, what would it be?

That even if you think you’re a good person – even if you are a good person – your decisions can have devastating consequences, so take your choices seriously and don’t stop paying attention to how those around you feel. In my book it isn’t just Dylan who makes a decision that seriously hurts a number of other innocent people – Samantha, as well as her best friend, Tayla, respond to the crime in some drastic ways that cause a lot of pain to each other, family and friends etc

There are many budding authors out there who might be curious about the publication process so, tell us a bit about your experience getting published

The number 1 thing I guess is that it was long! There were years of writing before getting to a complete first draft, then years of editing and pitching before getting an agent. And in the end, that book isn’t the one I’ve now had published! I consider it my “apprenticeship novel” and I don’t regret the time I spent on it, because that’s where I learnt better writing, where I found an amazing writer’s group, and where I built the first positive connection with an agent. But if I hadn’t moved on to the next thing, I wouldn’t be here now. Since then I’ve continued with that same writer’s group and gleaned bits and pieces of knowledge about publishing short stories, writing query letters, how to spot a dodgy publisher… too much to share here in one go, but I’m more than happy to chat to anyone who has specific questions!

I’ve talked in a little more detail on my blog (link below) about what led me to Ford Street and what it’s been like working with my publisher, Paul. I think the process for me was a fair bit quicker than I’ve heard from other writers at major publishers, but I’m not really sure why, except that we didn’t have advance proof copies before a complete print run. There are a LOT of people involved, even with a very small publisher. I thought about it one day and it’s no wonder authors only earn a small portion of the RRP, as those books are also helping the publisher to recover the costs of a structural edit, copy edit, designer/formatter for print, cover design, printer, delivery, warehouse etc. Not to mention the retailer and all their staff! Each step was exciting for me though, as it took me one step closer to publication.

What made you drawn towards writing in the young adult genre?

I kind of fell into it, really. My first book I set out to write as adult fiction, but as one of the two protagonists was sixteen (the other was in his 70s) many people suggested it was at least a young adult crossover. When I started writing The Things We Can’t Undo, I found the words and voice came to me much more naturally, and I sought out a writer’s group of other YA authors. I’ve been writing seriously since I was a teenager, so some of my earlier stories were very YA in nature, including two novels I never finished. Then I worked as a high school teacher, and married another. I led youth group and mentored teen girls at my church; teenagers have always been a part of my life. I found those adolescent years were the ones that really defined who I am – that was when I developed my own faith, I settled into writing and creative pursuits as a real passion, my mental illness reared its ugly head, I established friendships that still last today etc.

Do you have any other projects underway that readers can look forward to?

I do, but none in the publication pipeline yet! I’m writing one that deals with eating disorders (another illness I unfortunately have firsthand experience with) and a social justice issue that is very important to me. I’m also thinking of reworking that “apprenticeship novel” into something different and more YA in nature. It’s about a young girl trying to connect with her biological father, who has early onset Alzheimer’s disease.


FOLLOW THE AUTHOR

Website and blog: www.justkeepreiding.com

Twitter and Instagram: @reidwriting

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006986329392

Book reviews

Blog tour: A life, Freed + Giveaway

Dark and compelling Tracy Hewitt-Meyer’s Rowan Slone series is a highly promising New Adult novel tackling social issues and life.

Brought to you by YAReads

A Life Freed Banner Medium

My Review

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review 🙂

A life, Redefined  (Rowan Slone #1)

Author: Tracy Hewitt-Meyer

Genre: New Adult

Pages: 200

Synopsis

Seven years ago, an innocent act by Rowan Slone turned her life into a nightmare. Since the age of ten she’s lived with the burden of her baby brother’s death. Now she is seventeen and all she wants to do is graduate high school, go to college, and escape the loveless family she has endured all these years—the same family that holds her responsible for his death. But no one holds her responsible more than herself.

When long-time crush Mike Anderson invites her to the Prom, suddenly her future looks brighter. Rowan’s younger sister, Trina, however, is determined to ruin her new-found happiness, no matter the cost. And when Rowan discovers her mother’s long-held secret, she finds herself teetering on the edge of an abyss. Can Rowan find the strength to move toward the future or is she doomed to dwell in the past?

From the get go the plot of this novel is engaging because of the mystery behind Rowan having killed her baby brother. Throughout the book there are so many cliff hangers which created excitement and progression in the story.

Rowan has the misfortune to be stuck with a rather messed up family and it saddens me to think that domestic abuse is still a problem. But, I admire her willpower to create a better future for herself. Mike, her love interest gave me the feels. The romance in this book gave me a break from all the serious problems Rowan was facing.

There’s a dark side too, Rowan’s relationship with her sister Trina which was very complicated.  Her self harming and all the suicide related issues that were bought up in this novel raised awareness for issues that people experience every day. Props to the author for that,

A life, Redefined is a fairly quick read with an underlying message that if you seek help, things will get better. Definitely recommend it.

Rating:

4

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Book 3:A Life Freed (1)

A Life, Freed by Tracy Hewitt Meyer

Genre: New Adult

On her own for the first time, Rowan Slone is no longer waiting for the future. She’s living  in the present, and relishing every minute of it. She has a new boyfriend. She is helping best friend, Jess, raise her five-month-old son, Jacob. And she continues to work as Assistant Manager at the animal shelter-all while settling into her first semester of college. Rowan’s stars are aligned and she’s not looking back.

But all is not as golden as it seems. Being a young mother is too much for Jess to handle, leaving Rowan to shoulder much of the burden of raising Jacob. Trina becomes involved in a religious cult causing Rowan to fear she may have lost her sister forever. And her mother has a new psychiatrist whose goal is to get Rowan into therapy, forcing her to deal with her mother, and the past, once and for all.

Adding to the rising turmoil, Rowan’s first love, Mike Anderson, returns, and wants to see her. She is surprised how much she wants to see him too. But his sudden reappearance makes her wonder if there is room in her future for the boy with the pine-colored eyes or is it too little, too late?

As the winds begin to stir, threatening to send Rowan’s carefully-built life into a tailspin, she must search deep inside herself to discover what she truly wants. Will soul-searching help her achieve that elusive sense of peace and family she’s always craved or will the pain of the past prove too great?

Amazon

About the Author tracy

Tracy Hewitt Meyer is a multi-genre, multi-published author of new adult fiction as well as adult paranormal and contemporary romance. She has a B.A. in English and a Master of Social Work, both of which feed her true passion-a love of writing. Born and raised in the beautiful state of West Virginia, Tracy now lives in the mid-east with her family, a goldendoodle, and a bearded dragon.

Website: http://www.tracyhewittmeyer.com/

Twitter: @TracyHMeyer

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5323127.Tracy_Hewitt_Meyer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TracyHewittMeyer

The Giveaway:

(5) ebook copies of A Life, Redefined (Book 1) by Tracy Hewitt Meyer

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