My first new adult, contemporary romance, SUMMER GIRL, is coming out from Entangled/ Embrace on August 8, 2016, and it’s been a long time coming.
In fact, SUMMER GIRL was the first novel I wrote back in 2008 when my sister told me she was tired of me talking about writing a book some day and would I “please just get on with it, already?” In its first incarnation, the story was about Katherine, a 30-something English teacher who takes a “break” from her 40-something fiance and falls in love with Bennet, a hot, rebellious college dropout. When I finished it, it was…okay. I chalked it up to my first attempt and put it aside.
Then I started writing YA (under my real name), which is where my writing career took off with a twisty paranormal trilogy about killer mermaids set in my favorite place on the planet: Lake Superior. When the last of those books came out in 2013, I just had to return to SUMMER GIRL. All those years, and I couldn’t get Katherine and Bennet out of my head. That had to mean something!
However, I had something else in my head as well, and that was a lingering paranormal mindset. I decided that what the story really needed was something weird. Because Katherine loved classic literature, I tore the manuscript apart and rewrote its second incarnation as if Katherine was hallucinating that Sophocles, Austen, Poe, Faulkner, and Twain were living with her and giving her advice on her love life. It was actually quite funny, but it never really…worked. So, after many tears, I put the book aside once more.
By this time it was late 2014, and I was finishing edits on a YA novel that had sprung from my love of music and writing. Like the paranormal trilogy before it, the plot also carried a big, surprise twist, which was turning out to be my “thing.”
After I turned that YA novel into my editor, I took a break from writing and started reading a lot of NA. I enjoyed all the feelings the genre brought up about what it was like to be a college student finding real grown-up love for the first time. I wondered how SUMMER GIRL would be different if Katherine was ten years younger…and that’s when something finally (finally!) clicked.
Once again, I tore the whole manuscript down to its most basic framework and built it back up––this time imagining both characters in their early 20s, letting them be their messy selves, full of doubt and self-exploration. I brought back my love of Lake Superior and mixed it with my love of music, then I wrote another big surprise twist of an ending. And this time…[insert big sigh] the story worked. More than worked!
Writing, as they say, is in the rewriting. Some stories just need more time to bake. It’s a lesson I’m glad I learned because it would have pained my heart to have given up on Katherine and Bennet too soon. I hope you love them as much as I do, and please pardon their mess while they learn to get things right.
About the book:
A songwriter is nothing without his muse. Sucks that mine turns out to be Katherine D’Arcy––hot as hell, but the very definition of country-club living and everything I came to this quiet little island to escape. The last thing I need is some live life by her day-planner summer girl screwing with my head, but I can’t stop thinking about her…those curves, silky brown hair, and those eyes… I left that privileged world behind when I came up to Little Bear Island hoping for some inspiration to write my songs. But here I am still, two years later, unable to write crap. That is until Katherine showed up to tend the lighthouse for the summer and drive me crazy. With her here, the writing has never been better. If only there weren’t that one inconvenient truth I’ve been keeping from her… Because when she learns what I’ve been hiding, I know I will lose her forever.
Find it online:
About the author:
A. S. Green lives in the cold upper Midwest with her husband and three children. She spends summers on Lake Superior, which is the muse for Summer Girl, and she is a sucker for down-to-earth heroes who work with their hands (if they play guitar, that’s an added bonus). She enjoys all things Irish––particularly music, dancing, and Jameson. When she’s not writing or reading romance, she’s traveling, camping, blogging for Writer Unboxed, and writing YA (under her real name). You can find her online at www.asgreenbooks.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook at @asgreenbooks.