by L.J. Greene
Releasing October 10th 2016
From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Sound Effects . . .
How do you open your heart, put your life’s ambition on the line, and just jump and take a gamble that may or may not pay off for you some time in the future? Yes, you have to ask yourself. What is my passion? Sometimes that passion can be all encompassing or it can expand.
Mel has a chance meeting with one sexy, sinfully good musician, Jamie. He gives her more to think about that just the direction of her career. He pushes her to test her dreams and ideals about her future and where it could go as opposed to where it was going. Mel and Jamie has some rather instant chemistry. That never allows for everyone to be happy someone somewhere has to be unhappy because you are happy.
The angst around this budding love was rather low on the scale. The ability to weave a story around the two main characters was high on the scale. The secondary characters and the interplay between them and the main characters were high also. The value of the music and the part it played may for interesting stepping stones. The life endured by Jamie was the emotional factor that drew you deeper in. The crown was seeing things from both Jamie and Mel’s POV. It allowed for a deeper concept of where each was coming from and how they perceived the goings-on.
What is YOUR passion?
What is YOUR passion?
When an uncharacteristically rash decision lands law school graduate Melody Grayson in San Francisco’s dicey Tenderloin District, she comes face to face with a dangerously tempting man who embodies every mistake she swore she would never repeat. Passionate, sexy, and far more insightful than she’d care to admit, he causes her to question everything she thought she knew about her future. Now she’ll have to decide where the bigger risk lies: in the prudent path she has been working tirelessly to pursue, or in the intriguing but uncertain one he’s offering.
Up-and-coming, Irish-born musician Jamie Callahan is no stranger to chaos; he’s lived a lifetime of it. But in the fall of 2004, when the music industry is on the verge of massive upheaval, the life he aspires to could come at a heavier price than he’s prepared to pay. And while Melody may be the ideal person to help him navigate the gambles he must take, a relationship with her might be his biggest gamble yet.
SOUND EFFECTS is a standalone dual POV adult contemporary romance that captures the gloriously unpredictable nature of life, in which the path from who you are, to who you’re meant to become may not be a straight one. It may also have a few bumps. Sexy, humor-filled, and relatable, Sound Effects is a story about living passionately, staying true to yourself, and finding that one magic person who makes the journey of self-discovery an adventure worth taking.
I didn’t want her to leave–though she did, anyway–and would have done anything to erase the hurt in her eyes that I knew I had put there.
She was the loveliest woman I had ever seen in my life–tonight all the more so in a beautiful crimson dress. I loved that she wore that dress; it was feminine, like her, but it said unmistakably that she would not live quietly. Nor should she. She was passionate and intelligent, and she should never, ever blend in with a crowd.
But, like the piano beneath my hands, valuable so far beyond my reach, she seemed not meant for me. She belonged in this room, with these people who were more her equals in stature. After all, outside the front window was chained a bicycle that represented a substantial portion of my personal net worth. I couldn’t so much as give her a ride home, let alone provide her the life she deserved. And it didn’t seem fair to hold her to me just because I wanted her so very much.
L.J. Greene is a self-professed obsessive multi-tasker who writes really boring stuff by day and lets her inner romantic fly by night. This California native is married to the most amazing man and has two beautiful children, not old enough to read her books. (They probably wouldn’t want to anyway on account of the “Ew, gross” factor.) She’s an avid reader of all genres, with an embarrassingly large eBook collection and a weird penchant for reading the acknowledgements pages of the books she buys. She's also a music lover with no apparent musical talent, a travel enthusiast, and a cheese connoisseur.
MY INTERVIEW WITH L.J. GREENE
How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I don’t know that I have a specific style. But I will say this: while many of my favorite romance novels feature that dark and brooding hero – and I’m all for that! – I love the challenge of writing characters that fly in the face of common romance tropes, and creating extraordinary situations from ordinary occurrences. We don’t often see the strong male lead who is unapologetically emotional and demonstrative, not just with his lady-love, but with his friends, as well. And that’s what made Jamie so much fun for me. He’s an open book. He says big things easily, without any hesitation or self-consciousness. He’ll cop to his own flaws, and when necessary, he’ll call you on yours. In one of my favorite scenes in the book, Jamie hands one particular record exec his head on a platter. But when it comes to Mel, who better to speak those beautiful words of love?
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
It’s so great that you ask this question because creativity and the creative process are central themes in Sound Effects! Jamie is a musician and songwriter, and through him I had the great fun of exploring the creative mind of an artist, and comparing (or revealing!) my own process through the writing of this book.
So to answer your question, for me, it’s more of a mindset than a routine. In fact, at one point, Jamie says that very thing! Inspiration can come at any time. It often comes in chunks, particularly when I’m in the shower or lying in bed at night or driving in traffic. I try to jot things down on my phone, a sticky pad – whatever I have handy – so that I can come back to these bits and pieces when I am ready to put the scene together.
I typically write scene by scene, in a very serial way. And I don’t move on until I am satisfied with the scene I’m crafting. I imagine my process is much like that of a painter; I write in layers, building up a scene over and over and over again until it has just the right tone. A lot of times, I’ll absolutely despise the scene I’m writing – feel completely frustrated and dissatisfied with it. And then I’ll add something small, usually some sort of emotional connection that was missing, and – bam! – it just suddenly works! It’s like a magic trick! So for me, the key is to never give in to the temptation of ‘good enough.’
That was a very long-winded answer! Are you sad you asked???
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
Some of my best characters are the ones who’ve gone totally rogue! They start out as one thing, and end up as something totally different. And I think that’s because you have a sense of your characters when you start a project, but, just like real people, the process of discovering their complexities is very much an ongoing thing. They don’t reveal themselves all at once. Nor should they. In Sound Effects, Greg Van de Meer was that character for me. In fact, I’ll tell only you that I recently republished Ripple Effects because the ‘Greg’ in that book didn’t match the ‘Greg’ he turned out to be in Sound Effects! He went rogue! What can I say?!
My job as a writer is to discover the humanity in every character, no matter how distasteful (or perfect, for that matter!) they may seem, initially. Characters who are all of one thing and nothing of another are not interesting.
So, yes, to your question, people watching can be helpful. But more often than not, I find that character development comes from my being honest with myself about my own complexities, and being willing to examine those in an honest way through my characters.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
Well, the truth of the matter is that every character is me. So I bond deeply with all of them. Mel from Sound Effects is probably closest to me in demeanor. I likely channel her on a daily basis. But, having said that, I have a very strong affinity for Jamie. We share the crossover point of a struggling artist, and his frustrations are mine. Jamie was a character who demanded to be written, despite the fact that I had no clue how to write a first-person POV from the perspective of an Irish-born musician entering the American music industry in 2004. But he would not accept my excuses. He was really annoyingly pushy about it.
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
Ahhh…***sighs***…yes, Keir. I’m working on my next book (yet to be named). And I love this character so much because he was inspired by my husband of twenty years – a man so beautiful and real that I really can’t do him justice. But I’m going to try! If all goes well, Keir and Selene’s story will be out next year. You can meet Selene in Ripple Effects. She’s awesome, too! A very spirited and strong heroine! (My favorite kind – I don’t write anything but!)
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
John Lennon said that artistry is like being possessed. I’m sure he was right – in fact I think all forms of art involve some sort of madness. Once you really open yourself up to creativity, you have no control over it.
My dance with madness began with a musing that was triggered by a song I heard on the radio as I was driving to work one day in 2010. That musing lasted for the rest of my drive, and if I’m being honest, the better part of the next three years.
That’s how I first ‘met’ Danny and Sarah from Ripple Effects. They seemed to take on a life of their own in such a natural and organic way that, although they are completely fictional, they and their circle have always felt very three-dimensional to me.
For a long time, I resisted writing them down because they were mine and I felt protective over them. In my head, I loved to create and re-create their story in fine detail, and with impunity for any inaccuracies. But, as I often hear authors say, eventually, these characters demanded to be written down – to be let out. Writing them, to me, meant letting them go – giving them away to you, the reader. It meant letting you fill in their gaps, extend their experiences, imagine new scenarios and conversations.
And from that point forward, I couldn’t help but write. I honestly don’t know how to be me and not spend every free moment of thought on the creation of my next tale.
I got this one from a friend. If you could have dinner with 7 fictional character, who would they be?
Oh! Fun question! Thank you, friend!
Here are mine:
Morgaine from The Mists of Avalon. This was the first book that truly wrecked me. Morgaine is one bad-ass chick! I dig her in a big way!
Merlin – because, duh, he’s Merlin!
Violet Crawley and Isobel Crawley from Downton Abbey – I propose tea. I don’t think I’d get a word in edgewise but who wouldn’t love the conversation?
Lord John Grey from Diana Gabaldon’s Lord John Series - talk about a complex character with a great sense of irony and humor. I love that man!
Will, Max, and Bennett from the Beautiful Series– Zip it, Christina and Lauren! This is my imaginary dinner and I want all three. I do love men with a good sense of humor…
Tristan Vega – I’m still recovering from RK Lilly’s Bad Things series. I’m just saying…not that’s it’s been two years, or anything!
Can you share you next creative project? If yes, can you give a few details?
My next project may be my most personal yet. It’s another connected novel in the Ripple Effects series - Keir and Selene’s story, due out next year. I don’t want to say too much about it at this point, but readers can expect lots of humor and lots of heart.