Q: Erica, which characters do you find more enjoyable to write, the good boys or the bad boys? What makes one more fun to write than the other?
A: My characters are never black or white, so they’re never either good or bad. The good boys have their flaws, and the bad boys have their redeeming qualities. However, when it comes to attitude, I enjoy writing the bad boys more. Or I should say the cocky boys. When you’re writing a story, you need to make the characters interesting, and I think most would agree that the cocky boys are more interesting than the reserved guys. At least, they grab the attention quicker. Pairing the two types together is always a classic. I think such pairings must have been born out of the fantasy of women wondering about how it would be with if they’d choose a bad boy, when in reality they’d always go with the good boy. When writing a “bad boy” I like the dismissive attitude, the cool comebacks, and the overall style of a bad boy. But, like the women who undoubtedly came up with the pairing, I’d always choose a good guy in real life.
Q: You have the choice between the singer, lead guitar player, bass player, or the drummer in your fantasy rock band. They’re all equally gorgeous. Who do you go for, and why? What makes that guy so much sexier to you than the others?
A: The singer. I don’t know what it is about men who can sing, but it’s so very sexy. I’m assuming that this one has a great stage performance, because that’s something my fantasy singer would have, and that makes him even sexier. I know I’m not alone in this. Just look at all the bands out there. Who gets the most attention? Who has the most fans? The singer. I have no idea what the member of Pink’s band look like. Or the people in Jon Bon Jovi’s band? Even in bands where many people would recognize the band members, I’d only recognize the singer, like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, and Linkin Park. I’d never recognize the others on the street, despite the record label’s attempts to promote the band as a whole. The singer always steals the spotlight.
Q: How did you come up with the name Black Hurricane? Which came first, the band or their name, and how does the name fit them? Or, how do they fit the name?
A: Black Hurricane is so much more than just the name of the band. It’s a reference to the wide arrange of emotions Jazz goes through over the course of the book; to the storm of anger and hate for Dean that brews from the very beginning; to Jazz and Dean’s past and the whirlwind emotional challenges Jazz went through then; to the massive changes in Jazz’s life once he’s been discovered by the media. Jazz has about as much control over these things as a person caught in a nasty hurricane. That’s what I was thinking when I came up with the name. So, the band came before the name, but the name is also fitting for the band. Their rise to the top happened fairly quickly as they took the world by storm. The name fits their raw lyrics, their music, their stage performance, and Dean’s own emotions in the past and in the present as he tries to win Jazz back.
I tend to do this with my titles – they almost always have more than one meaning. A Life Without You refers to both Adam and Jesse as they both try to wrap their heads around living without each other (Adam because Jesse’s in the closet, and Jesse because he has his life planned out and it doesn’t include Adam). Grade-A-Sex Deal is a reference to the deal of giving the grade A for sex, but also that the sex is grade-A (as in, very good). Hot Hands refers to the name Casper gives the guy who’s been groping him, because the guy has big, hot hands, but it’s also a reference to Hot-Hands’ own luck. The Walls Have Ears is a saying, but it’s also literal in this case because the two guys are masturbating on each side of a wall (and listen to each other).
BLURB: Twenty-three year old Jasper Jones fell in love with Dean McQueen at fourteen, but after a disastrous relationship, Jazz would like nothing better than to see the rock star choke on his own vomit.
After a catastrophic reunion, Dean seems bent on destroying Jazz’s life. It all started when an impromptu bar performance ended up on YouTube and Jazz became an internet sensation overnight. The name “Jazdean” keeps popping up in headlines and the paparazzi stalk his every move. To make matters worse, Jazz is about to end up on the streets for the second time in his life.
In a desperate attempt to keep his home, Jazz signs a deal with Dean’s band, Black Hurricane, to perform at a couple of concerts. It feels like one of Dean’s feeble attempts to get Jazz back, but painted into a corner like he is, Jazz has no choice.
Note: Can be read as a standalone
EXCERPT: “Jazz, take pictures!” Eric pokes me hard in the side with his bony elbow.
I wince and raise the camera, clicking a shot.
“Go to the front, like they’re doing.” He points at the photographers running to the front and clicking madly on their cameras.
Heaving a sigh, I drag my ass off the chair to walk forward. I rake my hand through my hair before I glance back at the monstrosity on the platform. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be in this position. Suddenly oil paint and new guitar strings don’t seem all that important. I just wanna get out, but Eric needs these pictures for the magazine and I’d rather die than let one of my friends down.
My heart thuds when I see Dean looking right back at me as I approach. His brow furrows as if he’s trying to place me. Typical. Of course he wouldn’t remember me. Why would he? My heart hammers a fast beat as my body breaks out in sweat. The inside of my throat thickens, stopping half of the oxygen from reaching my lungs. And still, I’m having the hardest time looking away.
Am I nervous under his green-eyed gaze? Or is it just the hate? It’s been years since I last saw him.
Not wanting to give the wrong impression of an adoring fan, I narrow my eyes and spew out all the venom I feel for this man into one, hateful glare, just before I raise the camera and snap my shots.
Author Bio:Erica lives in Iceland with her adorable little twin boys. She often says that her real name sounds like Klingon to foreigners. Seriously, if “Eyjafjallajökull” looks like a random strings of characters, it’s nothing in comparison to Erica’s name.
She’s been writing for several years, or ever since reading became an obsession. Aside from a business degree, Erica has taken English courses at the University of Iceland and gulped down anything that might help her in her career as an author. She takes great interest in English, but will break every single grammar rule for the sake of The Voice.
The Giveaway: A $50 Amazon Gift Card and signed paperbacks of A Life Without You, Hot Hands and The Walls Have Ears