Please join us in welcoming author Vanessa North to The Novel Approach today, on the tour for her latest novel, Roller Girl. Enjoy Vanessa’s guest post, and then be sure to check out the swag pack that’s up for grabs–details below on how to enter for the chance to win.
A Girl’s Best Friend
Every time I write a dog into a book, I try to tell myself I’m never going to do it again. Owning a dog is hard work. You need to train them, socialize them, feed them, walk them, take them to the vet, groom them…etc. etc. And when you’ve got a dog in a book, your characters need to do this work—or the readers will notice. You can’t have a dog in a book and never take it out to pee unless you want every review of your book to point out that you, the writer, clearly have no idea what dog ownership is about.
But it is about more than taking them out to pee. It’s about companionship and comfort and caring. And how your character interacts with their pet can tell you a lot about who they are and what’s important to them. A dog in a book is more than a cute sidebar. A dog is a character in his own right.
Elvis has been, from the very first Lake Lovelace book, a shield for Tina. An outrageously adorable mutt of indeterminate pedigree who wears a pink rhinestone collar and loathes water—he is an ice breaker. He is a distraction. He is Tina’s baby and her best friend—and he’s integral to the plot of Roller Girl from the very first sentence. He provides comic relief (#1 rule of dog ownership: they will embarrass the fuck out of you) and opportunities for quiet conversation away from a crowd. He gives us glimpses into the character of nearly everyone he encounters.
I’m a dog owner myself—my mastiff, Hank, is my constant companion. As I write this blog post, he is snoring—very loudly—at my feet. Maybe I’ll put him in my next book. 😉
About Roller Girl
Recently divorced Tina Durham is trying to be self-sufficient, but her personal-training career is floundering, her closest friends are swept up in new relationships, and her washing machine has just flooded her kitchen. It’s enough to make a girl cry.
Instead, she calls a plumbing service, and Joanne “Joe Mama” Delario comes to the rescue. Joe is sweet, funny, and good at fixing things. She also sees something special in Tina and invites her to try out for the roller derby team she coaches.
Derby offers Tina an outlet for her frustrations, a chance to excel, and the female friendships she’s never had before. And as Tina starts to thrive at derby, the tension between her and Joe cranks up. Despite their player/coach relationship, they give in to their mutual attraction. Sex in secret is hot, but Tina can’t help but want more.
With work still on the rocks and her relationship in the closet, Tina is forced to reevaluate her life. Can she be content with a secret lover? Or with being dependent on someone else again? It’s time for Tina to tackle her fears, both on and off the track.
About the Author
Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.
Gift basket will include an autographed copy of Roller Girl, a purple Lake Lovelace Roller Girl t-shirt in your size, a pair of waffle earrings, some derby stickers, and more! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 30, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!