Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spotlight on Colleen Hoover: Q and A with Colleen and Griffin Peterson and Review by Guest Reviewer Bill

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance—and the enchanting music that inspires one young woman to put her life back together.

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

Q & A with Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson

Three Chicks:  Colleen, the music of the Avett Brothers played such a big part in your first couple of books. What made you switch it up and how did you choose Griffin’s work?

Colleen: Well, because people responded so positively to my inclusion of The Avett Brothers' lyrics in Slammed, I thought it would be fun to take that idea a little further and have the characters write their own original lyrics in the story. That idea blossomed into recording the original music. I had already worked with Griffin before because he was the cover model for Losing Hope. So, I asked Griffin if he was interested in writing songs for Maybe Someday and he was so enthusiastic about it. I'm so glad I asked him!

Three Chicks:  Griffin, what was your reaction when Colleen approached you to work with her again?

Griffin: Well, I'd already worked with Colleen before because I'm on the cover of Losing Hope. So, when she asked me if I was interested in the Maybe Someday project, I already knew her work was awesome and I was really excited about the opportunity.

Three Chicks:  Colleen, your male characters are ordinary everyday guys; teachers, struggling musicians, students…what draws you to write about them as opposed to the larger than life billionaires, rock stars, athletes?

Colleen: I think it just comes down to what kind of experience you want to give readers. Some stories take readers into a sort of fantasy world, and a lot of readers love that. However, I prefer to write stories that I think are more about life and are relatable, which my readers also love. I get my inspiration from observing people around me, so I guess that's why my stories tend to be about "average" people.

Three Chicks: Griffin, when you were writing the songs for Maybe Someday, did you read the story as it was being written for inspiration? Tell us a little about that process.

Griffin: Colleen would send me scenes from the book and I would send back lyrics that I thought would fit the story well. Some of the music was already written, other music was written specifically for the story. It was a lot of fun getting to work with Colleen throughout that process.

Three Chicks: Tell us how the tour that the two of you are doing together will work-are the events, signings with a concert?

Both: Yep! The events will start as a book signing where both of us will sign books (and CD's), and they will end with a concert. We're so excited!

Three Chicks: Will there be any future collaboration for the two of you?

Both: It's possible. We've talked about it, and we had a lot of fun the first time around, but we don't have any plans set in stone right now.

5 Fantastic Stars 

Review by Guest Reviewer Bill

Today is a week since I finished reading Colleen Hoover's latest novel,  "Maybe Someday" and I haven't stopped thinking about it. That's good right?  Actually no - that's amazing! When a book stays with you and makes you feel, makes you think and takes you away – well, isn't that why we read in the first place? This book was written with such exquisite detail I felt like I was not only looking through a window watching it happen before me but I opened the window and climbed out into the characters' world. Colleen has done this again and again which is why her smiling face is up on my author Mt. Rushmore with a few of my other favorite Literary Goddesses. 

Take this simple little paragraph. I'm not even sure why but I remembered this part... 

“I pause outside the apartment and look down at the fern sitting unaffected by the heat in a planter outside the door. Its leaves are lush and green as if they're giving summer the middle finger with their refusal to succumb to the heat. I smile at the plant, somewhat proud of it. Then I frown with the realization that I'm envious of the resilience of a plant.” 

 If you're looking for a cookie cutter love triangle with one main character having sex with one of the other two main characters until the inevitable train wreck occurs, well then, this is not the book for you. This is a story about the power of love and the power of music. ( two of my favorite things ) There is also an original soundtrack by American Idol alum Griffin Peterson to go along with this story which is an added bonus and an outside the box take on the standard book play list.  It is the power of music that draws the two main characters together.

Sydney seems to have a great life with everything going for her until she discovers her boyfriend Hunter has been in a long term cheatfest with her best friend Tori ( Slut! ). Sydney's hunky neighbor Ridge Lawson ( how f'n cool is that name?! ) has been watching from his balcony, playing his guitar. Sydney is immediately drawn to Ridge's talent. They are brought together when Ridge discovers that Sydney is making up lyrics to sing along to his songs and he asks for her help since he is in the midst of songwriter's block.  

"There are only twenty-six letters in the English alphabet. You would think there would only be so much you could do with twenty-six letters. You would think there were only so many ways those letters could make you feel when mixed up and shoved together to make words.

However, there are infinite ways those twenty-six letters can make a person feel, and this song is living proof. I'll never understand how a few simple words strung together can change a person, but this song, these words, are completely changing me."

There is an instant, deep, intense connection between Ridge and Sydney but due to the complications of their lives at the moment they can not act on that connection physically. As they become more emotionally connected the urge for the physical becomes too much to ignore. 

Ridge has been in a relationship with a kind, wonderful, and oh did I mention, amazingly beautiful girl named Maggie. As the story developed I was torn between Maggie and Sydney, I loved them both and was conflicted with who I wanted Ridge to end up. There were times my stomach was in knots. Because you feel deeply for the three main characters you know you are in for some pain somewhere along the line but we do get a happy ending, and although it is a sad, bittersweet, happy ending, you know it ends as best it can for all involved.

The secondary characters are excellent and add so much enjoyment to the story and you care about them, another characteristic I love in a book.

Something I feel I have to touch on is Ridge's particular challenge. ( without giving too much away ) It is a big part of the story and my first thoughts were-is this possible? I know it is physically possible for Ridge to play guitar but I had questions about to what extent was it possible musically, and to what level of self enjoyment can someone reach with this challenge?

I actually stopped reading and hit the internet to research all of my questions, not because I was doubting the boundaries of the human spirit but to educate myself. After I did this I felt like I could relax and enjoy the story even more with my curiosity being laid to rest.  I highly recommend this five star gem to anyone that believes the connection between two hearts can overcome anything – especially very bad timing. 

"Wanting more than anything to be free to love each other but cursed by bad timing and loyal hearts. We both know where we want to be; we just don't know how to get there. I wish things were as easy as they seemed when I was nineteen. We'd grab a calendar and pick a date, and we'd start a countdown until I could show up at your front door and start loving you."


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