- I started the original draft (which was only 3 or 4 scenes) in 2007. In that version, David & Olivia were called Christian & Anna. Those names were chosen before Fifty Shades of Grey came out, and they were inspired by Christian Troy from Nip/Tuck and Anna Karenina from Tolstoy’s novel.
- It has some version of the word fuck 31 times.
- Some other possible titles for Come Undone included, What Happens, The Opposite of Us and Straight Lines.
- It was halfway finished when inspiration for book two struck. I wrote the opening scene of Come Alive on an iPod while on a bus in Croatia.
- It originally had a different cover: a close-up photo of gold glitter that I took myself. Sadly, it can still be found on Goodreads.
- It advanced to the 2nd round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award in January 2014. 2,000 were chosen from 10,000.
- It has 70,832 words.
- You can read its very first ever review on I Love Romantic Fiction.
- Originally, Olivia had Lucy’s job as a personal stylist and that’s how the bow tie scene came to be.
- Half was written in New York City, and the other half in California.
- The opening scene was an art gallery instead of the ballet, until I went to see Swan Lake at Lincoln Center in NYC. The setting was so romantic that I went home and rewrote it.
- I inadvertently share a character name with Sons of Anarchy: Marcus Alvarez (SOA) and Mark Alvarez (Come Undone). Not intentional, though they have some similarities!
Come Undone was my debut novel, written in 2013, and is book one in The Cityscape Series. (That's not one of the things. Hopefully you already knew that.) Below are 12 tidbits that might make you smile!
10 Books That Have Impacted Me
I've been nominated by a few people to list 10 books that have both impacted and stuck with me over the years. Not exactly an easy task. Different books affect us in different ways, depending on where we are in life or what we're going through. Sometimes you just need a good escape, and sometimes a story strikes something deeper. It might be that a book has even changed the course of your life the way Fifty Shades of Grey opened me up to a whole new world. So without further ado, in somewhat of an order—although, when they're this high up, order doesn't mean much—here are my top 10:
1. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell—over a thousand pages of gold, this sweeping story took a week of my life captive and it was completely worth it. Fact: I read this a few years ago when I lived in New York City and I'd never seen the movie, nor was I familiar with the story. The ending caught me completely off guard.
2. The Bronze Horseman Trilogy by Paullina Simons—a contender for the #1 spot, this epic love story wrung every emotion possible out of me. I never wanted to leave Tatiana and Alexander, and since I only recently read this, they haven't left me yet. Don't think twice, don't even bother with the blurb—just buy this book.
3. The Dark Duet Series by CJ Roberts—what can I say about Captive in the Dark, Seduced in the Dark and Epilogue? Perhaps: this series is not for everyone. It is an exploration of the dark corners of your mind and only for those brave enough to go there. Over a year later, it sticks to me like glue, but I don't mind one bit.
4. The Adults by Alison Espach—quirky, insightful, laugh out loud funny, but most importantly... teacher-student relationship. As a fan of the forbidden—both reading and writing it—that was what sold me. For me, it delivered, but it was about more than the risqué storyline. I fell in love with Emily Vidal as she took me along on the roller coaster journey of her youth.
5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy—a woman in a loveless marriage struggles with her attraction to another man and ultimately gives in to an ill-fated love affair. Can you handle it? If it sounds familiar, this is one of the books that inspired The Cityscape Series. I found this epic novel on a book exchange shelf when living in Costa Rica in 2007.
6. Remember Me by Christopher Pike—I read this as a child and never, ever forgot it. I've thought of it many times over the years and even re-read it when I started my own writing career. When Shari Cooper is pushed off the balcony at a party, she is stuck between here and the afterlife, trying to solve the mystery behind her death. Poetic and beautiful, it will have you pondering your own views on life after death.
7. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James—as I said above, this trilogy allowed me to explore so much more than just the riveting relationship between young Ana Steele and the incomparable Christian Grey. EL James pushed boundaries and as a result, broke down walls for many of us behind her. It changed the course of my life, and for that I owe this series and its creator a great deal.
8. Tully by Paullina Simons—gritty and real, this was my first taste of the romance genre when I was younger, and as many will tell you, that's something that always sticks with you. The characters' layers, Tully especially, are masterfully developed, making it a truly emotional read of heartbreak, success, disappointment, love, and everything in between.
9. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway—I fell in love with Spain while reading this book, and (for me, anyway) that's a mark of a good story. I even visited Pamplona (left, me at Cafe Iruña, Hemingway's favorite hangout) and San Sebastián last year, both settings from the book. Hemingway's writing style is unique, but I undoubtedly responded to it, and the imagery and reading experience will stay with me forever.
10. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King—slightly out of place on this list, I admit... but this manual, I believe, changed me as a writer. I hope there will be many more of these experiences to come, but this was the first one that opened to my eyes to the growth I'm capable of. Recommended for any author, aspiring or otherwise.
There are undoubtedly many more that deserve recognition, including some of my indie favorites (hmm, maybe that should be its own list). What books would make it onto your top 10 list? Let me know in the comments!
I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be signing books at two upcoming events. One will be a pre-release event & early copies of Come Together will be available! If you're in the area, stop by & say hi!
Signing & Pre-Release Event
When: Saturday, September 14th
4PM - 7PM
Where: Aveda El Paseo Experience Center
Palm Desert, California
Raffle entry with any purchase! RSVP here to earn extra raffle entries.
Bring your own copies or buy them at the event! Also enjoy champagne, complimentary sensory rituals by Aveda and great company.
Indie Mash Up
When: Saturday, October 26th
10AM - 4PM
Where: Holiday Inn Convention Center
Buy tickets here (reduced price one week only!).
Bring your own copies or buy them at the event. All books in the series will be available. Enjoy the company of a roomful of amazing authors, including S.E. Hall, Pamela Ann, Hilary Storm, Kelly Elliot and many, many more!
Proceeds donated to Haley's Second Chance.
interview with a writer
If you need a Cityscape fix while you wait for book three, see below. Some of my favorite blogs have interviewed me this month about my inspiration for the series (including David Dylan), why I chose to write about adultery and even what you can expect from the third book in The Cityscape Series. They are all lovely ladies, and I enjoyed chatting with each of them!
ILoveRomanticFiction - Author Interview
Foxylutely - Spotlight On...
A Love Affair with Books - Seven & Seven Questions
You can also "Like" my Facebook author page to see interviews, reviews and updates for the series.
The ladies have also reviewed either Come Undone, Come Alive or both! So if you want even more, explore their blogs a bit.
let's do launch.
I'm so excited to launch a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to help get The Cityscape Series off the ground. It's been really fun creating the book trailer for Kickstarter and detailing my entire process - it's almost like a summary of the last year of my life. Plus, it's the first time I've announced everything to many of my friends and family - most didn't even know that I had started to write.
The Kickstarter campaign is a really neat thing, because it allows people to support the project at the ground level. Not only that, but backers get cool rewards like advance copies or a mention in the third book's acknowledgements section. Rewards start as low as $5, but you can contribute any amount - and I can't express enough gratitude for every dollar.
It's been both a creative and emotional journey the last few days. Thanks to all those who support me in any capacity. It is the reason I am able to continue this process!
If you are rich in friends but not in dollars, I gotcha. Please help out by sharing via your Twitter, Facebook and e-mail.
kick... start... ing
I had the idea a while back to start a Kickstarter campaign for my series. In case you aren't familiar, Kickstarter helps realize creative projects through crowdfunding. In essence, anyone can back all types of different projects to help get them off the ground.
I have loved every minute of the self-publishing process so far, but keeping up with the big publishers is unrealistic without the proper funds. Enter Kickstarter. I will be asking for the support of my friends, fans and family in this new venture. Even if you can't contribute, just sharing the campaign with your Facebook, Twitter and real life buds will help a ton.
However if you do want to contribute, you can get awesome rewards ranging from a signed copy of the book to naming a character. What?! Yep, you read that right . . . I don't want to spoil all the rewards, so for now, I will leave you with that AND a little something I created for the campaign: The Cityscape Series official book trailer (below).
If you'd like to be notified of the campaign launch, you can keep checking back or sign up here:
Happy last week of March!
It's been a beautiful few days in southern California, and we've had a lot going on - the tennis tournament, polo matches at the Coachellafest polo fields (stomping divots at the left), Palm Springs Fashion Week . . . I promise, I only attended each event once (got to see the qualifiers of the tennis tournament, but no big names) because I've been focusing on Book Two.
Come Alive is progressing nicely. That being said, it's not quite where I want to it to be. I'm looking at pushing the release date back about mid-late April. I want to make sure I do the story justice. And right now, it's not there yet. I'm back to it right after this post - and listening to The Best of Nina Simone as I work.
Thanks for your patience! Luckily, there's no shortage of great books out there to keep us occupied. I just finished Kaitlyn Cross's Fate Interrupted Series - great read and so funny! I was cracking up during some parts. Before that, I read The Fault in Our Stars - so touching and also funny in its own right. It's a unique book that can have you laughing through your tears. There were some beautiful lines in it that will stay with me for a long time.
I'll continue to post updates on Come Alive but in the meantime, don't forget to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for the first book in the series, Come Undone. There's only 1 week left to win a signed copy! I'll also be launching a Kickstarter campaign in the days to come, so keep an eye out for that if you want to watch my progress.
PS If you don't believe me about the caffeine, you can see photographic evidence on my Instagram here:
Book Two Update: Come Alive
I started writing Book Two the moment I finished Come Undone. The story just sort of flowed from my brain to my fingertips, often without interruption for hours. At times, I couldn't type fast enough. When I hit my goal for Book Two, the story wasn't nearly over and I could not... stop... writing.
And thus, Book Three was born. I had never intended to write a third book, but I couldn't do the characters justice in only two books. The story is far more complex than I ever anticipated.
(Side note: in case you haven't gathered, I do no write off of an outline. I did not know how the story would end when I started or even published the first book. Risky? Yes. I wanted it to be as organic as possible.)
But not to worry.
Book Two, entitled Come Alive, is due out early Spring 2013. Book Three will be out shortly after, maybe even as soon as a month. I want the story to flow for you as much as it has for me, which is why I am publishing the next two books within 3-4 months of the first.
I'm Jessica, an author in my late twenties, who lived in fabulous New York City up until a few months ago (which is where I started my first book, Come Undone). I've recently moved back to California, where I grew up, but miss the east coast a great deal. Traveling is one of the things I partake in and I recently returned from a Spain/Croatia/Montenegro solo-ish adventure - loved! (Left: hiking Plitvice Lakes in Croatia.)
Traveling influences me because it gives me at least two invaluable things: open-mindedness and a great, multi-cultural group of friends. Without these two things, I don't know if I could call myself a writer. People truly fascinate me and I aim to write stories about real people in real life situations. I like a little fantasy, sure, but I try to keep my characters' reactions and dialogue realistic, even if it means things get a little messy for them.
At the end of the day, my greatest inspiration comes from music, which pretty much dictates my mood. What I listen to has a huge impact on what I write - sometimes I have to go back rewrite a scene because I was too caught up in what I was listening to! Usually this is a good thing, but not all the time. If you want a sample of what I'm listening to as I write each book, check it out here.
I've been wanting to blog my progress for some time, but I have been giving all of my writing energy to Book Two in The Cityscape Series so that I can continue the story of Olivia Germaine. More on that soon.
If you haven't read my first book, Come Undone, it can be purchased for Kindle here! Enjoy!