Hello & welcome to my [second stop] on the 2014 Debut Authors Bash Blog Tour!
A big thanks to YA Reads for hosting this fabulous event! For a full list of all the debut authors participating, as well as the blogs that will be hosting them, please click HERE!
Today I am hosting Robin Constantine, author of the fabulous book, THE PROMISE OF AMAZING!
THE PROMISE OF AMAZING came out December 31, 2013 & is a book I really enjoyed. You can see my review of TPoA HERE.
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.
Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.
One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.
I had the opportunity to interview Robin Constantine and asked her about her inspiration behind TPoA, as well as what she has planned next.
Where did your inspiration for The Promise of Amazing come from?
“None of you are going to Harvard” is actually something a guidance counselor said to my honors lit class, so that has stayed with me for awhile! I always thought that was an odd way to inspire a group of young people to prepare for the world. Of course as an adult I can see where she was coming from – trying to tell us that wasn’t the only path to success – but as a teen, it made me angry. So I wanted to do a story involving that sort of crossroad in a teen life – the time when things begin to get real – when you realize you are making choices that could affect your future.
Grayson was a secondary character in another novel I’d been working on. I had to scrap that project, but loved his character so much that I put him in PoA and found that’s where he belonged the whole time. The crime aspect of his story came partly from personal experience and partly from a news story relayed to me by my real estate agent. I loved the idea of this person dealing with the temptation to go back to his old ways or embrace a different route, so his theme is also about choices and how they affect your future and not letting your past define you.
I love that the story is written from the POV of Wren and Grayson. Did you originally plan for that or is it something that came about through the writing process?
No. When I first mapped it out, PoA was strictly Wren’s story, but when I got to the end of chapter one, I thought it might be interesting to see things from Grayson’s perspective, since at the moment, his part of the story was more dramatic. There were times I thought writing his chapters might have just been an elaborate character sketch, but found he had a side ot the story that demanded to be told.
What is your recipe for the “promise of amazing” when it comes to a relationship?
Ha – this is a good question but so subjective. I think many relationships start off with an initial physical attraction – which is all fun but of course won’t last unless there’s substance. I think when you find someone who accepts you for who you are, and not necessarily what they want you to be, or try and fit you into a boyfriend/girlfriend role – then there’s something there, something to build upon. For me personally, a sense of humor is a non-negotiable. My husband can usually make me laugh even in my worst moments and this is such a gift. You need someone who’s willing to be there in your worst moments as well as your best.
Since this is your debut book, how has the journey as a new author been for you? Any surprises along the way?
I’m still pinching myself and to be honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over that feeling – it’s completely overwhelming. When I visited my publisher for the first time, I was blown away by how many individuals work behind the scenes on a book. There’s really a team – and it’s been amazing working with so many talented people. It’s also been a strange, and wonderful experience to have people react to my work – seriously there’s nothing that can prepare you for that! It’s not something I gave much thought to before I was published, which might sound weird.
The most surprising thing is how much I love doing live events. I’m a pretty quiet, introverted person but it’s always a pleasure to meet readers. I went on tour with a few authors, and my favorite thing was seeing how many moms/daughters came out to support our books. Another surprise is getting mail from readers, which I love! When you know you’ve touched someone through your work – it’s the best feeling in the world.
Do you have a favorite line from your book?
Ah, easy – this is Wren, day-dreaming about Grayson.
“Any time I checked off the reasons to avoid him, I’d picture him in front of school leaning against his faded car. Hands in pockets, swoon-worthy grin, deep brown eyes full of the promise of amazing.”
Of course, after reading your first book, I can’t help but wonder…what’s next?!
Thank you! My next book is titled The Secrets of Attraction and will be released on April 28, 2015. It’s a companion novel, and will feature Wren’s best friend, Madison as the main character. The story takes place a few months after the first book, and is Madison’s story, although Jazz, Wren and Grayson are in there too. It’s another dual POV story, the boy POV is a lovely barista/guitar player named Jesse…and that’s all I can say about that right now.
I am so happy that I had the chance to interview Robin Constantine! I met her several months ago when she was touring for her book, but of course was so excited to meet her, I failed to ask any of these questions then! So glad the 2014 Debut Author Bash allowed me the opportunity to do so now.