I had to write down everything that my main character has to have in her relationship. Kind. Laid-back. Helpful to others. Attentive. Funny! Oh, god, he has to make her laugh. Loves kids…and shows it. Has a drive for life. Respects himself. Pushes her to be a better person. Does not stand in her way or restrict her success in any way. She, of course, must have sexual, physical, emotional and mental attraction to him. He will be her best friend, her home. (Some day.) These are her hard lines, something she won’t let any man cross.
I’ve been writing a new book for several months now that I’m stoked about. It’s about an open relationship and I’m loving how the plot is unfolding and how the characters decide to go off on their own tangents when I’m not paying attention. When I sent out the story to my critique partners, a couple of them have commented that the New Adult genre I was labeling it might not be the best fit. Both of them believe it to be Women’s Fiction, or Chick Lit.
My first reaction was to say it wasn’t, that I knew exactly what I was doing when I labeled it, but the more I work on it, the more it’s starting to feel like something else other than NA.
But while I figure it out (and it’s important to note here that not pinning down my genre right away is an okay thing), I’ve been reading some Women’s Fiction. Some really amazing Women’s Fiction.
Naturally, I thought I’d share:
WHAT ALICE FORGOT by Liane Moriarty
I gave this book 4 stars out of the 5 on Goodreads because it was a little long-winded for me. I skipped over parts of the book, sadly, but apart from that, the story was fantastic. It’s about a woman who forgets the last ten years of her life–which includes the failing relationship with her sister, the divorce from her husband, and even her three kids.
THE LIFE INTENDED by Kristin Harmel
Someone described this story as Sliding Doors meets P.S. I Love You and that sums it up pretty closely for me. I loved how the story tore my emotions to shreds and put them back together again. It’s about a woman who slips into what she calls dreams, but what feels too realistic to be something she’s not actually experiencing. It’s more like an alternate reality in which her husband didn’t die. A truly beautiful read.
AFTER I DO or really anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid
One of my Twitter pals suggested Taylor to me and I read every book she has out as quickly as I could get them. AFTER I DO–about a couple taking a break from a marriage rough spot–was my favorite of the bunch because I connected with it the most, but really, all of them are amazing. You are doing yourself a serious injustice if you do not at least give her a try. MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE has a similar theme to THE LIFE INTENDED and was the first one I read, and the newest from her. FOREVER, INTERRUPTED is about a woman getting over the death of her husband after a love-at-first-sight/nearly-straight-to-the-chapel Love ‘a Thon. Go look her up, I’ll wait. And then you can thank me.
I’m not sure if they’ll be tears of joy, stress, an overwhelming sensation, or something else entirely, but there will be tears. Probably a mixture of all of them. But I feel like this over here:
My book, OLIVIA CHRISTAKOS AND HER SECOND FIRST TIME, is out, guys. It has left the nest and is out in the world on it’s own.
I want to say thank you to everyone at Carina Press who read, edited, talked about, thought about, and acted in favor of my manuscript. It wouldn’t be the story it is today without all the extra eyes. Also, all of you (yes, you–you know who you are) who read really awful early versions of this and gave me any kind of encouraging word and criticism, thank you, too! Olivia is a tough cookie to hang out with for over 90,000 words and if you gave her a chance, you deserve some recognition.
And to those of you who actually purchased a copy, you are my FAVORITE. Seriously, though, everyone I mentioned is my favorite. (But really those of you who spent money are my very favorite.)
I hope you love Olivia and Wyatt’s story. I started it last August and I’m ready and excited to share it with the world. It is out of my hands now and into yours. Enjoy!
With OLIVIA CHRISTAKOS AND HER SECOND FIRST TIME coming out in a week (omg…a week!), I wanted to put together a little soundtrack to go with the book. I really tried to pick songs that went with the events happening in the story as well as the tone. So the soundtrack starts off with Olivia being a complete bitch and moves to how she grows–with and without her love interest. The link to the soundtrack is below, as well as an explanation of why I included each song (without spoilers).
The Griswolds: Beware the Dog
I chose this song because I think it’s about a girl who’s a bitch to this guy and he’s sick of it. This is Olivia, unfortunately. She was not a nice girl to her friend Wyatt and made some really awful life choices.
Tove Stryke: Borderline (remix)
A writer friend suggested that I listen to this song. It’s by a pop band from Norway and I love them. This song, I think, is about a girl who is all over the place, personality-wise. The line, “And I won’t get around to a change of mind as long as nobody breaks my stride” would sum up Olivia in the beginning and what her family and friends might have to do to intervene. I actually like the original better than the remix, but I think Olivia would prefer the remix. This is her soundtrack, so.
Gotye ft. Kimbra: Somebody That I Used to Know (remix)
I’m not sure I can say much about this song without a big spoiler. Let’s just say Olivia and Wyatt are having a disagreement about something that happened between them. I know, super vague.
George Ezra: Budapest (acoustic version?)
Oh, my. George Ezra. One of my new favorites. If you like this one, you should check out the rest of his album. The man is pure talent. To me, this song is about sacrificing everything for someone you love. Someone in the story does this to a possibly crazy extent.
Virginia Spiedel: Sometime Around Midnight (Airborne Toxic Event cover)
This song has such a desperation feeling to it. I think it’s about a guy who has memories of someone he can’t have. Wyatt might just feel this way. Funnily enough, I chose the female cover to this song. Hm. Curious. Very curious.
Au Revoir Simone ft. Nikolai Fraiture of the Strokes: Fade Into You (Maggie Star cover)
This is such a pretty cover to one of my all-time favorite songs. I don’t think anyone really knows what this song is about but, for the story’s purpose, I think it could be about someone falling for a person who is too self-centered to notice.
Saint Raymond: Fall At Your Feet
Poor Wyatt is so tired of caring, but…he can’t give up on Olivia. That’s why this song, at this point in the story, is perfect.
Vampire Weekend: Everlasting Arms
Vampire Weekend! What an amazing band. I love nearly everything by them. The line in this song, “I was born to live without you, but I’ll never understand” shows how Wyatt might be thinking of Olivia.
Soko: First Love Never Die
The title says it all. This is such a quiet little punch-to-the-heart song. It might just tear you up inside. Proceed with caution.
EFIX & Henri Pfr ft. Florence Welch and Kid Harpoon: I’m Going Down (Vampire Weekend cover)
Yes, you caught me. I snuck another Vampire Weekend song into this mix. As well as another cover. But this one is sang by one of my favorite artists–Florence Welch. And it’s so pretty. Although, I probably would prefer the original to this one, this is such a unique version.
King Charles: Ivory Road
One of my favorite songs ever! This song, I think, is about someone believing that their life is complete with a certain other person. My favorite line is “You’re my mind’s rest.” Ah, break my heart! A line that I think really sums up Olivia’s story, though, is “I will keep on loving ’cause I believe in love.” Sometimes, all you have to go on is a belief that it will all work out.
Lykke Li ft Drake: Little Bit
Disclaimer: I am not a Drake fan. But I would imagine Olivia would be one. I have this song on my iPod, but not featuring him and I love it. But this song is about the beginning of someone falling in love.
Jasmine Thompson: Magic (Coldplay cover)
I know I have a lot of covers. Oh, well. Deal with it. Jasmine is one of my favorite cover artists and this one is done beautifully. “I just got broken, broken into two. Still I call it magic when I’m next to you.” Totally sounds like a guy who got hurt in his relationship, but can’t give up on it, right?
Vance Joy: Mess is Mine
Such a gorgeous song about a committed relationship when they’ve learned to deal with each others idiosyncrasies.
Coldplay: The Scientist
I go back and forth about what this song means, but I think it might be a breakup song. Or an apology, let’s-get-back-together song. Or even a song about a couple being broken up but figuring it out. I’m not going to tell you which of these was the reason I chose this song for Olivia. It would give too much away.
Young the Giant: My Body
I’m totally not going to tell you why I put this song here. You could guess, otherwise, you’ll have to wait to read the book!
You can preorder OLIVIA CHRISTAKOS AND HER SECOND FIRST TIME wherever you buy ebooks. It comes out June 1st! AHHHHHHH!!!
Okay, so yay! Lots of wonderful things are happening. Well, namely one. I’m going to be published! By Carina Press/Harlequin!!!
Here’s my deal announcement:
I’m this stoked:
or maybe as stoked as this:
But, honestly, it’s more like this:
Some more details to know:
-Dani Irons is actually a pen name. I have chosen to use a pen name for many reasons. One of which is that I’m a teacher and I want to keep my real name for my classroom.
-My cover will be revealed very, very soon! Hurray! I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m so excited to see what it looks like. So much so I can’t bear it. I think I’ll be like
-The book will be out in June! That’s so soon! And you can preorder it wherever you buy ebooks. Here are some sites that carry it:
You can also add it to your To-Read shelf on Goodreads here.
And, lastly, I’m sorry this post is late and so short, but I’ve been super busy with work stuff and getting the garden ready. I barely have time to finish this senten
See what I did there? Anyway…thank you all for all the support! More to come soon!