Today is a BIG day!! Not only have we hit the magical “11,000 Likes” on Facebook (*squeee*), and I just found out one of my FAVORITE books in the world is on super-bargain sale today (this one!), but the AUTHOR of that very book is here with us today. Oh and!!! It’s her birthday today!!! Wow, how lucky did we get?
She has written one of the BEST BOOKS I have ever read. If I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, in a near panic, I was swooning like mad, delighting in the incredible romantic tension, absolutely losing myself in the beautiful friendship and romance that J.A. Redmerski has written.
“The Edge of Never” will forever live in my heart and I just know, years from now I’ll still be reminiscing, or better yet, re-reading this book. I’m telling you guys right now, I still can’t believe my luck to have come across this book on it’s release day, and to have given in to that “intuitive nudge” to read it. Even though it wasn’t originally on my “reading-radar”, I just knew I HAD to shift my TBR list to read it now.
P.S. This book is back on sale today (the bargain “release date” price). If you haven’t read this book yet, I suggest you read my very ecstatic book review of it (and do not read the interview, yet, to avoid spoilers). Come back when you’re done and get the “inside” scoop. You’ll want it.
And for those needing a support group after this one (haha!!) you’ll find us here, letting it all out (spoilers and everything, so beware): http://talk.maryse.net/threads/the-edge-of-never-by-j-a-redmerski.443/
Thank you SO much, Jessica, for joining us today!
J.A.: Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Maryse. I’m so excited!
Maryse: I’d love to hear what inspired this deep, beautiful and heart-wrenching story. Where were you when the story came to you?
J.A.: When the story actually materialized in my head, I had already spent several weeks contemplating the idea of writing something different than anything paranormal or fantasy. I needed to step away from that for a while. I was in my room one day and started thinking about a girl alone on a Greyhound bus (because I’ve personally been a girl alone on a Greyhound bus on several occasions). I thought about what she would be doing there and where she might be going and why. And then when I pictured this stranger (Andrew) stepping into the bus, the story itself was pretty much born right at that moment.
Maryse: Yessss… gorgeous, tattooed, Andrew. *heart* I love that she was so wrapped up in her own mind, at that moment, that she “saw” him, but didn’t really “see” him. Did you know exactly where the story was going when you started writing it, or did the characters lead the way?
J.A.: For most of it, the characters led the way. I’ve never done well with outlines or mapping every scene out beforehand. It’s always felt more natural to me to just go along for the ride and see where it takes me, kind of like in real life, I guess. I think if you plan out the scenes ahead of time it’s like knowing the future and I don’t see the adventure in knowing everything in advance. Some major scenes in The Edge of Never were figured out ahead of time, but not ‘planned out’ ahead of time and there’s a big difference.
Maryse: Oh I love that! Yes!! Writing a book must be as much as an adventure (if not more) for the writer as it is for the reader. This book has caused quite a frenzy! So many surprises. Moments we didn’t see coming, and we absolutely LOVED it (and I was wrong a few times when I thought… stuff ). Were you as surprised as we were, as the story unfolded? Any other surprises along the way?
J.A.: I never imagined this book taking off like it did. Yes, I had confidence in it because I put my heart and soul into every page (I even neglected my plants and forgot to walk my poor dog!), but I am dumbfounded by the response it has gotten in just a few days. Yes, I was surprised on several occasions as the story unfolded. Honestly, the biggest surprise for me was my use of language and the explicit sex. But I wanted this story to be raw and real and I knew it couldn’t be if I held anything back, so I went with my heart and wrote it exactly how I wanted to write it.
Maryse: I’m so glad you let it all go the way you did. It was so real for me that I forgot I was reading. I experienced every moment, and that is EXACTLY what I’m looking for in a book. I cried three times reading it, and one time, well… you saw my review. I went a little nutty. LOL! Did it make you cry?
J.A.: Definitely! I cried my eyes out more than once. In fact, I invested so much heart in this story that I almost…almost decided not to publish it because I was terrified people might hate it for whatever reasons and bash it and that would’ve broken my heart.
Maryse: I’ve been hearing that a lot. Authors mentioning that they almost didn’t publish a book that just so happens to be one that I LOVED with all of my heart and soul. But I think I understand that. The writer has given so much of themselves, so much honestly and raw emotion, into the book, that it’s like putting “yourself” out there. Exposed. And again, those seem to be the ones that I latch onto the hardest. Thank goodness you released it. It was a pure, indulgent reading experience for me.
As my fellow readers have been devouring the storyline, right at about “that part” I’ve been hearing mid-read rants about “wanting to throw their Kindle” or even funnier, wanting to put it in the freezer. Any interesting reader reactions that you’d like to share?
J.A.: I’ve read every single comment on your site, so I’ve seen those hilarious admissions. I can’t remember if it was here or on Goodreads, but I laughed out loud when I read someone say they almost fell off their treadmill! That was just too funny.
Maryse: OMG YES!!!! That was “Gina” saying: “I almost fell off the treadmill. I was crying and shaking wat too much. what a fantastic read!” LOL!!! We all remember exactly where we were at that part. In fact, I actually snapped at my husband a few times (and I mean SNAPPED) because he was getting ready to go out (while I was at “that part”) and he kept interrupting me to help him look for stuff. Grrrrrrr I was trying so hard to keep it together, and all I wanted to savor (or suffer) through that part alone, so I could just let it all out. I kept waiting patiently for him to leave so I could get back to my book. So there I was holding it in, trying to help him leave, practically pushing him out the door, and he kept coming right back in and I finally snapped… “Would you GO already!! I’m trying to read and it’s at the best part!!” UGH!!!!
And so he “left” only to come back in (again!!) a few minutes later, to catch me crying. Grrrrrrrrrr. Umm… yah. He left after that. LOL!!!
So let’s talk about these captivating, true-to-life characters, that had us reacting so intensely. Andrew was absolutely the perfect bad-boy hero. Gorgeous, tattooed, a blues musician, and such a free spirit. Camryn was an absolute delight too, once she found her reason to smile again. I could relate to her fears and her reasoning. Both very deep characters and both people I could wholeheartedly connect to. Were any parts of them inspired by real people?
J.A.: Well, I’m going to be completely honest and say that there is a lot of myself in both characters. I kind of hate to admit that (I’m not sure why), but I admit it. But more than anything, Camryn and Andrew’s story was my way of filling a hole in my own life. Their outlook on life, living and loving in the now, definitely comes from me. I’ve contemplated dropping everything and traveling all over the world, for the past ten years. The only thing stopping me are my wonderful kids, but in about five more years when my youngest turns eighteen, I’m going to do something about it.
Maryse: After reading this book, that idea sounds AMAZING!! Considering how real it all felt, how plausible, was there any reality in how their lives played out? Each scene was so lovingly detailed, it’s as if we were living their story with them instead of just reading it. Were any parts of their story inspired by real life events?
J.A.: One scene in particular was inspired by something in my life: when Natalie chose Damon over Camryn. A very similar thing happened to me with a best friend many years ago and I never really forgot about that.
Maryse: Oh yeah… that was a rough moment. So many of the scenes stand out so clearly in my head. It’s as if I can remember every detail along the way from the day they met to… you know. The rest. One of my favorites was when they played together at the blues bar, and after the song was done, he kissed her lightly on the lips. I could just feel his pride for her, and how connected they were in that moment. Oh!! And of course that “SAY IT!!!” moment… *wow* that one had me clutching my heart. Any favorite moments for you that you’d like to share? A scene with extra-special meaning? Most heartbreaking? The most surprising moment for you?
J.A.: Ah yes…the ‘SAY IT’ moment! I would have to say that scene made me clutch my heart, too. But one of my favorite scenes was also when they played the the first time together at Old Point.
Maryse: If you could choose a dream-cast, who would play your characters?
J.A: I only thought of this type of thing because I knew (after my experience with The Darkwoods Trilogy) that I would get asked this question. If I had my way with casting, hmmm… I’m not 100% sure because there are so many great actors out there who could fill the shoes, but I would have to say Kellan Lutz and Teresa Palmer. But really I’m not entirely sure who I’d pick.
Maryse: I admit, I ended up on your “Edge of Never Pinterest” page, and yes, these are WONDERFUL choices. There was one that a reader submitted to your Pinterest that was very much also my version of Andrew. When I saw it, I thought OMG that’s him as he was in my head!
Music was obviously a very important part of their process. The way they were able to tell each other things… that they weren’t quite ready to say. Do you have an actual playlist that you’d like to share? I’m assuming you were listening to a lot of “The Civil Wars” while writing (LOVE IT!!) but in case there is more you’d like to share with us on the music front, we’d love to hear it.
J.A: Yes, I looooove The Civil Wars! I definitely had a playlist. A lot like Andrew’s dad, I’m too lazy to get an MP3 player in my car so I made a mixed CD that I listened to over and over and over again. Every song mentioned in The Edge of Never is on that CD, but the most important songs are Barton Hollow, Poison & Wine and Laugh, I Nearly Died. I think Hotel California was a fun scene to write, too! Just picture a crazy woman like me driving down the street acting out Camryn and Andrew’s parts when they were in the car singing Hotel California. Yes, I acted it out to get the full effect. And yes, people looked at me like I was nuts while at a stop light once.
Maryse: *chuckles* Another awesome scene that was. Do you intend on writing any more that might … continue … their world? The brothers? The best friend?
J.A: I really don’t see writing more about anyone else in the book. Natalie’s personality is way too ‘out there’ that she’d probably annoy the crap out me before I got two chapters in. I will say that at one point, I did consider continuing Camryn and Andrew’s story later because I already have a good idea about where it could go…BUT…with the overwhelming response the story has gotten, I think I’d be scared to write anymore because I wouldn’t want to disappoint the readers who grew to love them. Don’t try to fix what’s not broken? That’s my mindset about it right now.
Maryse: Right. I get that, and to me, this story is near-perfection. At least, in terms of how it affected me, and how invested I was with them. Definitely not “broken”.
How has the self-publishing experience been for you? Any suggestions for others looking to self-publish?
J.A: If it wasn’t for self-publishing, I would still be working at the job I quit last year in which I hated and I would still be broke. I received literally hundreds of rejections for THE DARKWOODS TRILOGY and DIRTY EDEN and got to the point to where I thought I’d never be a published author. Career-wise, self-publishing my books has been the best thing I’ve ever done. My suggestion to anyone considering it is to be patient. No matter how good of a writer you are, chances are you won’t get noticed overnight and you won’t sell much for several months. And you absolutely have to put yourself out there in every way. Don’t be stingy with free copies of your books and don’t sit back and wait for the Golden Ticket to fall into your lap. You need to contact book bloggers/reviewers (I spent 8 hours a day doing this!), set up book tours, make friends and connect with people (Goodreads is mandatory in my opinion). And never, EVER, respond to bad reviews. EVER.
Maryse: Great advice! Do you have any favorite books that you’d like to recommend to us?
J.A.: One of my favorite Indie authors is Devon Ashley and I would definitely recommend her New Adult book Falling In Between and the second book she’ll be releasing soon, FALLING AWAY. Another book I love is The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher.
Maryse: Oh yesssss, we are HUGE Tarryn Fisher fans here. Another one that caused a book frenzy amongst our group. And thank you for the recommendations. I shall be totally checking Devon’s books.
Can you tell us a bit about your other series that you’ve already published. Any new writing projects in the works?
J.A.: I’ve always written something with paranormal or fantasy elements since I can remember. The Darkwoods Trilogy also holds a place in my heart, but even I know it can’t live up to The Edge of Never. So please don’t go out and read it and be disappointed that it’s not as good as EON! I have to say though, it felt so natural and more exciting writing contemporary romance that I will probably write another one of those before I go back into anything paranormal. Right now, I’m still reeling from the response that EON is getting that I can’t get my head together long enough to figure out what I’m going to write next!
Well, we’ll be here waiting with bells on!!! You rocked our world, and we’re ready for more, when you are.
*Squeeeeee* that was SOOOOO fun, you guys!
If you want to know more about this author, check her out online, here:
- Website: http://jessicaredmerski.com
- Edge of Never Pinterest page: http://pinterest.com/jredmerski/camryn-andrew-the-edge-of-never/
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/J.A.Redmerski
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/JRedmerski
Now for the book giveaway!
How to enter for a chance to win one? Just leave a comment below, I will end the “contest” at 9pm EST tomorrow night (Monday, November 26th 2012), and I will randomly select TWO winners. I will contact the winners by email to confirm if you want the Nook or Kindle version. The winners will be contacted and the books will be sent to the appropriate Amazon or Nook account. NOTE: The “winner” will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email notification. If no response is received, I will randomly select another commenter. Make sure to check your email, so you do not loose your chance. This is open to anyone that can receive these specific ebooks from either of these two companies.