Happy re-release day to author Courtney Cole. Her hit bad-boy book “If You Stay (Beautifully Broken)” was just recently picked up by Grand Central and today is her official “release” day.
This book starts off with a bang!! And had me blushing like mad. Here’s the synopsis:
Twenty-four-year-old Pax Tate is an a$$hole. Seriously. He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad boy with a tough attitude to match. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with an intense guilt that he doesn’t understand. What he does know is that he and his dad were left alone, and they have never been close. Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the black void in his soul. He pretends that the emptiness isn’t there and this has always worked . . . until he meets Mila.
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air that Pax has never known in his life. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her¿but he quickly realizes that he’d better figure it out because he needs her to breathe. When the memories of his mother’s death resurface to haunt Pax, Mila is there to save him from his overwhelming guilt. Mila restores his broken heart, even as she evokes his powerful, sexual desires. Now for Pax to keep Mila, he needs to work on his issuesand stop being an a$$hole. But is that enough to make her stay?
Up our alley, right? Hehe. Bad words right in the synopsis.
Well, to top of an already amazing day, Courtney is here with us to discuss Pax, his journey, and her own personal writing journey.
Maryse: Congratulations on your amazing book deal!! Tell me about the day you found out your books would be published by Grand Central Publishing. How did you celebrate?
Courtney: Thank you so much, Maryse! And thank you for having us here today. So exciting! The book deal… well, the whole thing was a whirlwind. Seriously. If You Stay sold at auction and the two weeks that it took to pull the auction together and wait to see who the winner was…well, let’s just say that I’m surprised I have any hair left. But it was so worth it. I’m so, so excited to be with Grand Central. They’ve been fabulous to work with. As far as celebrations that night… well, I would show you a picture of the margarita that I had that night, but no one’s computer screen would be big enough to view it. It was that big. <— Truth.
Maryse: LOL!!! A super-margarita! I’d love to hear about your own personal writing journey. Have you always known this was what you were meant to do?
Courtney: I figured out fairly young that I was a writer. When I was a little kid, I used to lie a lot- because I had this big imagination and no real channel for it. <— Another truth.
I remember telling my mother once that wolves had come into my bedroom while I slept and not only messed it all up, but had eaten the clothes that she had laid out for me to wear to school. Considering that I lived in Kansas where there are no wolves, it was particularly unbelievable.
But at some point when I was pretty little, I figured out that if I read a book where I hated the end, I could just write one that I liked better. (In my version of Where the Red Fern Grows, the dogs don’t die. Just an FYI.) And then shortly after that, it occurred to me that if I was in the mood to read a particular kind of book but couldn’t find one, I could write it myself. And just like that, I had a channel for my imagination. It took me a few years to decide to make writing my profession. But I’m so happy that I did. I’ve never looked back and I’ve never been happier.
Maryse: Your own ending!! A novel idea!! Has your family read your books?
Courtney: My 10-year old daughter and my mom read my YA books. But I won’t let either one of them read my New Adult work. No way. Just read the first paragraph of If You Stay and you’ll see why.
Maryse: Hehe. Yah. I read that, and um… I just had to read it to my husband just to show him how cool my books were. But I blushed through it, so I was… way-not cool. But I loved the very guy-’tude. You had him perfect! Do you have a favorite scene within your own book?
Courtney: In If You Stay, I love the painting scene. Mila is a painter and on one of her dates with Pax, she wanted to paint him. It turns out a little differently than she had anticipated… and I sure love the reason why. (Hint: It involves nudity, fingers and painting.)
Maryse: What about your most heartwrenching scene?
Courtney: For me, it’s not the scene where Pax remembers what really happened to his mom. No, instead- for me- it was a scene toward the end when Mila had to turn Pax away. When I wrote it, I was literally sobbing at my computer. I was a sniveling wreck.
Maryse: I love hearing when authors are emotionally affected by their own characters. Any reservations on certain aspects of where you took your story?
Courtney: My goal with this book was to be as real as possible, even if something was ugly or gritty or raw. So heck yeah, I had tons of reservations. I was afraid I’d gone too far several places, but I needed to show things the way Pax would really look at them. So I did. It was a risk, but I think it turned out okay.
Maryse: Yep! It’s one of the qualities I’ve enjoyed most about my favorite bad boy books. I love it when the author allows them to be real in their attitude, their anger, their fears. Real reactions and real emotion (even if it’s “ugly”). Stuff that I can remember from my own college days and say, “Yep. I knew someone like him”. Speaking of which… any scenes or characters inspired by real-life events?
Courtney: Pax’s personality is based on someone real, someone close to me. And the incident with his mom… I got that idea from a news story that I watched years ago. But in real life, the mother and son both lived.
Maryse: That was quite the “intro” look into Pax and his world. I admit after reading the first few lines I knew it was going to be my thing and I love the raw and unapologetic look his persona. Someone seemingly so cocky, arrogant and self-assured and at the same time, is in a self-destructive downward spiral. Can you tell me more about what inspired you to write his story?
Courtney: I know someone who struggled with drug use. He used it to drown out reality. When I started thinking about what would possibly make someone do that, what could possibly be so bad… I remembered a news story I’d heard years ago, involving a young mother, her son and an intruder. In real life, they lived. But I started wondering… what would happen if the mother had died instead? What would that have done to the boy who had survived? And that’s how Pax’s story was born.
Maryse: Any surprises that you didn’t see coming with your characters and their turn of events?
Courtney: My characters always surprise me. When Pax went to talk to Mila in the heart-wrenching scene I mentioned before, I had meant for her to take him back immediately. But she didn’t. My characters are contrary sometimes. But they usually know far better than me what’s going to work and what’s not.
Maryse: It’s great that you let them take it where they must go. The natural progression of their story makes it that much more real.
Do you have a favorite book (or books) that you’d love to recommend?
Courtney: Well, what I like to read depends on my mood. I recently discovered Karina Halle’s Sins and Needles books. Gritty and suspenseful- I love just love her writing style. If I’m in the mood for something sexy and witty, I love to read Kristen Proby’s With Me in Seattle series. They’re lighter- and steamy and delicious.
Maryse: Great recommendations!!!
Thank you SO much, Courtney for hanging out with me today!! *hug*
Wanna know more about Courtney?
- Her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Courtney-Cole-Author/172246529496995
- Her Twitter page: https://twitter.com/Court_Writes
- Her webpage: http://courtneycolewrites.com