I have the pleasure of having a guest post by author K.. Weil, who answers...
What scares you the most or makes you the happiest about writing?
KKW: Thanks so much for having me here today!
Writing is both exhilarating and terrifying for me, so in order to answer one part of this question, I have to answer the other part as well.
Let’s talk exhilarating first. Creating something from nothing gives me a huge rush. Inventing characters is so much fun and finding out where they will lead me is even better. Even though I’m technically the one in control of their actions, I often find them telling me what they will do next. When I sit down to write, I become lost in another world. Obviously, it’s a fictitious world that exists only in my mind, but to me it’s as real as a conversation I’d have with a person sitting across from me. And when I’m inside that world, if the phone rings or I get a text, my initial response is to shoot a glare at the object that had the nerve to yank me from that place, far away from where I really am.
Some of the most satisfying moments are when plot lines come together in ways I didn’t foresee. It’s like they were destined to be that way and they flow seamlessly into each other. Or when secondary characters take on a life that you never intended. That’s actually what happened to me. When I started writing about Griffin in my first book, I had no intention of giving him such a big presence. But he came alive in ways I didn’t anticipate and I fell in love with him, which told me I had to give him his own story. And for me, there is no adrenaline in the world like working on a really strong scene. I practically hold my breath until I can get all the words on the page, because my hands are not nearly as fast as my mind. When I get that last word down, and I know it was a good one, a chill runs through me. I sit back, exhale, and just enjoy my moment.
But for every merged plot line and every powerful scene, there are also times when nothing comes together the way I want. When I work for hours, or an entire day, and I can’t find a single correct word. Or I read what I wrote the day before and can’t stand it. And then I do the inevitable downward spiral, questioning whether any of it is good at all. Trying to dig my way back from there can be frustrating and very scary.
But what’s much more frightening for me is how to handle certain things. I tend to write about sensitive topics. Much of Shatterproof revolves around domestic violence. It was very important to me that I portrayed the subject the right way. Since the book is written from Griffin’s perspective, it had to reflect his feelings toward both of his parents. I wanted to make sure it was clear that his opinions about his mother’s decisions were his and not mine, while at the same time giving his voice as much power and validation as possible. It was a fine line, one that I worked hard on and even when it was done, my execution made me very nervous. Only after hearing feedback from some early readers and reviewers was my mind set somewhat at ease.
I think this will be a fear of mine whenever I write about something delicate. In my first book, At This Stage, my hero, Jackson, has a brother with a disability. It was crucial to me that I portrayed him exactly the way Jackson views him – as an amazing person – while still being clear about his challenges.
Writing can definitely be a roller coaster of emotions. After all, everything about it is coming directly from what’s inside of me. But without those ups and downs, everything would be flat, and I’ve never been a carousel type of girl.
by K.K. Weil
GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Griffin Stone knows the stats. Sons of abusers become abusers. This is his single fear.
After witnessing firsthand his parents’ tumultuous marriage, Griffin worries that he, too, harbors an explosive dark side. Can he escape from his father’s rage-fueled ways or is he destined to become part of the cycle?
Unable to persuade his mother to leave and wrestling with his resentment towards her for staying, Griffin volunteers at Holly’s House, a safe haven for abused women. Through sculpture, Griffin gives these women pieces of themselves they’ve long forgotten. Holly’s House is the only place where Griffin finds peace and purpose.
Until he meets Frankie Moore.
Frankie is an aspiring photographer, finding beauty in things most people miss, including Griffin. Griffin is attracted to her free-spirited, sassy attitude but fears Frankie will trigger the most intense part of him, the one he must keep buried.
Frankie’s got to get her act together. Her anything-goes behavior is leading nowhere fast. She’s hopeful that her latest hobby will be a building block for the future. But when a stranger appears on the other end of her camera, looking as complex as he is handsome, Frankie thinks this might be just the change she needs.
When Griffin’s father strides out the door, I involuntarily suck in a gasp. Approaching us is possibly the most handsome man I’ve ever seen, especially in his sharp button-down shirt, slacks and designer shoes. He’s almost Griffin’s clone, except as he smiles to say hello, some soft lines surround his mouth and fiery brown eyes. His dark hair has the same slightly reddish tint as Griffin’s but it’s short, with not a single strand out of place. He’s got Griffin’s high cheekbones and deep dimples indenting his cheeks. These two could be twins born a couple of decades apart.
A small guttural sound spurts from Griffin, who practically has smoke coming out his ears, and two things occur to me. One: I cannot be thinking about how beautiful this man is. I have to hate him the way Griffin does, because, for God’s sake, he’s an abusive asshole. And two: even though he has explained it to me, I’m grasping for the first time why Griffin keeps his appearance the way he does. Morally, he is the polar opposite of his father, yet their physical features could make them identical.
“Frankie,” his father says, revealing a smile matched in beauty only by his son’s. “I’m so glad to be meeting you. I’m Evan.” He extends his hand.
Griffin is absorbed by his father’s manicured hand grasping mine. Definitely no tattoos on those knuckles. He releases me and turns to Griffin.
“Hello, my boy,” he says, but doesn’t reach for his hand. Maybe he knows Griffin won’t shake it and doesn’t want to make things awkward. Instead he gives Griffin a playful slap on the back. Griffin straightens.
“Why aren’t you at work?” Griffin snaps at his father. Griffin’s hands quiver and he crams them in his pockets.
“I was.” His father ignores the tone. “But when your mother mentioned you were bringing a date for dinner, I decided to cut our meeting short. Why don’t we go inside? Your mom said everything’s almost ready.” He tries to escort me by placing a hand on my spine. Griffin pulls me away and steps between us to walk.
Dinner should be interesting.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is a former teacher. She now enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.
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