It's almost here! The I *heart* Ryan tour starts tomorrow! I'm so incredibly stoked about this tour because it's all things Ryan, and I think you'll be uber happy about it :) The schedule is below, and each day I'll post links to the blogs that are featuring me. I hope you follow the tour. Yeah, it's a long one, but you're learning something new every day. Invite your friends to tag along as well, especially if they haven't read the book. It may just entice them to. xo (Ugh. Totally ended that last sentence with a preposition.)
Morning After a Good Book – Review
She Reads New Adult - Promo/Excerpt
Seeking Book Boyfriends - Promo/Excerpt
BookLYSS Book Blog – Review
Brittany's Book Reviews – Review
Literati Literature Lovers – Promo/Playlist
Book Addicts Not So Anonymous – Review
Classy Ladies Dirty Books – Review
Jessica's Book Review - Review
Say It With Books – Review
Love N. Books - Review
Confessions of a Book Heaux – Review
Globug and Hootie Need A Book – Review
A Love Affair with Books – Author Interview
Reading Is My Breathing – Review
Sab The Book Eater – Guest Post
Sugar and Spice Book Reviews – Review
Up All Night Book Blog – Review
Nose Graze - Promo/Excerpt
Devoured Words – Review
Naughty and Nice Book Blog – Review
The Boyfriend Bookmark – Review
Choo Choo Tre - Review
Just Bookin' Around – Guest Post
The Book Avenue - Promo/Excerpt
Rainy Day Reads - Promo/Excerpt
Scandalicious Book Reviews – Review
Vilma's Book Blog – Review
Book Reviews & More by Kathy - Promo/Excerpt
SinfulReads Blog – Review
Enticed by Books – Guest Post
Wine Relaxation and MY Kindle – Review
Ana's Attic Book Blog – Guest Post
Fab fun and tantalizing reads – Character Interview (Ryan)
Amber's Reading Room – Review
Bean Counting Mommy – Review
SMIBookClub – Review
Confessions From Romaholics – Character Interview (Brooke)
Book Crush – Review
Book Reader Chronicles – Review
The Shadow Realm – Author Interview
Tiffany Talks Books – Author Interview
Infected Loser – Review
Love Between the Sheets – Review
Cocktails and Books – Promo/Excerpt
Romance Addict Book Blog – Character Interview (Cal)
And to kick off this tour I thought I'd share a guest post from my editor, Julie. She wanted to describe her experience for you editing Going Under. Please don't read this if you've not read the book. She goes into specifics with the storyline, and I don't want it to ruin the book for you. Enjoy this little read. It's funny and insightful and all the things that make up Julie. :)
Adventures in Editing: Going Under
Summer has an amazing knack for delivering manuscripts just as I set off to travel. Going Under arrived a few days before I left for a major business trip. Tucked safely in my carry-on, the manuscript traveled through six states; shared a plane with a 1980s sitcom star; saw ocean, desert, mountains and snowfall; bunked in a dazzling hotel; and sat through some excruciatingly boring business meetings.
Editing this manuscript was a bloody process. On a flight from Nashville to Los Angeles, about 15,000 feet above an expanse of flat brown prairie, my pen exploded. Puddles of ink pooled on the pages as I frantically whipped out my travel tissues and begged fellow passengers for their cocktail napkins. With horrified faces, they quickly obliged as ink streamed down my fingers and arms. Summer has the manuscript now, and I can’t remember the ink color (I blocked it out – I think it was blue), but forever in my mind, it is bloody, bloody red. Note to self: when writing on airplanes, stick with cheap ball points. Those silky-smooth roller-ball pens turn to shit under cabin pressure.
Yes, Summer and I take editing old-school. We edit her work on paper. Each of us spends enough time on computers to appreciate the opportunity to step away from them. She says it’s easier to incorporate the edits if she sees them on paper. I enjoy the ability to immediately respond to what I’m reading without clicking any “comment” buttons. And you can’t beat the portability of paper. It may be a quaint system, but it works for us.
Going Under was originally titled Slut. I loved that title. Summer and I were the only ones who did. She renamed the book after a lot of input from trusted advisors and a lot of soul searching. I hated to see Slut forsaken as the title, but Going Under truly is an appropriate name for this book. I love its many facets, its allusions and limitless metaphorical implications.
Brooke has claustrophobia. Me? I had a few panic attacks while editing Going Under – starting with the first chapter. I despised Brooke in Chapter 1 of the first draft. I yelled at the early Brooke on the page: “GET OVER YOURSELF!” I phoned Summer after I read it: “I can’t stand Brooke! As I reader, I have to like her enough to move on to Chapter 2!” We agreed that Brooke needed a bit of charm school in the first chapter. Summer did a great job of softening Brooke early in the story, showing her vulnerability and humanity, along with her vanity and guilt. Her revisions of Chapter 1 give us a sympathetic yet imperfect Brooke. But if you look at the early manuscript, my disdain for Brooke is unmistakable.
Another sticky point in the editing: It is logically impossible to allow one’s self to be raped. Rape, by definition, is involuntary – except perhaps in some cases of consensual statutory rape. Framing someone for rape charges isn’t a rape: It’s a set-up. We can all agree that Brooke was in a dark and twisted headspace as her plan unfolded, and that Cal and his cronies are scumbags. But the concept of “trying to get raped” is an oxymoron. One major editing challenge was constructing precise language that didn’t state that Brooke, in her distorted condition, was “trying to get raped.” Intensive effort went into weaving the text to distinguish a rape from a set-up. The book owed that to readers, and perhaps more importantly, to victims of sexual violence who all too often must endure the horror of proving they weren’t complicit. Summer carefully refined the syntax to ensure clarity and sensitivity in the language. It was one of those seamless time-intensive efforts that won’t be obvious to readers, but it required a lot of sweat equity by the author. Observing how Summer deftly reworked the language in describing Brooke’s demented plan was one of my most fulfilling associations with this work.
“ARE YOU INSANE?” That was my unabashed question to Summer upon my first reading of the gang rape and orgasm scene. In my head, I kept hearing Oiser Boudreaux from “Steel Magnolias” saying to Clairee, “You are too twisted for color TV!”
Then Summer told me about her research on orgasm during rape. She explained the available research, the anecdotal and scientific evidence, the limited literature on the topic, and the consistent conclusions of the data. I listened, agog and speechless. She delivered an astonishing persuasive argument. She schooled me. I knew nothing about orgasm during rape, but Summer did her homework beforehand, and (she’ll hate my saying this) she taught me.
I digested her response. It was dizzying and disturbing and important. I backtracked on urging her to remove the orgasm from the rape scene. Instead, I encouraged her add the context of her research to the story. Summer subsequently added the letter at the end of the novel, and it genuinely informs the work. Summer will tell you that she doesn’t write to teach. I will tell you that Summer doesn’t write from a gratuitously lurid place of fantasy and ego. By adding that letter, she beautifully bridged an important gap in perspective and framed an informed reader response.
Here’s what Summer won’t tell you: She’s taken some deeply personal hits for her work – from people in her life and from strangers. She gets fan mail, but she gets hate mail, too. She’s made new friends, but she’s lost some old ones in the course of publishing her three novels. The ones she lost were probably worth losing, IMO. Her work is a reflection of how she treats people. It’s committed. It’s brave. It’s honest. It’s authentic. It’s forthright. And her intelligence, compassion, and courageous inner voice always take the lead.