Howdy, Delighted Readers!
Today we welcome author, Melanie Stanford, who is new to Delighted Reader for her new release of Sway. Melanie is going to share on a topic related to her book, family dysfunction. Here’s what she has to say:
I’m the youngest of seven, and I have an amazing family. We all live far apart and don’t see each other a whole lot, but I heart them like crazy. Writing about a completely selfish set of family members for SWAY was very difficult for me. I had no experience to draw from. Sure, we’ve had our family squabbles, some awkward foot-in-mouth moments, and let’s not forget the “apple panty” incident. (My brother put my apple underwear on his head. He laughed. I cried. What can I say, I was sensitive.) But there has never been a thing that makes people stop talking to one another for years, or in my main character Ava’s case—run away from home.
Ava’s dad has never shown her much love, obviously favoring her older sister Beth. Ava’s aunt was like a mother to her until she disapproved of Ava’s engagement. Ava’s sisters are both selfish and spoiled, one treating Ava a bit like the dirt under her fingernails and the other like her own personal slave. It’s no wonder that Ava finally flees this family, running from LA to New York City.
SWAY starts when Ava is returning home to LA after eight years away. Unfortunately, her family hasn’t changed much. This was difficult to write because I modeled Ava after Anne Elliot (the book being a PERSUASION retelling after all). So Ava is long-suffering, but she’s also a bit of a pushover. She’s my own character but I swear sometimes I just wish she’d slap them around a bit then walk away. At the same time, I admire her kindness and patience.
Here’s a little sampling of an interaction between Ava and her older sister Beth:
“Beth, have you seen my phone?”
Beth didn’t look up. “It’s on my dresser.”
I walked over and grabbed it. “Why is it on your dresser?”
“Because it rang earlier. I answered it for you.” I opened my mouth to again ask her why when she cut me off. “You’re welcome.”
Yes, I was really grateful that she’d probably gone through my emails and voicemails and used up my lives in Candy Crush.
If you have a family member like that, what do you do? Do you put up with it? Do you tell them to screw off? At the same time, they’re family. They’re yours forever. Maybe it’s just from personal experience, but I can’t imagine leaving family behind for good, and Ava feels the same way. She doesn’t want to be around them all the time, but from the start she’s trying to repair those broken relationships. And as much as you might want to shake some sense into her for it, I think it’s pretty admirable, too.
Whew, yeah, family can be a tough thing and there are so many out there that aren’t healthy. Thanks for sharing about one of the core elements in your book, Melanie.
She’d be happy to forget…if the past would just stop hitting “replay”.
Ava Elliot never thought she’d become a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have?
Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fiancé Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake.
In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets.
One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself.
Contains an actor whose kisses taste like chocolate, a pianist with scores of regret, and a sexy crooner who just wants his ex to cry him a river.
Melanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow. You can find her on Twitter @MelMStanford, on Facebook @ MelanieStanfordauthor, and her website melaniestanfordbooks.com
Links: Samhain Publishing https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5673/sway
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