Oct 2, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW & GIVE-AWAY: Truth In Lies series by Katherine Owen (Part 2)


Add This Much Is True (Truth In Lies, #1) on Goodreads!
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Add The Truth About Air & Water (Truth In lies, #2) on Goodreads!
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~ Check out the 1st part of the interview if you missed it-> Interview (Part 1)

***About The Author***

International best selling author of the New Adult Novel, This Much Is True and the most recently released second novel in the Truth In Lies series of The Truth About Air & Water.

Katherine Owen writes contemporary edgy fiction, which translates to: she writes love stories that are contemporary in setting and both edgy and dark. Some readers term her books emotional roller coasters. She is not sorry. Owen writes about trust, love, and fate and how relationships are often tested by all of these things in one way or another. Love, loss, starting over. Yes, that about covers it. 

Owen is partial to commas, dashes, and plot twists & turns and the ampersand sign. Apparently. With a degree in editorial journalism and English, she is aware of the grammatical rules. She chooses to break them. Sometimes. For her complete take on this, click here.

Connect with her on:

***INTERVIEW (Part 2)***

~ What inspired you to write Linc's & Tally's story?

KO: The idea of Tally came to me about three years ago during a writing assignment for one of The Writers Studio classes I took. In that assignment, she was an artist—promiscuous, bent on self-destruction—when she comes across a guy, who has everything going for him. Linc didn’t change too much from the initial beginnings, but obviously Tally did. I wanted to write about two characters that had been dealt their fair share of tragedy and show how it shaped their psyches and influenced what they did and ultimately what they wanted out of life.

I don’t think of these two as being co-dependent. I see them more as being whole and complete with the other. Enhanced. In reality, these two would be perfectly fine conducting entirely separate lives on their own—away from each other—because they put their all into their chosen careers of perfection. Tally with ballet. Linc with baseball. However, I hope what readers come away with is realizing that ballet and baseball are just a means to an end, part of the fulfillment, but the true dream they long for is being loved for who they are, despite being famous for ballet and baseball.

~ How would you introduce these books to someone who hasn't read them yet?

KO: I’m a writer of dark, angsty love stuff. (Angsty is not a word; c’est la vie.) If you’re going to read my work, you need to prepare properly with tissues, perhaps some wine nearby, Advil or something stronger and don’t start my work late at night because there is a point where you will not be able to stop reading.

~ Did you know from the start that this will be a series or was This Much Is True planned as standalone at first, not that we mind, but there was no cliffhanger in that book and that's why I thought I had read a standalone novel after reading This Much is True?

KO: No. I never intended to write a series with This Much Is True. I’m not a fan of series. How many series have you read where the books get better and better? They usually don’t. I read The Bronze Horseman and fell in love. I read The Winter Garden and stayed in love, but have yet to finish the series with that one because I just don’t see how she can top the first book. Series are tough, tough, tough. Readers demand more, but it is REALLY hard to make them happy. So, ultimately, as my husband recently counseled, you have to do it for yourself. Ask the question: what do you want to do next, KO? That’s where I am. Guess what that means?

I wrote This Much Is True long. I knew it was long. My one and only beta reader hated Tally. I had to pull myself out of a dark abyss and believe in the book enough to put it out there all by myself and take the heat for making it one long-ass book. I took inspiration from Paulina Simons for that. F*ck it, if you can’t handle the long book. I abhor cliff hangers and I just couldn’t figure out where to cut it that wouldn’t leave readers hanging. I wrote it, released it, and felt like it was done. Received high marks and lots of four and five stars and after a long-ass while, I dealt with the one-star drive by reviews quite admirably.

A writer friend told me that everyone was doing series, and that I should think about it. The drumbeat for more of Linc and Tally was quite evident in many of the glowing reviews I received, so I spent some time on a plausible storyline and began the arduous task of writing The Truth About Air & Water and attempting to top the accolades for This Much Is True. 

The pressure for doing so was intense. It never let up for me personally until late July when I finally felt like I had nailed the second storyline and saw the character arcs for myself in The Truth About Air & Water. Then, my Beta readers came back after reading it with nothing but raves for the book and I suddenly felt like I achieved the virtually impossible—I topped the first book. 

~ Who is your favorite secondary character from this series and why?

KO: From This Much Is True, that would be Nika Vostrikova. We don’t understand this Russian girl and what motivates her. Well, we can guess. But there’s a lot of back history to Nika that makes her the way she is and we haven’t yet discovered all of that. Hmm…just writing that gives me an idea. Yay!

From The Truth About Air & Water, it would have to be Sam Wilde. Literally, this guy gave me a hard time half the time when I was writing this second storyline because he was distracting me and Tally! There’s also a back history to him that needs to be explored. Hmm…again. 

~ My favorite secondary character is probably Linc’s manager- Kimberley. She is one smart, strong, calculating and at times ruthless woman. It was questionable at times if she is more of a villain or one of the good guys, another fact that makes her one of the most intriguing characters in the books. Is there a chance that maybe we could get a book with her as MC in the future too? 

KO: It’s most unlikely Kimberley will get her own storyline. She appears in several of my books: Seeing Julia, Not To Us, This Much Is True, and The Truth about Air & Water where she actually played a major role like she did in Seeing Julia. Her public relations gig and image protection/consideration makes her an intriguing character to write and she helps out so much with plot lines. You do know that I did public relations for several years, right? Interesting. I’m glad you like Kimberley.

~ Who is the character you loved to hate and why?

KO: I don’t really hate any of my characters. I will say there is a lot more to Davis Presley than we know (that Tally and even Linc knows) so there might be more story there as well. And as I said, there is more to Nika Vostrikova and even Rob Thorn. 

~ Which character was hardest to write about and why? 

KO: Sam Wilde was hardest to write in the sense that he kept trying to take over the story line and Tally. I had to rein him in a couple of times. I REALLY liked him and I had to center myself on Lincoln Presley and maintain my focus. 

~ Without spoiling anything, can you tell us which was the hardest scene and which was the most fun scene from this series to write about?

KO: The hardest scene to get just right which can also apply to just writing it was the scene with Davis Presley and Kimberley. There was a fine line between making Tally the victim and making Tally stand up for herself and even retreating which on the surface would be so unlike her. That scene was tough to write. I had to make it believable. A few readers don’t believe it which tells me they aren’t reading carefully enough because it’s right there why she makes the choice she makes in all her inner dialog. Truly? All her baggage weighs her down. I’ll leave it at that.

As for the most fun scene to write? I’m cheating; there are two scenes. I loved writing Cara’s birthday party scene. The exchange between Sam and Linc in the first part is very funny. Then the scene with Linc and Tally afterwards just takes off. Anyone who has read This Much Is True loves seeing these two characters converse with one another, but we are clearly at a whole different level by this time in the book. 

And yet, my absolute favorite scene to write had to be the scene at O’Riley’s. Tally is in rare form in that scene and she makes Linc pay in all kinds of ways. The subtext going on in the conversations with the secondary character Doug Hillman is brilliant and when she turns her laser focus onto Linc; well, watch out, Elvis. Tally’s Epic Plan in motion is one to behold. Loved writing that scene for The Truth About Air & Water. 

~ Now, you know I just have to ask you about that particular *scene on the graveyard* in This Much Is True, #1 which left me quite shocked and mouth hanging open? What inspired that scene and why was it important for the plot?

KO: I think you have to come at this from the perspective of where Tally was—resigned to her fate. She wants things to work out with Linc but now there are so many lies between them and the biggest one of all; and Rob knew all of Tally’s lies, most of them anyway. Yet, Rob was there, loving her in his own twisted way and maybe in Tally’s mind that all she had, all she deserved. This wasn’t about Holly at this point. This was about Tally being the survivor and basically accepting her fate. 

Circumstances had them at the cemetery—the one place she goes to be with her sister—and the one place Rob knows to go and find her (and Holly on some weird-ass level). Yeah. I really didn’t get too caught up in where they were but the fact that they were together should lead to readers understanding the why of it all. She’s lost. He’s the one who showed up to find her (and maybe himself.) Rob's deep; I’m not sure readers pick up on that. Perhaps there is more story there. Huh…

NOW. If you go to The Truth About Air & Water and reread what Tally says to Sam in chapters eighteen, nineteen and twenty, I think it becomes even clearer how this girl sees herself and where she fits into the world even some four years later. Or doesn’t. 

~ Raw, edgy & emotional stories are my favorite ones and Linc's & Tally's story is definitely one of those. As I said in my reviews- they are not your typical "perfect" romance couple and their story is far from a light read. Both of them have flaws and make some choices in life that some readers won't be comfortable with. 

I know I wasn't, but they did learn from their mistakes and tried to be better and that is what made them more real and relate-able in my eyes and that's one of the main reasons I loved their story. You are not the type of author afraid of taking risks and that's what I like and admire about you. Considering some heavy issues these books contain, was it difficult for you to write their story and what type of feedback from readers did you expect?

KO: Well thank you for recognizing I take risks and admiring that about me. And no, I don’t shy away from the heavy issues in my work. The thing is I love Tally. She is so different from me. She does things at seventeen that I would never have done. She is deep and flawed and perfect and real. I f*cking love this character. She considers herself the bad twin. The good twin in Holly is a constant presence in Tally’s life being good remains her ultimate goal. In The Truth About Air & Water, pay particular attention to the dialog exchange between Sam Wilde and Tally Landon in chapters nineteen through twenty. There is SO MUCH revealed about Tally and how she sees/views herself in these scenes. I’ll go so far to say that not all of this is resolved by the end of The Truth About Air & Water. Perhaps, we ARE just getting started.

I am not afraid of tough storylines. My goal in the last few novels has been to kill less people and strive for a different resolution than offing them. I took some heat for things that transpired in my third novel, When I See You. Now, I stand by that book as well as Not To Us, but I did challenge myself to come up with plot lines that don’t always lead to the elimination of characters. I’ve grown as a writer in this way, and I’ve mostly succeeded with that. (But sometimes people have to go. Just sayin’.) 

Bad stuff happens every day in real life. My growing fan base seems to appreciate that I take on realistic bad stuff and deal with it directly. I don’t just throw stuff in for the sake of extra drama. I think it through and decide if it works or not. I tried to make The Truth About Air & Water better—focused and tighter—on the issue at hand. There is a TON of stuff (300 pages worth) I left out. As I said before, Sam Wilde gave me a hard time for more than half the novel. I really really liked him. He was a distraction for me and for Tally. Linc demanded equal time. I had to sort that sh*t out. And I did. But it took some effort let me tell you. 

Then there is Linc. He’s spent the majority of his life making up to his dad for the loss of both his older brother Elliott, who was perfect, and his movie star mother for Davis. Linc has a lot to live up to, and Davis Presley expects this of his son. This becomes even more apparent in The Truth About Air & Water. Davis, Linc’s dad, has built his entire existence of what is left of his life around Linc making it to the major leagues in baseball, and he has seen Tally as a threat to this goal since day one. Baseball is all there is. For both of Linc and Davis. (Until Linc meets Tally.) Davis Presley’s life force in Linc’s life is one to be reckoned with. Tally is just beginning to figure this out in This Much Is True. It dominates in book 2. Dominates. 

As to the second part of your question: Considering some heavy issues these books contain, was it difficult for you to write their story and what type of feedback from readers did you expect? I’ve spent enough time on the first part of that one but in short, “No it’s not difficult to write a story dealing with heavy issues.” I must have a knack for that or something. 

As to the second part of the question? I don’t really go in worrying about the feedback from readers because I seemed to have garnered a growing fan base of readers who “get” me and in turn “get” my work. They already KNOW I color outside of the lines. I’ve had bloggers who read nothing, but smut praise my work. They’re practically suffocating because of the lack of sex scenes in my work, but they keep reading because they are still avid fans of mine. Most readers seem to know I write the dark, angsty love stuff. I’ve adopted that tag line just to keep them aware. I don’t write light fluff. Readers seem to accept that and still want to read my work. 

~ Are you a baseball fan or you're more like Tally and me who are pretty clueless about this sport?

KO: I’ve learned more about baseball than I ever thought I would. I needed a sport that had a long season and baseball fit that bill. I’m a football fan more than a baseball fan. I did extensive research on what happens in this 2nd story. I’m pretty confident with everything I did here.

~ Is Truth About Air & Water, #2 the last time we read about Linc & Tally or do you plan to "torture" them a little bit more *wink*?

KO: The book just came out in late August but there is already a new drumbeat from readers for more of these two. I’ve left it at this; if I can come up with a workable storyline, I will pursue it. But I don’t write fluff, and I put these two through their paces quite enough already but there are some secondary characters around who can make life difficult for these two, and I am considering where to take it. But alas, I don’t talk about my work-in-progress much more than that.

~ What would be your perfect casting for this series?

KO: There are some looks to Megan Fox that are good reminders of Tally. Both her eyes and her dark hair could easily be Tally’s. But casting Tally? That’s a tough one. As for Linc? Hmm…Lionel Clerc (male model) is fresh in my mind and there is much inspiration on my Pinterest page here as well as an avid fan of mine on Jamie Stokes’ Pinterest page

~ To what type of readers would you recommend your books?

KO: Readers who enjoy reading more of a dark romance with complex characters and appreciate twisty plot lines will enjoy my novels. I don’t write predictable storylines, and I don’t write to recipe. If you’re looking for light and fluffy, move along, my stuff is neither of those things. If you’re looking for sex scenes through the latter half of the book, you’ll be disappointed because although I like sex, I don’t think it should take up half the storyline. If you have an appreciation for a little literary flair and don’t mind the propensity for the f-word every so often or stories that will make you cry, read my work.

~ And last question- what are your plans for future; are you working on some new book/s that we should know about?

KO: There is probably going to be more of Linc and Tally in some form of a third book. I don’t do novellas. I don’t do serials. I have a WIP called Saving Valentines that I really need to get back to and two unnamed WIPs from my writing classes with The Writers Studios that both hold exciting promise. Writing. I am always writing or thinking about writing. UPDATE: I have committed to fans for a third book (yet to be named) in the Truth In Lies Series about Linc and Tally. Caution: I’m not a fast writer (or, is that fast thinker?) so it will be a little while.

~ Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with us today and for this amazing giveaway! We'll be eagerly waiting for your new work.

Best of luck,
Way Too Hot Books Team

KO: Thank you for taking a chance on my work and for reading my work and sharing your thoughts about all of it. I appreciate that so much!


The author is giving away a paperback version of both books in TIL series. Visit her FACEBOOK page to participate!

Good luck folks! <3


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