Thursday, June 21, 2012

Love This Pain by Presley Collins: Interview & Excerpt


Ryan Hansen had been on top of the world for his entire adult life. He could have any girl he wanted at any time. He was the member of one of the hottest rock bands of the last decade, but something was off. He was about to turn 30 and had just been dumped for the first time in his entire life.

Ryan stood outside of The Russian Tea Room the next evening. He crossed his arms over his chest, trying to keep warm but it was below freezing and night had already fallen, along with random snowflakes. He had shaved and had his hair done earlier that day only because James had dragged him out of the hotel room.
He really didn’t feel like having a blind date. He hated them and had only been on a few and every time they ended badly.
Admittedly, they ended badly because he ended up sleeping with the girls, only to leave them before they woke up.
He reached into his pants pocket and pulled out his phone. It was almost seven and he knew the girl would be showing up anytime. He just wasn’t sure what to expect. That’s what he hated most about blind dates. He never knew who he was waiting for but the girls, most of the time, knew who he was.
He watched a black town car pull up in front of the restaurant and watched as the driver got out and opened the door for whoever was inside. He watched a pair of long legs move from out of the car. His eyes moved up her legs to see a tall brunette in a short black dress and a thick, black coat stand up. She told something to the driver and watched as he drove off.
Then she looked over at Ryan and smiled.
“Ryan?” she asked, walking up to him. Ryan stood there in shock that James didn’t set him up with a dog.
“Hey, yeah,” Ryan said, reaching out to shake her hand. “Natalie?”
“That would be me,” she smiled. “It’s nice to meet you. Your friend told me a lot about you.”
“Oh, did he?” Ryan laughed as Natalie motioned for them to go into the restaurant. “He didn’t really tell me anything about you, except that you were a brunette and had a southern accent.” Ryan took off his jacket, handing it to the hostess and watched Natalie do the same, leaving her in a strapless short black cocktail dress.
“Yeah, we met through a mutual friend,” Natalie smiled as the hostess showed them to a corner booth. “I haven’t actually met him, just talked with him on the phone but he seems nice.”
“Would you two like time to look at the drink menu?” a waiter asked as both Ryan and Natalie nodded. “I’ll be back shortly.”
“So what do you do?” Ryan asked as Natalie looked over the wine menu at him. “You obviously know what I do for a living.”
“I work at a school,” she said, looking back at the wine menu.
“A teacher?” Ryan asked, wanting to laugh. “You don’t seem like a teacher.”
“More like an assistant than a teacher,” she said, closing the menu. “I didn’t go to college, so I obviously can’t teach.” She saw the waiter walk back by and she snapped her fingers. “I know what I’ll have. I’ll have the Cosmonaut.”
“I’ll just take a beer,” Ryan said, looking at the menu. “A Heineken.”
“I’ll be back with your drink soon,” the waiter said as Natalie leaned back in the booth and looked at Ryan.
“So,” Natalie smiled. “What’s a rock star doing all lonely and depressed in his hotel room before his 30th birthday?” Ryan stared at her. He couldn’t believe James had told her that. “Happy birthday, by the way. I just turned thirty last month so I know how it feels.”
“Can’t believe he told you that,” Ryan laughed nervously, looking at the table. “The girl I was seeing just broke up with me before we came out to New York.”
“Did you love her?”
“Then why are you so upset?” she asked as Ryan shrugged and looked up at her. “If you didn’t love her, then why were you so depressed that your friend had to set you up with another girl?”
“I’d never been dumped before,” Ryan said slowly, staring at the menu as the waiter brought them their drinks. He waited for her to laugh but she never did. Anybody else would have laughed.

Hi Presley!  Thanks so much for taking this time with me.  How did you start your writing career?
As cliché as it probably sounds, I started out writing fan fiction. After high school in the late ’90’s, I got infatuated with a certain band and a friend talked me into writing a story that I had dreamed up in my head. I’m still involved highly with the fandom and have a pretty popular web site. I also went to college and originally majored in creative writing before changing to media. I have a minor in creative writing, though. 
Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?
I do use one. Since I’m a journalist in my real life, I figured, since I have a unique name, to go with my middle name and my grandmother’s maiden name. I thought it worked well together. I wrote fan fiction for a short time under my middle name, but I was so known in my fandoms by my first name that I decided against it. I think the name Presley Collins fits my writing style. 
Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or movie?
Honestly, in book form Cannie in “Good In Bed” by Jennifer Weiner reminded me a lot of myself when I first read it. I’m not so sure about that now because that was a few years ago, but that’s the one that sticks out the most to me. In movie form, or television form, Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother” kind of reminds me of myself. That’s sad, isn’t it? 
Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?
A member of my favorite band, that I started out writing about, told me one time to follow my dreams and said some other encouraging words that only one other person really knows about. I was stuck in a weird depression and what he said inspired me to go back to college, take my writing more seriously and led me to pretty much be who I am today. Even though I’ve told him how much he’s helped me, I don’t think he realizes it.  
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
Not really. Sometimes they come from dreams I have, but most of the time I get ideas from listening to music. The smallest line in a song can inspire an entire story. The past few years, Taylor Swift has been really inspiring because she’s an amazing songwriter.
You just won a huge lottery what is the first thing you'll buy?
Hmmm, me and a few of my friends will probably travel the world seeing our two favorite groups perform. If they read this, it might sound familiar.  Then, I’m buying MTV and putting music videos back on there and locking people from all reality TV shows in a dungeon… especially “The Jersey Shore.”
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
It’s probably cliché, but I think getting feedback is rewarding, especially when the reader goes into detail about what they liked about the story. I’ve had the chance to hang out with some friends, who started out as readers, and sit and talk about the things I’ve written and it’s probably one of the best feelings in the world… knowing that you wrote something that someone enjoyed so much.
Tell us about your current release.
At the time of doing this interview, my second book, “Love This Pain” is the current one I’m trying to actively put out there. It’s about a rock star that has pretty much used women since becoming famous, especially in the form of sex. But he’s turning 30 and he’s depressed because for the first time in his life, he was just dumped by a girl, one that he liked. So his bandmate and best friend decides to set him up with someone. That’s pretty much all I can say, but the story is about loving the pain you get from loving someone you can’t really have.
That's it for now from me, Presley.  Thanks so much.  It's been super finding out a little more about you and your newest book.  :)

Presley Collins is an award-winning journalist who has been writing fiction since she turned 19 and fell in love with a boy band. She lives in Georgia where she has two cats and works at a newspaper. In her spare time, besides writing, she enjoys watching television shows, especially “How I Met Your Mother” and “Castle,” taking photographs (especially when get paid to take photographs of her favorite musical acts) and trying to keep in contact with her friends from all over the world that she met thanks to said boy band (even though she’s now in her early 30’s) who still owns her heart.

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One mobi formatted copy of  Love This Pain
Ends July 14, 2012

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