Monday, July 09, 2012

Please Welcome Amber Lin author of Giving It Up

I'm pleased to host Amber Lin author of Giving It Up. Please take a look at her book excerpt blurb and interview.

Leave a comment and be entered to win.


    One randomly drawn winner from each blog will receive a Giving It Up Swag Pack, which includes romance trading cards, a signed cover flat, a signature soap bar for showers together handcrafted by AnaBanana Creations and a $10 Amazon gift card.
·         One randomly drawn commenter on the tour will win an erotic romance prize pack, including paperback copies of Bared to You by Sylvia Day, Simply Carnal by Kate Pearce, Lessons in Letting Go by Cara McKenna (print combo of Willing Victim and Curio), Comfort Object by Annabel Joseph, a collection of signed Giving It Up swag AND a $50 Amazon Gift Card (BN.com or All Romance may be substituted)
·         The blog host with the most comments will also receive the erotic romance prize pack detailed above.






Giving it Up
by Amber Lin


INTERVIEW


1. What or who inspired you to start writing?

Thank you for having me on the blog, Christine!

I was inspired to start writing by what I noticed was missing. It seemed to me that most heroines of romance novels, even erotic ones, were virginal. That is, often they were anatomical virgins and even in the cases where they weren’t, they acted very chaste, maybe only having one or two lovers but never truly enjoying it. Things got even dicier when it came to a woman that had been a victim of a crime.

In the case of Giving It Up, our heroine Allie is trolling the nightclub for a rough, anonymous hookup. She likes her sex dirty and her men mean. This was about as opposite of the chaste heroine as I could get ;-)

Of course I had to throw a wrench in her plans. Instead she finds Colin, a man who treats her gently, despite her protests. And so the stage was set.

2. What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?

Giving It Up is an erotic romance. The core components are a character arc that follows a sexual journey and a romantic, emotional involvement between the main characters. In Giving It Up, Allie has some hurts in her past and her hook ups are a way for her to cope with that. So her journey is about acceptance and trust, which is something she explores alongside her growing romantic attachment to Colin.

I don’t actually feel that “a whole lot of hot sex” is essential to the writing of an erotic romance, however I realize I’m in the minority there. But in following my own formula, that of a sexual journey and romantic relationship, lots of hot sex is a side effect. There’s a win-win if I ever heard one ☺

3. Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?

Absolutely yes, and I swear by them. I belong to an email critique group of three other writers and we swap chapters. I’m also a member of Rom Critters, a large online critique group and I have a few regular authors I trade with there. I also have a few stragglers, people I’ve met in various venues and we trade critiques or beta reads.

Feedback is so incredibly vital. It’s not about changing your story to please those readers, it’s about making it understood. To be honest, I’m not sure why anyone would skip this step, except for fear of criticism. But by the time the book is published, it’s too late.

4. When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?

At some point I started sending Giving It Up out for feedback. Not only to critique groups but also to some critiques by published authors through those charity auctions (like Brenda Novak, Crits for Water). There I got some really fantastic feedback and much needed criticism in order to make Giving It Up better.

I suppose I have a bit of a stubborn streak because once I started making it better, I wanted to go all the way with it. Plus I felt an increasing affinity for my characters and a loyalty to telling their story properly. That meant learning enough writing skill and craft and then push-push-pushing to get Giving It Up published.

5. What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

The best advice is to write the book of your heart, and it’s corollary, not to write to trends. I realize this sounds a bit cheesy, convenient even, but it’s true and here’s why. The fact that this is the book of my heart doesn’t mean I won’t get slammed. But when it happens, I’ll know that I did what I knew to be right. I can’t make everyone like it; I can only write what I like.

The other piece—not to write to trends—is simply because none of us are fortune tellers. When I started writing Giving It Up, I was writing an erotic romance in first person POV about damaged characters in an urban setting. At that time… it just wasn’t done. They wanted third person POV about sweet cowboys in a small town setting. All the agents and editors said so. And yet, I could only write the book of my heart.

Well, look at 50 Shades, look at Bared To you, and more. Now first person POV, damaged characters and urban settings ARE the trend. I never could have guessed it, and it wouldn’t have mattered if I could. Readers want to see heart in a book.

The worst advice would be to write to the trends. Actually most industry professionals I have followed say not to do this… and then they will also say what trends they’re looking for. So it feels like mixed messages for an aspiring writer who is desperate to make a sale. Skip the trends. They will come and go in unpredictable ways. You’re the only one who can write your story.

6. Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Yes, I’m a firm believer in story structure. As in, we should have one. It’s not something that necessarily comes organically to me, and so I have to do some plotting to make it work. However, I am not one of those so organized with spreadsheets or anything like that. When I start writing a scene, I know which high points I want to hit and that’s it.

7. Do you have an all time favorite book?

All time favorite would probably kill me, but if I had to pick a favorite erotic romance that would either be Annabel Joseph’s Comfort Object or Charlotte Stein’s Control. Actually they are pretty different books, but both of them have a strong voice and so much heart.

8. Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?

Right now I’m working on Shelly’s book. Shelly was Allie’s best friend in Giving It Up and played an important role in that book. She also happens to be a high-priced escort. Well, she’s more of a straight-shooter so she’d just say it: prostitute. Shelly deserves some love too, so I’m thrilled to be writing her book.

9. Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

When the book opens, Allie’s pain from past abuse overshadows all her interactions. We see her best friend Shelly support Allie. We see Colin begin to protect Allie as they grow closer. With their love, Allie begins to trust. She begins to heal. However, in the black moment, it is the mistakes of Shelly and Colin that risk Allie, and it’s up to her to save them all.

10. If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?

One of the reviewers said that it would make a great Tim Burton movie, which I thought would be awesome. Actually he terrifies me, but people have said my book terrifies them so I guess it’s a good fit.

But let’s see. As for casting, I’ve always thought Ellen Page had that
sort of girl-next-door look that could also be dressed up for proper nightclub trolling. She also has a really expressive and almost vulnerable face, so that would work as well. Colin would be a little tougher because he is sort of rough-hewn and not pretty like the average Hollywood actor. But I think I’d pick Channing Tatum. I bet he could pull it off, and plus I’d get to meet him ;-)

Thanks so much for having me, Christine! Readers can find me on my website or on twitter.

“A ballsy departure from romantic conventions. At once gritty and tender, stark and hopeful.”
—Cara McKenna, author of Willing Victim

“Giving It Up is an erotic, compelling story that takes us to the shadowy, lonely places but doesn’t leave us there. Amber Lin shows us that romance isn’t just for the rich and shiny. Love can find its way even into the dark corners of the most damaged hearts.”
—Tiffany Reisz, author of The Siren

“… this is a book you MUST read if you like gritty, edgier romance that makes you think as well as turns you on.”
—Cari Quinn, USA Today Bestselling Author of No Dress Required

“Every page is chock full of sexy, angsty must-read-moreness.”
—Karla Doyle, author of Game Plan

“Giving It Up is a gritty, real romance that deals in an honest way with what happens to sexuality in the aftermath of rape…. Read it. You won’t be sorry.”
—Ruthie Knox, author of About Last Night

“The book is well-written, keeps you guessing, has you on the edge of your seat, and throws in plenty of surprises. I found it really engaging, and was rooting for Allie and Colin throughout.”
—Lucy Felthouse, Seattle Post Intelligencer Blog

“Dark, gutsy and deeply emotional; this is a story of two wounded souls finding solace with one another. Ms. Lin deftly handles the intricate psychological aftermath of rape and violence, of betrayal and forgiveness.”
—Cheryl, Romance Junkies
GivingItUpBook.com


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Allie prowls the club for a man who will use her hard and then ditch her. Hey, it's not rape if she wants it. Instead she finds Colin, who looks tough but treats her tenderly, despite her protests.

He tempts her, but kindness and a few mindblowing orgasms aren't enough to put her back together again. Allie has no hope for a real relationship. Two years ago her best friend betrayed her in the worst possible way – she’d be stupid to trust a man again. Besides, she has her daughter to think of, the only good thing to have come from that dark night.

But when her rapist returns, threatening her sanity and custody of her daughter, Allie turns to Colin. Under his protection and patient touch, Allie begins to heal and learns to hope. Colin’s no saint, though, and his criminal past draws danger of its own. Allie must fight to protect her child and the man she loves, hoping her newfound power will be enough to save them all.

"A ballsy departure from romantic conventions. At once gritty and tender, stark and hopeful."
—Cara McKenna, author of Willing Victim

"Giving It Up is an erotic, compelling story that takes us to the shadowy, lonely places but doesn't leave us there. Amber Lin shows us that romance isn't just for the rich and shiny. Love can find its way even into the dark corners of the most damaged hearts."
—Tiffany Reisz, author of The Siren

~~~~~~~~~~~~~



EXCERPT

There’s a certain sultry walk a woman has when she’s bare that can’t be faked. No hose and no panties. The nakedness under my skirt was as much about keeping me aroused as it was about easy access.

I’d perfected the art of fuck-me clothes. A surprising number of men asked me out, even at a grungy club on a Saturday night. Cute little college girl, they thought, out for a good time. I saved us all time by dressing my part.

Tonight’s ensemble consisted of a tight halter and short skirt with cheap, high-heeled sandals, bouncing hair, and bloodred toenails. The scornful looks of the other women didn’t escape me, but I wasn’t so different from them. I wanted to be desired, held, touched. The groping fingers might be a cheap imitation of intimacy, its patina cracked with rust and likely to turn my skin green, but they were all I deserved.

My gaze panned to the man at the bar, the one I’d been watching all night. He nursed a beer, his profile harsh against the fluid backdrop of writhing bodies. His gray T-shirt hung loose on his abs but snug around thick arms.

His expression was unreadable, but I knew what he wanted. What else was there?

He glanced over but didn’t hit on me. I didn’t know why I kept tabs on him either. I wasn’t exactly discerning. I was trolling for sex, not a life partner. There were plenty of men here, men whose blackened pasts matched my own, who’d give it to me hard.

A woman approached him. Something dark and decidedly feminine roiled up inside me.

She was hot. If he wanted to score, he probably couldn’t do better, even with me. I tried not to stare. She walked away a minute later—rejected. I felt unaccountably smug. Which was stupid, since I didn’t have him either.

Maybe no one had a chance with this guy. I was pretty enough, in a girl-next-door kind of way. Common, though, underneath my slutty trappings—brown hair and brown eyes were standard issue around here.

“Hey, beautiful.”

I glanced up to see a cute guy wearing a sharp dress shirt checking me out. Probably an investment banker or something upstanding like that. Grinning and hopeful. Had I ever been that young? No, I was probably younger. At twenty-two I felt ancient. The world had already crumbled around me and been rebuilt, brick by brick.

“Sorry, pal,” I said. “Keep moving.”

“Aww, not even one dance?”

His puppy-dog eyes cajoled a smile from me. How nice it might feel to be one of the girls with nothing to worry about except whether this guy would call tomorrow morning. But I was too broken for his easy smile. I’d only end up hurting him.

“I am sorry,” I said, wistfulness seeping into my voice. “You’ll thank me later.”

Regret panged in my chest as the crowd sucked him back in, but I’d done the right thing. Even if he were only interested in a one-night hookup, my sex was too toxic for the likes of him.

I turned back to the guy at the bar. He caught my eye, looking—if possible—surlier. Cold and mean. Perfect. I wouldn’t taint him, and he could give me what I craved.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~





AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Amber Lin loves to read angsty romance with plenty of sex, so it was no surprise that her debut book turned out to be erotic romance set against a dark urban landscape. She writes with one rule in mind: it has to get worse before it can get better. She lives with her husband, son and passel of puppy dogs in the great state of Texas.

Website: http://authoramberlin.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/authoramberlin

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5827158.Amber_Lin

Book Video link:  http://youtu.be/5NQ7NTuzFFI

Book Video Embed Code:  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Don't forget to stop by and leave a comment and you will be entered to win.

    One randomly drawn winner from each blog will receive a Giving It Up Swag Pack, which includes romance trading cards, a signed cover flat, a signature soap bar for showers together handcrafted by AnaBanana Creations and a $10 Amazon gift card.
·         One randomly drawn commenter on the tour will win an erotic romance prize pack, including paperback copies of Bared to You by Sylvia Day, Simply Carnal by Kate Pearce, Lessons in Letting Go by Cara McKenna (print combo of Willing Victim and Curio), Comfort Object by Annabel Joseph, a collection of signed Giving It Up swag AND a $50 Amazon Gift Card (BN.com or All Romance may be substituted)
·         The blog host with the most comments will also receive the erotic romance prize pack detailed above.



17 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Amber today.

Joanne said...

How many books will there be in this series? Thanks for the great interview. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it to see more of Allie and Colin and how they help heal each other's "broken parts."

e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

Karen H in NC said...

Hi Amber,

I enjoyed reading your interview today and loved the excerpt. You are a new-to-me author so the more I discover about your book, the happier I'll be!

What characters are the hardest/easiest for you to write: The hero, the heroine, the villain (or villainess), the secondary male & female characters? What are the most fun to write?

Amber Lin said...

@Joanne I'm hoping for three in total. Allie's story is first, then Shelly's, and the third will be Philip's. You get to meet almost the full cast in the first book :)

@Karen Thank you and what a great question! Maybe the villains, because they need to be both strong enough to be scary (and thus worthy of the villain title) but also human enough to be redeemable. They are the heroes of their own stories, so you have to fully understand what it is, even if you're only writing down the part that intersects with your hero's story.

Christine Young said...

Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour and sell tons of books.

Amber Lin said...

Thanks, Christine :)

MomJane said...

It sounds as though both characters are emotionally needy. I hope they resolve their problems while being with each other.

Anonymous said...

I definitely appreciate the fact that you don't write to trends. It really annoys me when publishers jump on a bandwagon and use it to limit writers' creativity.

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

June M. said...

Hi Amber,
Congrats on your book release and blog tour. Do you have an idea for what is coming after Shelly's book? Will it be a continuance of the series or something different?
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

bn100 said...

I enjoyed the interview and excerpt. That's good advice.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

marybelle said...

A great interview. I especially like what you said about writing, or not writing to trends. We see overloads of certain genres ALL the time. So, stick to what works for you I say. Stand up & stand out.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Amber Lin said...

@MomJane Emotionally needy? Hmm. Probably correct, although you couldn't tell it by looking at them. But a tough front usually hides a soft interior, I think.

@Anonymous Thank you! It can be hard because publishing is such a competitive business that you'd rather be in the trend. However, they change so fast that I don't see it as a great career move anyway.

@June M Thanks! I hope to have three books in the series total. The first, Giving It Up, is Allie's story. The next is Shelly's book, and the last would be Philip's. Thanks!

@bn100 Thanks :)

@marybelle So true! And sometimes a book will break out and defy all trends. I think readers are looking for a great story, first and foremost. Thank you!

Chelsea B. said...

Awesome casting :-) Can't go wrong with Channing Tatum ;-)

justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Tina B said...

Loved the excerpt! Awesome interview! Wonderful trailer. ;)
It seems like you have been on a wonderful journey so far, Amber.
Congrats! I like to read darker romances because to me, it makes the HEA all the more sweet. How many do you plan in the series? I see that you are already working on the 2nd book. :) I wish you much success! Thank you for the giveaway.
trb0917 at gmail.com

Tina B said...

Oops, just read your response to June and I got my answer. :)

Krystal Larson said...

Thank you for the great post! The interview was great and it's awesome to know an author better edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

Reagan said...

Great interview and such a wonderful book!