A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon fellow indie writer Mara White on Goodreads. It all happened by chance–another member posted a short note about a book she was reading, and the synopsis sounded pretty intriguing. Who knew it would lead me to reading a book that beautifully captures the dilemma of craving someone you know should not want? I’m halfway through Heights of Desire, and it’s a definite must-read if you like your books hot!
Could you tell us what inspired the story of Heights of Desire and the Heightsbound series?
My main inspiration has come from living in Washington Heights and closely watching the wave of radical gentrification that the neighborhood has been experiencing within the last five years or so. The story and plot line developed as I started writing, but the inspiration for Kate and Jaylee’s relationship definitely came from witnessing the changes in the neighborhood.
Mara White, author of Heights of Desire
Two years!! My kids are toddlers, so there was a lot of interference from daily life. About three-quarters of the way through the novel I started to feel disillusioned with the genre and actually gave up. Then I read a new novel and it inspired me, so I decided to reach out to the author. She took me under her wing, beta read for me, walked me though the self-publishing process and helped turn my disheartened attitude into determination. Without her, HOD never would have come to fruition and she’d kill me if I revealed her identity so I’ll just say that she is a phenomenal writer and quite possibly the kindest and most generous person I know.
When you were writing, did you envision any actors or actresses to play the leads? Or did you find inspiration elsewhere?
Not really. Dare I be inflammatory and controversial here and say that Hollywood does not fairly represent the US population. Knock, Knock, Hollywood – let the world in! How hard is it to cast HOD? Hard enough that I gave up on doing a blog post on casting despite help from friends. I would absolutely love it if readers would chime in and throw ideas for casting my way. But to answer the question – whenever I felt that the age difference between Kate and Jaylee was too extreme or bordering on inappropriate, I would look at pictures of JLo and Casper Smart together and channel their chemistry. I also have become – of the corner boys as well as the young men that work out on the neighborhood playgrounds in the Heights (as you can imagine) so I picked up a lot of inspiration from listening and watching.
How would you describe your typical writing day?
Oh Lord! Write if I possibly can. Write after the kids are asleep if I’m not too exhausted. My most productive writing time happens on the NYC subway on my commute to work (if I get a seat) with a pen and a notebook and bumpy train handwriting.
Do you have a special place where you like to write? Could you describe it for us?
The train! Somewhat dirty, oftentimes packed beyond belief, always entertaining (with performers or just regular, crazy old, New Yorkers), always infuriating (late or stuck underground or running on an alternate track) and forever epic – the best mode of NYC transportation hands down.
Did you have a special playlist or soundtrack which you listened to while writing Heights of Desire? Could you share it with us?
I mostly just listened to the soundtrack of my neighborhood seeing that wherever you go in the Heights there is always music playing! For the playlist for HOD, I collaborated with a dear friend and fellow WaHi resident, Leslie de Jesus. She runs a music reviewing blog called http://sinistergirlz.com The fist song Leslie gave me was ‘Llévame Contigo’ by Romeo Santos and I listened to it repeatedly while completing the end of HOD so that’s how it became Kate and Jaylee’s song.
When will the next book in the series be released?
As soon as I can finish! Late 2014
What has been the biggest challenge for you as an indie writer? What lessons do you feel you’ve learned going through the process?
Definitely trying to get the word out about he book to the general public. Accept any and all help offered because you can’t possibly do it all on your own.
Have you already got plans for other standalone novels or series? Could you share any info about those with us?
I do have new ideas as well as some older work that I’d like to revisit at some point but for the immediate moment I’m just putting my energy into finishing the Heightsbound sequel.
What advice would you like to give to aspiring authors?
Write because you love to write. Don’t let the criticism get you down. Break the rules. Run from convention. Push boundaries. Challenge your readers. Scare yourself.
Many thanks to Mara for making a book blitz pitstop with us! If you like sexy women’s fiction, then head over to your favourite online bookstore and get a copy of Heights of Desire. It’s on sale this week for e-readers for only 99 cents–but I can tell you this book is definitely worth the normal price. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Heights of Desire Synopsis
A woman who has everything meets a man who can offer her nothing but trouble. They bring each other to a height of desire neither thought possible, but is it enough to overcome the differences that tear them apart?
Kate Champion, a forty-two-year-old, married mother of two, leads an enviable upper class life of luxury. Her comfortable path takes an unexpected detour after a chance encounter at a neighborhood playground.
Jaylee Inoa is a twenty-two-year-old, second generation New York Dominican with close ties to the Heights and the gangs that run them.
Her life of privilege is no match for the code of the streets he navigates with ease. When a crime of the heart leads to a crime in the flesh, how far will she go to redeem him? Can she risk all in her life that is golden for the love of her golden-eyed man?
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Heights of Desire is on sale for $.99 during the blog tour!
Purchase Links: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Kobo | Google Play | Smashwords
About the Author
I’m a reader, a writer, and a lover of all things romantic. I’m also a coffee, hot sauce, ink, telenovela, and Bikram Yoga enthusiast. I live in New York City with my husband and two children, and I spend a lot of time on the playground.
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