Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Giveaway & Guest Interview : Before He Was Famous by Becky Wicks

Becky will be awarding an eCopy of Before He Was Famous to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an eCopy of Before He Was Famous , as well as a print copy of Latinalicious, Becky's last travel memoir (HarperCollins) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (International winner)

Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton - the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?

The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?

A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong.

GUEST INTERVIEW WITH BECKY WICKS – author of Before He Was Famous (HotFlush #1)

Becky Wicks is a HarperCollins author going indie with her new adult romance, Before He Was Famous – a steamy suspense-riddled story of lifelong love and friendships set in a world of celebrity and social media gone very, very wrong. Becky talks being a gypsy nomad, what she learnt from her villain, how to deal with negative criticism as an author and offers advice for writers starting out!  

Where do your ideas come from?
My twisted, warped imagination, mostly, (does that make me sound weird?!) Seriously though, I spent way too many hours immersed in Enid Blyton’s awesome worlds of Wishing Chairs and Magic Faraway Trees when I was a kid and since then I’ve done a lot of travelling on planet Earth too. I find most of my ideas come from other people, snippets of conversations that I hear and let my imagination continue!

List 5-10 musts every story in your genre should have
Oooh good one. Well, in the new adult genre I think you should probably have a very likeable female lead and an interesting, well developed male, too. Sex is a must, but not too smutty. Suspense, drama and a good strong plot!

What lessons did you learn from your villain?
This surprised me because originally Courtney Lentini was the villain in this story, but the more I wrote, the more I realized that she too was a victim with a tragic past, who was just being played by the media. I had to go back and edit her quite a lot. I think every villain has a vulnerability about them which makes them act a certain way – I tried to squeeze that out of her.

Take us through a day with (you) behind the scenes
Well, I’m kind of a gypsy nomad, really! I’m currently in Bali, which I discovered writing my travel memoir Balilicious. It’s become a second home, and so have the gorgeous Gili Islands in Lombok. I tend to write most of the day though, maybe 10-12 hours a day both on books and other freelance projects. But I also like playing guitar, drinking rum cocktails and talking to interesting strangers!

How did you handle the research for the book?
Obviously Noah wins a TV show that I imagined to be quite similar to X Factor or The Voice, so I watched a lot of those kind of shows! I also watched Katy Perry’s Part of Me and One Direction’s This Is Us in preparation because those documentaries show life behind the scenes for these people. I thought I should try and know as much as possible about how Noah’s world might evolve and spin out of control. I also spent some time in Boulder, Colorado – that was a pretty interesting time!

Any advice for writers starting out?
If you want to sell books, research is the key! I was once lucky enough to meet the amazing Bryce Courtney (The Power of One) who pulled me aside when I was a non-fiction writer penning travel memoirs and said “Be Commercial.” At first I thought, no way, I want to write what I want to write! But he was right. You have to write what interests you, but to be in with a chance at selling books you have to write what other people want to read, too. Ask around. Is there a story waiting to be told, that you could tell best? Research all you can and get going!

If you’d never heard of your book, would you read it?
HAHA! If I say yes, will I be crucified? Personally I tried to write the story I always wanted to read, which was advice I read from another writer, I think. Write what you want to read! I’ve always like stories about friends becoming lovers. But I thought I could try to add a different spin by mixing that relationship with a behind-the-scenes-take on fame and the music industry, which is always interesting to watch on these reality shows!

How do you handle negative criticism?
Hmm. Well, obviously when you put your work out there into the public realm after working so hard on it, you hope it will be well received, so there’s always that sting when you read a bad review or see someone didn’t like it. Constructive criticism is helpful and appreciated, but these days some people just write mean things and leave you hanging, wondering what on earth you did wrong! All authors go through it, and we’re a sensitive bunch so we kind of get together to help one another through the bad days! The thing to remember I think is that you can’t please all the people, all the time. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions. Dwelling on those negative things just drains you of your power and energy. It’s better to focus on the positive and carry on writing!

What would you tell a new author?
Know your audience and never rely on anyone else to sell your book for you. You are your most powerful marketing tool. If you want to write a book and sell it, you have to think about the selling while you’re still writing it! My author friend Sarah Alderson and I have written several articles on the pros and cons of indie versus mainstream which you can find on my blog. Also, don’t give up. If getting your work out there means the world to you, be prepared to move the world to make it happen!!!

Before He Was Famous is out now! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KKS2TQU

Twitter: bex_wicks

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