Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Release Day: BAD ROMEO by Leisa Rayven (Starcrossed #1) #Interview #NewRelease @SMPRomance

Star Crossed #1
Leisa Rayven
Released Dec 23rd, 2014
St. Martin's Griffin

While performing the greatest love story of all time, they discovered one of their own …

At America’s most prestigious arts academy, Cassie Taylor was the good girl acting student. Ethan Holt was the bad boy around campus. Then one fated casting choice for Romeo and Julietchanged everything. Like the characters they were playing onstage, Cassie and Ethan’s epic romance seemed destined. Until it ended in tragedy when he shattered her heart.

Now they’ve made it to Broadway, where they’re reunited as romantic leads once more, and their passionate scenes force them to confront the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their intense college affair.

For Ethan, losing Cassie was his biggest regret and he’s determined to redeem himself. But for Cassie, even though Ethan was her first and only great love, he hurt her too much for her to ever trust him again. The trouble is, working with him reminds her that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks. And when it comes to love, sometimes it’s the things that aren’t good for us that are the most irresistible.

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A Tasty Read is THRILLED to welcome Leisa Rayven, author of BAD ROMEO, the first in the Starcrossed Series, released today!  Make sure to stop back tomorrow for my review of BAD ROMEO!

Leisa: Thanks for having me!

ATR: Leisa, BAD ROMEO is loosely based on what story?

Leisa: Well, it's not based on any particular story, but it does have elements of Romeo & Juliet sprinkled throughout as that's the play Cassie and Ethan are performing when they fall in love.

Even though Bad Romeo started life as Twilight fanfiction, it had nothing in common with Twilight apart from the character names, and the fact it was an intense love story.

ATR: Can you quickly explain what Fan Fiction is to my readers?

Leisa: Fanfiction is a medium in which fans of a particular narrative explore scenarios with that story's established characters. You wouldn't believe some of the things you can find in the fanfiction world. There's fanfiction about books, movies, TV shows, boy bands, video games, cartoons. There's even Bible fanfiction!

Books such as Twilight and Harry Potter have spawned massive fanfiction communities, and lots of best selling authors such as Cassandra Clare, Christina Lauren, and EL James honed their skills writing fanfiction before hitting the big time.

ATR: How was BR discovered by a publisher? Were you hesitant to sign on with said publisher?

Leisa: At the request of readers, I reworked BR over a period of about a year before I felt confident enough to start querying agents. Thankfully, early in the querying process, my manuscript landed on the desk of the amazing Christina Hoegrebe, and she liked it enough to offer to represent me. From the start, she knew exactly which publisher and editor to pitch the book to, and thankfully, her predictions were totally correct. A few days after receiving the manuscript, Rose Hilliard from St. Martin's Griffith/Macmillan bought the rights, and the rest is history.

I wasn't at all hesitant to sign with them. A major publisher interested in my work? Lordy! The day I received the offer, I screamed so loudly my neighbors thought I was being murdered. Everyone at SMP has been incredibly supportive and lovely. I adore my publisher.

ATR: Did the story change at all in the process?

Leisa: Absolutely! For a start, the fanfiction was loooooong! At nearly 400,000 words, something had to give. I did massive edits to get the story down to 2 books, and then my agent and editor helped strengthen the finished product. We tightened everything up a great deal. Old scenes were cut, new scenes were added. Now, we're all pretty pleased with the end result.

ATR: Can you describe BAD ROMEO in three words?

Leisa: Love – Hate - Love

ATR: What are your top five go-to reads?


1. The Stand by Stephen King. A fave for years.

2. The Outsiders by SE Hinton. The first book I obsessed over at the tender age of 11.

3. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling. I'm about due to reread from the start.

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I adore her writing.

5. The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer. Haven't reread these in a few years, but because I met so many amazing people in the fanfic community from countries all over the world, these books will always have a special place in my heart.

ATR: Since this is A Tasty Read, what food/meal/dessert would best describe BAD ROMEO? (Only have to choose one)

Leisa: We have a dessert here in Australia called Pavlova which would be perfect for Bad Romeo. It has a hard meringue crust, a gooey marshamallow center, and then it's covered in decadent thick cream and tart berries and fruits. The perfect combination of sweet and sour, hard and soft.

Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured
throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and Leisa’s debut novel, BAD ROMEO, will be available in a worldwide release through Macmillan Publishing in December 2014.

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three cats, and a kangaroo named Howard.

(Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.)

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