Melanie just happens to be one of my very favorite writing friends, critique partner, and emoji extraordinaire! Seriously, we've had full on conversations with pictures. It's awesome. Anyway, I'm thrilled to have Melanie here today to talk a little more about her book.
Blurb: She’d be happy to forget…if the past would just stop hitting “replay”.
Ava Elliot never thought she’d become a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have?
Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fiancé Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake.
In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets.
One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself.
Contains an actor whose kisses taste like chocolate, a pianist with scores of regret, and a sexy crooner who just wants his ex to cry him a river.
If you love crooning, swooning, chocolate-smooth love and emotion, you've got to read this. Without further ado, here's Melanie to tell us more about her book!
Hi Michelle and thanks for having me today!
Many authors talk about music inspiration for their books. I think most of us writers either play music while we’re writing, or make up a playlist that goes with our story after it’s written. I do both. For SWAY, my modern-day PERSUASION retelling, music was especially important. My main character, Ava, is a pianist who graduated with a Master’s from Juilliard. Ava’s ex-fiance, Eric Wentworth, the man she’s trying to forget, is a Michael Buble-esque crooner. So it was only natural that music played a big part in the making of this manuscript.
A lot of the songs that Eric sings are from Michael Buble’s CRAZY LOVE album which came out a bit before I wrote my first draft. At one point Eric sings “Cry Me A River” basically to Ava:
Eric wasn’t looking at me as he sang, but I knew he meant the song for me. He’d caught me crying and this is what he thought of it. Talk about a slap in the face.
I clenched my jaw and tried to ignore how much Eric was getting into the song. How much he was enjoying it. How much he meant it, even if the lyrics weren’t completely true. I wanted to run from the room, but I wouldn’t do that again.
While Eric is a crooner, Ava is more into classical music. A big moment for her happens just before the “Cry Me A River” incident. Ava has just seen Eric for the first time after eight years and he’s clearly still very bitter towards her. She escapes to a piano to vent her feelings, playing “Serenade” by Schubert:
The music filled my ears, my head, my heart, the entire room. The sad melody took me over. Seeing Eric again, the painful and lovely memories from our past, his obvious disregard for me now—all of it bled through my fingers and into the notes.
It wasn’t until the song was over that I realized my cheeks were wet. I hadn’t been able to stop the tears after all. Turning my face, I lifted my fingers to scrub them away when I noticed someone retreating from the doorway.
There are over forty songs on SWAY’s playlist, most of which I mention by name in the book. Music really helped me figure out these characters and then show their thoughts and emotions through specific songs. When I hear these songs now, I can’t help but think of Ava and Eric and their story.
*If you want to know what other songs are on the playlist, check out my Twitter feed this month where I’ll be featuring a different song from the book each day.
Thank you Melanie! If you haven't been following, I urge you to check out her song list now. Definitely some great picks for Melanie's story. Thanks for stopping by today friend! To learn more about Melanie and where to find her, check out the info below. Thanks for joining the party!
Melanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow. You can find her on Twitter @MelMStanford, on Facebook @ MelanieStanfordauthor, and her website melaniestanfordbooks.com