Search This Blog

Monday, November 28, 2016

Q & A With Author Julie Archer

Hi, Julie! Thanks for joining me today! Let's get started. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’d like writing to be my only job! Ideally, I’d like to become a traditionally published bestselling author. It would also be great to have a strong following of people that are interested when my next book comes out. But in all honesty, if I can break even some day, that would be great!

What would your career look like in an ideal world?

Pretty much the same as above. I’d love to just focus on writing and not have the variety of other jobs as well.

What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?

Just the one? I have several! Hollyoaks (UK soap), Made in Chelsea (UK reality TV series focusing on the lives and loves of the rich people in Chelsea) and Pretty Little Liars (US teen drama).

Do you believe in fate or love at first sight?

I believe that things happen for a reason. If something doesn’t work out for you, then it wasn’t meant to be and something better will come along. For example, I lost out on a piece of recruitment work earlier this year, but that enabled me to focus on writing and editing and getting Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayals published. And I got a job in a bookshop instead!

That's awesome! I agree that things seem to fall in place the way they need to. What is the strangest fact about you?

Hmm, that’s a tough one! I guess one of the strangest things that happened to me was hanging out with Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses bass player) after a gig he did in London. He’s surprisingly shy in real life, which is something you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a global rock star!

So cool! Which writers inspire you?

Gosh, that’s a hard one! There are authors that I love, such as the late Jackie Collins, Louise Bagshawe, Tilly Bagshawe, Tasmina Perry and Ilana Fox. I pretty much have every one of their books and it would be amazing to be as successful as them. But I’m truly inspired by those writers that have done it themselves and made a success of it, such as Carrie Elks and Marissa Farrar, who then pay it forward to new and aspiring authors like me. Oh, and Jenny Kane/Kay Jaybee/Jennifer Ash who has a million pens names and personas and still manages to make time for newbies.

What are you working on right now?

I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft of book two. It’s a standalone/sequel to Cocktails and picks up what happens next. I took a couple of minor characters and made them the main focus, as well as adding some new people into the mix. It’s called One Last Shot and I plan for it to be out in April 2017.

Wow, that's awesome! Good luck! Why do you write?

I don’t know what else I would do if I didn’t write. It’s something I’ve always done, even as a child – although that may stem from being an only child and having imaginary friends to make up stories with. I like the sense of escapism it can bring. Your characters can say and do things that you might not be brave enough to. And it can be quite cathartic. Although I wouldn’t always let everything I’ve ever written be read!

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to publish their own book?

I’d say just go for it! I have a fantastic support network and had loads of advice from other authors who had self-published. Anything from how to format an ebook to how you should set up your marketing plan to pointing me in the direction of forums and websites that will be useful. It gave me the confidence to do it myself and I couldn’t be more proud of what I’ve achieved.

What books are you currently reading?

I have a couple on the go. One is Truman Capote’s Breakfast At Tiffany’s. I saw the film ages ago and loved it and wanted to see how the book was different. The other is Survivor by Marissa Farrar. I also recently read my first Agatha Christie novel.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

You can find me procrastinating on Facebook or on my website. Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayals is available for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo and Scribd and is available in paperback from Amazon or my website.

Great! Thanks for joining the Judging More Than Just The Cover family! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Q & A With Author Holly Tierney-Bedord

Hi, Holly! Thanks for joining me! What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I have many partly written stories, and even more stories in my head. I want to get them all out there!

What would your career look like in an ideal world?

I'm pretty happy with my career as it is right now. I get to write a lot, and I also have a regular job I love working for a group of local restaurants.

What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?

I love TV. Love it. All reality shows. Especially the Real Housewives, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and Survivor. Junky daytime shows like court shows and Dr. Phil. Comedies like The Big Bang Theory and Brooklyn 99. I love watching the news. True Crime shows. The Simpsons. I'll watch just about anything. I went for years without a television, because I felt like TV was unhealthy and made people dumb, but when my husband and I got married about ten years ago he insisted we have a TV, and now I'm like one of those kids raised without candy who just wants to eat sugar all day long.

Too funny! Do you believe in fate or love at first sight?

If we're talking about baby animals, then for sure. As for humans? Sort of. But I think it's very rare and most people never experience it. 

What is the strangest fact about you?

I was going to say nothing, but I came up with something: I love dollhouses and miniatures, and I have chronicled my mid-century "mini house flip" featuring homemade mini furniture and decor on the blog I hope to create a non-fiction about my mini house project someday.

Very interesting! Which writers inspire you?

Sylvia Plath, Mark Twain, Sophie Kinsella, Barbara Kingsolver, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, and lifestyle bloggers. 

What are you working on right now?

Several books. A few novellas that are pretty light-hearted. Novellas are my thing lately. They're perfect for my short attention span. Also, a dark, layered ghost story that I've been working on for years. Those are my main focuses lately.

Why do you write?

It's fun. I get a kick out of creating ridiculous characters. 

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to publish their own book?

First, try to find an agent and go about it that way. Why not at least try? Then you won't have to worry about all other parts of self-publishing. But if that doesn't work and you're going to do it on your own, have high standards. Be picky about proof-reading and editing. This might mean you read your book twenty times. Three of them aloud. For real! Be picky about the cover. Be picky about the plot and the characters. Understand why all the parts you put there belong. Get rid of the pieces that don't fit. Get rid of the boring parts. If parts of it don't seem great, or right, then you're not done. Keep working. Put it aside for a few days. Sleep on it. Ask for all the help you need. Seek out other writers and learn from them. 

When it comes time to turn it from a manuscript into a book for the world to see, don't go broke in the process. I've been to writers conferences where there are "success stories" where someone spent tens of thousands of dollars on a team of people to "get their book out there" and it barely sells. To me, that is not a success story. It's predatory! But I guess if someone's lifelong dream is to have a published book, and they're happy, then it's a success story to them. If you know WHY you want your book out there (to make money? to have your story told? to see your name in print?) it will help you make decisions about the route you take and where you spend your money. Finally, you must have an eBook. If your book is only in print, you're missing 99% of your audience.

That's some great advice! What books are you currently reading?

I'm a slow reader. I start a lot of books but don't finish many. Books in progress right now are C.S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew and Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible (a favorite, but I'm rereading it).

Magician's Nephew is a great classic. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Read my books!

Great! Thanks again, Holly! Good luck with your novellas!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

It's a Writer Thing -- It's All About Control

This is a guest post by Jessica Bayliss. 

Hello lovely writers! Welcome back to my It’s a Writer Thing mini-series on stimulus control and generalizability. As you may recall, I’m a clinical psychologist, which means I get to take advantage of all those great psychological theories and put them to work for me in my writing, and I want to share that with you.

In my last two posts, I talked about the benefit of ingraining a very powerful urge to write by creating a habit. Writing under the same circumstances every day for a few weeks can create stimulus control in which the environment triggers our writing behavior. But I also cautioned that we can sometimes hinder ourselves if we limit our writing to only that special circumstance. We don’t want to limit ourselves! We want to be productive no matter where we are, right? So, to avoid that, once we’ve established a good habit, we need to vary our writing environment (while still sticking with our routine) so we can train ourselves to write under a variety of stimuli. This will allow for optimal productivity.

Today, I want to add in two new concepts: cognitive control and locus of control.


Cognitive Control: The way people’s behavior can be driven by mental constructs such as plans, instructions, goals, and prior events. It also refers to the way our behavior can vary in real time, allowing it to change as our plans, goals, and values (etc.) vary. This allows our behavior as a whole to be flexible instead of rigid.

Locus of Control: In other words, to whom or what we attribute our success (or failure). Is it because of things inside of us (i.e., internal locus of control) or things outside of us (i.e., external locus of control)?

How does this all fit in with stimulus control and generalizability?


First off, we must recognize that external stimuli impact our behavior. That’s exactly why stimulus control and generalizability work, right? Whether we’re talking writing behavior, eating behavior, study habits, whether we get on Facebook or get to work on that MS instead, we can’t ignore the impact of external factors on what we do. If we try to, we’re losing out on some potentially helpful stuff and maybe even setting ourselves up for failure (like if we minimize the impact of a coworker bringing donuts to work when we’re trying to count calories).

So, step 1, just remember that external factors impact us.


External factors don’t have to be the end-all be-all of our behavior. Yes, stimulus control is powerful, but so is your brain. We need to remember that the executive control of our behavior lies within us. 

All too often I hear people saying things like: 

I can’t work out today, because I got stuck in traffic. Or 

There’s no point eating a healthy lunch because I’m going to have an unhealthy dinner. Or 

There’s no point writing; I’ve only got a half hour and I need at least 45 minutes to make it work. Or 

Why try to write? My kids are being all loud and making a mess.

What do all of these situations have in common? They all are examples of external locus of control. In other words, they’re all examples of situations where we assume the external environment has the ultimate power to decide what we do.

Cognitive control is like our trump card, the one that bypasses all of these barriers. By putting the locus of control back inside us, we exert cognitive control. Instead of letting the environment drive our behavior, we can use other important stimuli to drive it instead. Stimuli like: our goals, our values, our decisions, our plans, our prior preparations, the deadline we committed to with our editor/agent/critique partner.

Stimulus control and generalizability are tools to increase our writing by training our behavior around external stimuli. They’re perfect for helping us get productive. Cognitive control and an internal locus of control mindset are tools to overcome barriers and stay productive even if the environment isn’t aligned in our most optimal set-up. 

Your comfy chair and tatty robe won’t write your story for you, right? YOU write your story. And you can do it whether you’re in the perfect spot or in your really uncomfortable work clothes or surrounded by a lot of distraction or with a glass water instead of a huge-ass mug of coffee or jazz instead of polka (you know who you are). 

No matter how powerful the stimuli in our environments, we are always the ones with the executive control. We are in the driver’s seat. We get to veto all the other stuff and put our brains to work for us. So, when I use the mantra shared with me by my dear friend, You can do it! You can write!, I’m literally invoking our powers of cognitive control. 

This concludes my mini-series on stimulus control and generalizability. How will you put these powerful psychological tools to work for you and your writing? Feel free to leave a post in the comments and share.

Thanks to Amber Gregg for hosting my posts on her fabulous site, “Judging More than Just The Cover,” and don’t forget…

You can do it! You can write!

Jessica Bayliss is an author of commercial fiction who loves nothing better than getting lost in a good story, whether in print or on film. When not busy with her latest fiction project, she can be found loving her friends and family—especially her husband, Eric—playing with one pesky Havanese, or trying to appease an ornery cockatiel, typically with a cup of coffee near at hand. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q & A With Author Larissa Reinhart

Hi, Larissa. Thanks for joining me! What are your ambitions for your writing career?

My ambition is always: 
1) to write the next book 
2) write a better book
3) write what my readers want to read

What would your career look like in an ideal world?

Hmmm, ideal is kind of hard to pin down. In my ideal world, everyone would talk sweet to each other and live peaceably. And I’d be happy to entertain readers with as many books as possible. And eat as much as I want without exercising or gaining weight.

That sounds pretty nice! What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?

I have so many…it’s a vice. I love to binge watch TV shows where melodramatic teenagers act like melodramatic grownups and no one seems to call them on it. Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries…right now I’m watching the Netflix series Shadow Hunters and Pretty Little Liars (after reading books in their series, of course). I’m also a huge fan of Southern Charm and the Japanese reality show, Terrace House. Southern Charm has adults acting like teenagers, so really just the same thing. Terrace House has six Japanese young adults acting a lot more mature than their American counterparts, but it’s still fascinating. But I also still love Masterpiece Theater—just in case my mom’s reading this.

I was also a big fan of Gossip Girl. Do you believe in fate or love at first sight?

I think you can fall in love really quickly. It happened for me and my husband when we were 19 and we’ve been married twenty-five years. We have to work hard at it, but it’s real. I think that’s why I love YA so much. I know that love can hit you young and can still be meaningful. 

That's very inspiring. What is the strangest fact about you?

I was almost bit by a monkey in Thailand. Had it’s mouth open, grabbing my arm, ready to bite down, but luckily it was on a leash tied to the side of the road and was jerked off my arm at the last minute.

Scary! Which writers inspire you?

More inspire than don’t inspire. Writing is such hard work. It’s a great accomplishment to finish a manuscript, revise and edit it, then get it published. I love how writers like Elmore Leonard can tell a great story, use a seemingly simple writing style that still very literary with a unique voice, and make me laugh. 

What are you working on right now?

I have a new series coming out in January, Maizie Albright Star Detective. The first book is 15 Minutes and launches on January 24th. I’m very excited about introducing Maizie to everyone. She’s so much fun to write: an earnestly optimistic ex-teen and reality star who’s gone back to her hometown in Georgia to remake herself into a private detective. Now I’m working on her second book, 16 Millimeters, which I hope will come out at the end of 2017.

I’m also working on a romantic comedy series set in Japan, but with Southern heroines. The first in the Crossed-Culture series is Biscuit Girl in Noodle Land and I hope that also comes out in 2017, too.

And I’ll continue with the Cherry Tucker series as long as readers want the books!

Wow, that's a lot of exciting stuff coming up! Why do you write?

I keep getting ideas for stories and I don’t want to put them away. I think it’s the characters, really, that call me to the story.

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to publish their own book?

Depending on their stage in the journey: Join a writing group that focuses on craft. Read as much in your genre as you can, especially the classics. I come from an art history background and the great artists all mastered the classic skills before they developed their own style. Attend conferences to network and educate yourself. Keep writing, every day if you can. And don’t publish anything until it’s been edited by a professional editor. You can submit to publishers and agents, but don’t self-publish without a good developmental edit and copy edit check.

What books are you currently reading?

I just finished The Elementals by Michael McDowell. I’m also reading Ritter Ames third Bodies of Art Mystery, Abstract Aliases, and Terri L Austin’s first Null for Hire book, Dispelled.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

You can go to my website, but also my newsletter will keep you updated on new releases and contests. I send out a quarterly letter with a subscriber-only giveaway and then flash news just for the releases and contests. Sign up here.

If you’re on social media, you can find me on 
Facebook here or here.
I’m most active on Facebook and Instagram, though! 

Awesome! Best of luck with all of your new releases!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Book Chat: Mud Vein | Tarryn Fisher

**WARNING: This is for people who have already read this book. There will be spoilers! If you do not want the book's wonderful surprises to be ruined, read my review of the book, read the book, then come back to read our chat. Thank you!**

Marina: Hahaha! So, who else thinks that the main character wasn't actually the mopey, self-obsessed Mud Vein or the Stereotypical good guy with a troubled past?  I really think that in the end the entire focus of the book was about how much the zookeeper was trying to control destiny. There are a lot of interesting concepts in this book though.  One of the things I really liked was how annoying the main female was and then it seemed she really didn't like the character from her mother's book, but I thought they mirrored each other very well. It showed how she was actually self loathing from a different angle.

Amber: Marina, that's a very interesting way to look at the book. So I read one of Taryn Fisher's other books, which was written after this. The zookeeper was in that book. And Senna actually made a cameo (another main character was in the psych ward and heard another patient repeating "pink zippo" over and over again). I think if I had read this book first, I would have instantly distrusted the doctor in that book. But it was very unclear even at the end of the book if the doctor was telling the truth or not. I also did not like Senna. I don't like girls who need a guy to save them. (Over and over and over again)...

Marina: Hahaha that's true. She's a character who is completely unrealistic to me. She made herself so "strong" by being completely devoid of human contact she was brittle. And BOY did she break.

Amber: Part of me thought that she locked them both in there and was having some sort of psychotic break.

Renee: She's definitely the weakest strong character I've ever read about.

Marina: I actually considered that for a long time. Especially when she remembered the line about the table and suddenly being able to move it.

Amber: Or I thought that Isaac did it because he liked being her savior and her everything.

Marina: I actually never considered that point of view.

Amber: Did the lack of dialogue make anyone else feel uncomfortable? I would think that you would talk more if you have literally nothing else to do...

Renee: Yeah I kept waiting for them to talk and fall back in love or kill each other or something lol.

Marina: I actually didn't find it weird because it was such a psychological situation. I got so caught up in the thoughts and actions I didn't really feel the need for extensive dialogue.

Renee: I will say I was pretty hooked the whole time. So the lack of dialogue didn't turn me off.

Amber: Yeah, I enjoyed the book, but the whole thing made me feel uncomfortable haha.

Renee: I definitely was left with an uncomfortable feeling that took a few days to shake off.

Amber: I don't think that the author is particularly skilled with good endings though.

Renee: Good to know. Books like that can be so depressing. Thought provoking. But depressing.

Marina: I think if the book had ended with the confrontation of Senna and the doctor and then the doctor's suicide it would have been a great ending. The extra chapter about her traveling and seeing Isaac kinda... fluffed a good hard ending.

Amber: But it was conclusive. We read her book Marrow for my book club. It was an amazing book but the ending was inconclusive and left everyone very confused. She likes twists. Overall, how did you all feel about the relationship between Senna and Issac?

Marina: It was completely childish. The only thing that Issac did right was leave Senna alone when she filed the restraining order. And even then I'm not even sure that she actually did that. She might have imagined that to cover her memory of going completely batshit. I also feel the dichotomy of good lover versus evil lover is a little overplayed, but that might be because I got a strong sense of déjà vu from reading about the love triangle. I really feel that it was like a twilight revenge plot where the main character is forced to choose the healthy relationship over the one they are obsessed over.

Amber: I wouldn't say that either relationship was "healthy" though.

Marina: Very true and the relationship with Nick wasn't started in a truly dramatic way it really didn't end well.  That was probably the most believable part of the whole book, a relationship between artists not working out and they publicly trade art about what happened under a guise. That's happened a lot. Even though Issac was super obsessed and weird, I actually really liked him though. The one thing he did right was forgiveness, and that's pretty powerful.

Amber: I am going to start assuming in all books now that it's the therapist that did it. They always seem to be the affair or the murderer haha.

Marina: I think that would be because they are often in positions of power over people. Therapists know the deepest parts of people's minds and they have the education to use that to either very good or very bad advantage.

Amber: Yeah. The clients are vulnerable and are sometimes just looking for someone to care about them So overall impressions of the book? Would you recommend it?

Marina: I would recommend it. I liked it.

Renee: I would recommend it.

Marina: This book was pretty good, I would recommend it to a lot of people for a read that will kind of leave them unsettled and thinking but not as one of those books that kind of turn your brain off. There are pieces of the plot that feel completely generic and boring but I also believe that the author worked them into the story in such a way that each part felt like a necessary to the whole rather than the same piecemeal plot slapped together over and over. I'm not exactly happy with the ending but I can't complain too much because at least it was ended cleanly, more than I can say of several books I've read recently. My overall impression is a 4/5 and worth reading again even knowing how it ends.

Stuart: Well Stu has once again finished the book late AF...again. My b. That being said as a future therapist and current psychology student. It would come as no surprise to everyone that I found his book fascinating as hell. I mean I have never, never been so interested in how someone ticks like I was with Senna and also Isaac....and to a very small degree, at the end, how the therapist ticked too. And having been in both relationships where the girl needed me, where she didn't need me and also when I even needed her (all different ones) I thought that this was in fact incredibly realistic. It reminds me of violent and emotionally abusive couples, it reminds of couples that break up and get back together and it reminds me of couples where one is stoic and the other nearly bipolar...but yes this relationship between Isaac and senna would certainly classify as an extreme. On a tangent, I also totally thought that Senna lost her mind entirely and went into a psych ward, thereby using her imagination to conjure up the kidnapping and house and Isaac's presence. I've read that people's brains will do crazy things to either avoid or deal with reality and the author intentionally created the possibility for the reader to think this when the shrink explained the psych ward to senna. I personally loved the style and lack of significant dialogue. Instead of dialogue we were forced to jump around inside the mind of someone with very sporadic and impulsive thoughts! I thought it was super creative for the author to keep us interested without much dialogue, very unique. Also, having just finished studies on unethical psychological experiments, this was fascinating. And my favorite part is (if this was in fact real and not senna's interpretation of a psych ward) that you and senna both hate and appreciate the therapist's actions because they were terribly illegal but in the end, they worked. 5/5, but the reader I recommend to has to want to think and reflect on emotions. Keep up the good recommendations Amber.

Marina: *Applause* Awesome feedback.

Amber: Yay! Stu, you are back! Ha. I also considered that maybe it was all a psychotic break. But was the therapist actually successful? I mean it wasn't really a happy ending for anyone.

Stuart: Wasn't it? Senna and Isaac finally found mutual love for one another. I think given the history and state of affairs that was the best state of mind anyone could've hoped for  Senna.

Marina: Senna was able to admit her feelings but she still maintained her stoicism that caused her crazy in the first place.

Amber: Yeah I guess that considering how unhappy all the characters were in the beginning, they did end up in a better place. But is being kidnapped really good for anyone mentally in the long term? Haha. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but didn't Senna die? So they didn't even end up together, right?

Stuart: Na she totally died.

Amber: Haha so how is that a happy ending? Haha.

Marina: No they hinted at Senna dying. She was gonna travel France and shit before her 4th tier breast cancer killed her.

Stuart: But don't forget a psychologist cannot control the world around a person, they can only assist with the state of mind, the inner peace of a person. Cancer metabolizing isn't something that psychology can control. I think the shrink succeeded.

Marina: I think that Senna should have died.

Amber: But, again, it may have made them reconnect, but Isaac is probably messed up now in the head from being kidnapped haha.

Marina: By wolf attack.

Stuart: Oh yea Isaac is totally fucked agreed lol.

Marina: In a long internal monologue about how it symbolizes her whole life.

Stuart: But he wasn't the target just collateral.

Amber: AH! Poor Issac. Finally reconnects with his love via kidnapping and then she dies.

Marina: I think he would be okay. His life choices showed that he had the coping mechanisms to battle severe emotional trauma. And then he kills himself when his kid is like... 20 and going into med school.

Amber: Jeez. I feel bad for Issac's (ex?) wife.

Marina: I do too. We know next to nothing about her and she has to suffer and support Isaac through the trauma that is Senna twice.

Stuart: I wholeheartedly agree that that family situation is sincerely screwed. She knows he loves another woman and there's nothing either of them can do about that ever.

Marina: I think he might be a bad person, though. Because he married and impregnated a woman he doesn't love.

Stuart: I thought it was interesting that Isaac admitted that it was "in his opinion" all his fault cuz he let senna push him out. Dude's got some self-respect/growing up to do. Welllllllllll. He may have loved her. I think you can love more than one person, but look at the alternative. Die alone?

Marina: No. He didn't. He straight up told Senna that he only loved his dead druggie girlfriend and Senna.

Stuart: Truth. Good call. I wonder if she loved him, the wife I mean.

Marina: I believe you can love many people in your life and possibly more than one mate at once. But he admitted he never loved his wife.

Stuart: Yea I agree, good call I forgot that part

Marina: Oh I believe she was very deeply in love with him. In a way that he was in love with Senna, she wanted to fix Issac.

Amber: That seemed to be a theme: wanting to fix broken people. Do you think that is someone's responsibility in a relationship? I think that's a lot to ask of a partner.

Stuart: It's funny cuz I have a friend who is trying to get into a relationship to fix a dude. And I keep saying don't. Absolutely not, Amber. The relationship dynamic has to be equal in my opinion.

Marina: I think that your responsibility in a relationship is to give enough support that your partner can fix themselves. And it has to be balanced with support from them.

Stuart: Perhaps if both are fixing one another, then maybe, but certainly not one side. I agree, Marina.

Amber: I feel like being in a relationship with Senna must have sucked everything out of Isaac. I know he kind of liked it, but jeez. I felt drained for him. She just seemed to helpless. I could be with someone who didn't care about themselves at all. I always wonder about the author of books and how much is inspired by their own truths. What kinds of relationships has she been in?

Stuart: Could be like inception. Main character wrote about her own life. Author wrote about that main character writing her own life.

Marina: For instance, right now my husband is deployed. He needs my emotional support along with my support to take care of domestic matters. When he comes home he'll need my understanding to help him deal with shit and I'll have to continue doing all the other stuff too. But he also gets off the sofa 200 times a movie to get me the littlest things because that's what I want in the relationship. I don't think there was ever any balance in the relationships portrayed in the book.  The closest would have to be Issac and his wife, but their balance only came from similar professional fields.  It could be argued Senna and Nick were balanced, but Nick was too reliant on her being quirky. Lol bookception. I just don't like people like Senna. Bad things happen to everyone. Talk to anyone long enough and you'll find things buried in their past that would horrify even war journalists.  The way she forced herself to cope broke her down. It was her unique condition that the therapist found fascinating, not Senna herself. The therapist wanted to know if someone could be forced to form healthy habits to deal with trauma.  People form different ways to cope with trauma. Smart people look at what has hurt them and who else has been hurt similarly, then they take an assessment of the things that work and the things that don't. The author wanted to portray Senna as smart, but I feel she was more just... a hipster. I think this book was good at pointing out exactly why we should for healthy relationships to help ourselves cope with difficulties.

Stuart: Preach. "A hipster" haha that's pretty accurate.

Amber: Alright, I'll see you all for the book chat next month on The Nix by Nathan Hill!

Have something to say? Feel free to comment below to add to our discussion!

Check out my reviews of Tarryn FIsher's other books: Never Never and Marrow