Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review + Interview ~ Face The Music by Andrea K. Robbins

Title: Face The Music
Author: Andrea K. Robbins
Release Date: June 14th 2012
Published By: Smashwords
Page Amount: 266 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
After losing her mother in a tragic accident, Allison Banks takes on the sole responsibility of caring for her little sister, her young niece, and her disabled grandmother. When her long-term boyfriend walks out, offering little in the way of explanation, Allison is left totally confused and utterly heartbroken. To cope, the 24-year-old closes herself off to any serious relationships and dives into her work as a graduate student.

Needing the extra income, Allison takes a job for the hot, new, reality TV show, Superstardom. Captivated by the competition’s front-runner, the mysterious and sexy singer, Chris Knots, Allison dismisses her attraction as nothing more than a silly, school-girl crush. But, when the hunky performer reveals an interest of his own, Allison must work through her reservations and decide if there’s room in her life for something more.


I really did enjoy Face the Music. This was my first time reading the New Adult genre. I think this was a good one to start with and I'm looking forward to reading more New Adult.

Obviously music is a huge part of this book. I loved all of the song references. I think I squealed when the band Hinder was mentioned. I was so excited to see one of my favorite bands mentioned in a book!

I was intrigued from the first page. But I won't say why. I don't want to accidentally give anything away.

The flirting between Allie and Chris was fun and I could tell he really liked and cared for her. The only thing I would have to say about it is that it was a little too drawn out for me. At points where a relationship could have been started, nothing happened. I think that was mostly the main character though; Allison Banks. (a. k. a. Allie.)

She really is one of the most hard-headed characters I have ever read about. At one point her and her younger sister have a conversation where her sister just about psychoanalyzes Allie. I think everything her sister had to say was true. Allie refuses to believe it; even though it makes perfect sense.

Really the only person who can get through to her is Chris. That's how I feel. Other people close to her make her wonder about what they say, but she always dismisses it. With Chris it may take a while (that's for sure) but he does get through to her. I think they need each other. Chris sees this almost from the very beginning. Does Allie ever see it? You'll have to read it to find out. ;)

Overall this was a satisfying read and I'm glad I contacted the author and I am glad I took the time to read it. 

I think  I'll give this one 3.75 quills! 

Now on to the interview!!


Amanda: Do you consider Face The Music to be in the New Adult genre? Can you comment on the rising New Adult genre?
Andrea: I do. I think the MC's are at that transition point in their lives where they're no longer children but haven't yet figured out their adult roles in life. Personally, I love the New Adult genre; it gives a place for these twenty-something characters and their stories. Back in the early days of Face the Music (I was calling it Mariposa back then), an editor told me that I had to choose between Young Adult or Contemporary Romance and then adjust the characters and story to better fit the genre. She said that Allison and Chris were too old for YA, but the story line wasn't sexy enough for adult CR. I tried to explain that I was targeting a twenty-something audience and that I didn't want it to be YA or a steamy romance. When I first discovered the NA genre, I immediately knew it was where Face the Music belonged.

Amanda: What inspired Face The Music?
Andrea: My biggest inspiration came while watching Season 5 of American Idol. I had been thinking of writing a novel but had no idea what to write about. I was in love with Chris Daughtry back then (Could you tell from reading Face the Music?) and eventually had the idea of writing from a "behind the scenes" perspective. Of course I wanted the super-talented, drop-dead-gorgeous guy to fall for my plain-Jane heroine, and having her be the teacher for the school-aged contestants worked really well for creating the perspective I wanted. The first scene I wrote was the one of him coming into her classroom that first time.

Amanda: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Andrea: Nope! I had never, not once, considered writing until I read the Twilight series. I was totally engrossed by them, and Meyer's style of writing was so enjoyable (and the story was so good) that I thought, why not? I can do this. I was totally ignorant going into it, though. After my first draft (about 70,000 words), I thought I was ready to go and started pitching to agents. I thought that all books got published (I mean, who would want to sit and write a book, after all? Surely those who do get immediately published). Boy, was I in for a rude awakening! After WAY too many rejections I hired an editor. She had a lot of helpful suggestions, and after lots and lots of rewriting, I again felt ready. I pitched to every agent I could find, but unfortunately no one wanted to commit to the project. After a lot of tears I swallowed my pride and decided to self-publish- what good was the story sitting as an unread file on my laptop? I'm really glad I did it. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback and had record sales (over 1,000 copies sold) last month (October). I'm excited to see where it goes from here.

Who are some of your influences?
Andrea: Let's see, probably Stephenie Meyer and Chris Daughtry foremost. She inspired me to actually write, and he inspired the story line. I'd also have to say all the amazing musicians mentioned throughout the book; Shinedown, Nickelback, Creed...

Amanda: Who are some of your favorite authors and/or favorite books?
Andrea: I'm a huge Jane Austen fan. My favorites are Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. I also really enjoyed the Twilight series and have since been into the whole teenage vampire thing. The House of Night and Vampire Academy series were fun. Sookie Stackhouse books (who doesn't love True Blood?). Goodness, the list could go on and on!

Amanda: Do you listen to music while you write?
Andrea: Never. I find it way too distracting. I like to write in complete silence- no TV, no radio, no kids or hubby (all of which severely limit my writing time).

Amanda: Do you have a designated writing space? What does it look like?
Andrea: I don't have any particular spot, though I only write at home, and usually on the couch or while in bed (sitting upright with my laptop on a TV tray)

Amanda: Some writers have rituals they have to do while they are writing. Do you have any? If so, what are they?
Andrea: Not really. I tend to be a very sequential person and write in the same way. It's really hard for me to envision the ending without first having a good, solid start.

Can you tell us something about your writing process? Do you have a schedule, word count goals, etc.?
Andrea: I'm very picky about my writing. I'll read a single sentence aloud to myself several times before committing to it, and will often change it around in one way or another at least ten different times before calling it good. Then, the next time I go through it, I might change it back. Some days all I get done are a few sentences! I don't have a writing schedule. I'm a full time teacher, mother of two, and am taking graduate classes, all of which have to take priority over writing.

Amanda: Are you working on something new? Can you tell us about it?

Andrea: I am, though it has been very slow-going. I don't have a title yet, but it's about these twins, Gabriella and Gabriel (Gabby and Gabe). At age six, they watched their parents get arrested and then ended up in the foster care system, where they jumped from home to home and were subjected to all kinds of mental and physical abuse. Now in their early twenties, the twins are starting fresh by going off to college. Gabe, looking for a place to fit in, has joined a fraternity and is suddenly surrounded by all sorts of interesting characters (a few of whom show an interest in his firecracker-of-a-sister).   Gabby feels deserted and is none too happy about Gabe's decision to go Greek. She's decided she hates everything about the place. But then there's Matthew, the quiet yet confident, stormy-eyed chapter president... I've got the first little bit on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrea-K-Robbins/426617907358005 

Amanda: What is your advice for aspiring authors?
Andrea: Know what you're getting into before you start! Research the industry, and make sure that your time writing feels more like a hobby than a job.

Thank you so much Andrea for stopping by the blog! I'm looking forward to reading more of your work in the future! What you're working on now sounds very intriguing. I'd love to read that one day. ;) 

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