The Title of Your Work or Group:
The Heart Trilogy which consists of the following books:
Where did your Heart go? – Published July 2013
Un-Break my Heart – Published November 2014
Closer to the Heart – Due to be published September 2015
Where are you from?
I’m from a small town called Ross-on-Wye in the county of Herefordshire in the UK.
In what genre do you write?
My genre is Chick-lit romance with an erotic twist.
.In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it?The trilogy starts with the main character Stephanie sharing her diary from 1988 with her sixteen year old daughter. The diary reveals her Mum’s first love and the highs and low associated with it. Stephanie has been running from her memories for the last 24 years so in bringing her diary out she to re-lives her first love affair with the man she has never really moved on from. Through a strange twist her daughter Charlotte meets and falls in love with a dancer called Mitchell his Dad happens to be Stephanie’s first love James. The first book sees them meeting again after 24 years apart.
The story continues into the 2nd book as we watch the two couples relationships grow, develop and falter through the ambitions of the younger characters. Will their love survive? For Stephanie & James the threat comes from the reason for their initial break-up in 1988 – James’ now ex-wife Felicity. Other characters are introduced to tempt Charlotte away from Mitchell in the shape of her best friend Shelley and the womanising nightclub owner Zach.
The final part concludes their story and I really don’t want to give the storyline away other than to say that it is full of un-expected twists and turns.
All three books are packed full of music and film references from Top Gun and Dirty Dancing, 80’s music from Wham through to current chart toppers Rhianna and Justin Timberlake. It shows the way that long-distance relationships were harder to maintain in the late 80’s compared with the advent of technology in current years.
What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens?I would say that my writing style varies from using first person in the trilogy for Stephanie’s story to third person for her daughter and all the other main characters. I think it gives a deeper view point to the various different stories that are going on. I do like to include some humour too!
Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ?
With every book I write my style is evolving and I feel improving. I have a few scenes in “Closer to the Heart” which every time I re-read them it gives me goose bumps!!
Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself?I have a couple of close friends that I use to read the book through for continuity and editing point of view but then I take their comments and self-edit. This is also because I can’t afford to employ an editor yet (maybe one day!) My book covers have been designed by a local graphic designer called Simon Hammond Designs – he has been fantastic and very cost effective with each cover design costing around £75. I’m hoping he might give me a discount for the next cover!!
Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy.I have a couple of favourite authors so I can’t really pick just one! Stephen King is my idol, his characters always draw me in and whether its horror, romance, crime or fantasy that he is writing he always grips me from the first line to the very end. I just hope that my characters will end up grabbing the reader just as much as his do. My newly found author is an Indie like myself – Sarah Michelle Lynch is a master at erotic romance/thrillers. Every book of hers is amazing and I am a keen reader of everything she produces.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?The thing I find challenging is writing succinctly, my novels are all rather long and need great trimming when I edit them before publishing.
Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you?I think my characters tend to write themselves, I normally have an idea of their personality and looks but sometimes a situation in the book makes them change and evolve. They are always surprising me.
Do you ever write yourself into the characters?Without a doubt I write parts of me into the different characters. My main character Stephanie is most definitely me as I am now and her teenage self was drawn directly from my own experiences. In fact I’ll let you into a secret that the first kiss between James and Stephanie in “Where did your Heart go?” was my actual first kiss. I even named James after my first love (don’t worry he’s flattered by it!!) Charlotte is the teenager I wished I had been and the dancer that I aspired too but never quite got there.
Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
I’d love for writing to be my full-time job but sadly it’s not. However I’m lucky enough to spend my working day surrounded by books as I work for the Library Service in Herefordshire. I hope that I will find my books on a library shelf one day!
If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be?
I’d love to go back in time and meet Scarlett O’Hara the heroine from the classic “Gone with the Wind” She is the type of vivacious person that I’d want to be friends with, despite her infuriating choice in men when she could have just fallen for Rhett Butler. I admire her determination to succeed despite the war and the obstacles in her way throughout the novel.
There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre?I think it’s the nostalgia not just for the 1980’s era but the feelings every girl has for their first ever boyfriend whether you’re 16 or 60! No one ever forgets their first love and it’s that fabulous thought of what if you could go back?
In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from?
I have to admit that I never realised how hard it was to get your book out there and in front of potential readers. But my real boon was the fact that the main character Stephanie is a Radio DJ and I was able to forge friendships with the local radio station in Herefordshire whilst I was writing the first book. So after adding some of the actual DJ’s on the station into the book (as DJ’s) I was able to persuade the breakfast show DJ to allow me onto his show. What a huge plug and it boosted my sales by nearly 100 copies. It also helps that all 3 titles are also song titles so every now and then I ask for one of the songs to be played and they normally mention the fact that I’m a local author. Sorry if this is not particularly helpful in a wider sense but if you can get out there and do writer events, use your local library and meet potential readers it is undoubtedly the best way to get your books bought and read.
Links where you can find and follow Audrina's work:
Where did your Heart go? (Book 1)
Un-Break my Heart (Book 2)
Where did your Heart go? (Book 1)
Un-Break my Heart (Book 2)
The Heart Trilogy