giveaway going on for a $25 Amazon gift card as well. Which is obviously quite good. But I wanted to talk a little about how this project came to be.
Back in the summer, I began a project where the heroine's flatmate was a book blogger. I invented a book for the girls to talk about; that book was called Tousle Me as a kind of spoof new adult moniker. I decided that I'd actually write Tousle Me and release it along with the other book as a kind of companion/marketing tool.
Only Tousle Me quickly became far more fun to write than the original project, and it became obvious that it would be more organic to write it as a book in its own right. I loved that I could poke fun at the things authors do (Cammie, the heroine, regularly references the dumb stuff her author--me--gets her to do); the things book bloggers do, and the things stereotypical characters do. I even spoofed a couple of my own books because...well, when in Rome, and all that.
I cut my writing teeth on parodies; as a teenager, before I began writing romance novels (or glorified cheesy rape fantasies, rather, since mine were most definitely that), I wrote an historical romance parody series that featured my school friends. My friends were thus immortalised as classic characters such as Lord Burger, The Thing In The Wardrobe, Svin and Sven the masseur men, and The Handsome Tree. One friend's boyfriend was killed at the end of every book; another friend would learn a horrible secret about her love interest in each book (e.g. they were related, or he'd been dead for the entire book and she just hadn't noticed). Characters regularly had conversations with woodland animals and inanimate objects. I also gave my character a sex scene with Jin Kazama, Just Because. I love the freedom of parody; it's the best form of God complex ever.
People have said to me that they wish Tousle Me wasn't a parody because they'd actually like to read Cammie and Hunter's "true" story. They have my apologies--there are authors who can write that story authentically and well, but that author is not me. This author can't do it with a straight face. (Though I admit that when Kenny showed me the lovely cover, I kind of didn't want to "waste" it on a parody, even though I very much wanted a "straight" cover in the first place).
Truth is, my work often goes to some dark places, even if it has its humorous moments. And I'd found myself in a bit of a dark place in terms of personal circumstances, so writing Tousle Me was an absolute tonic and distraction. I wasn't really ready to channel the darkness, so to speak. Although I will at some point--a good author does not waste misery (and this isn't a call for pity; we all go through crap from time to time, and I'm kind of lucky that I can turn it into a business opportunity!).
I hope that Tousle Me's affectionate roots show; I hope that it makes you laugh. I hope that if Christmas is a bit rough for you then this book will give you a few bright moments; I hope you all have a lovely Christmas regardless.