Today we are very happy to welcome back to Book Lovers Inc. the wonderful Jill Sorenson, author of the romantic suspense novels Stranded with her Ex, Set the Dark on Fire, Crash Into Me and Dangerous to Touch just to name a few.
Jill is here today to share with us some behind the scenes inspiration for her latest release The Edge of Night and how she incorporates some of her real life experience into her novels.
Please give a warm welcome to Jill and read on to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Jill’s latest release: The Edge of Night!
The most common complaint about The Edge of Night is that Eric Hernandez, a secondary character, steals the show. Eric is a 20-year-old gang member who sells drugs, stocks groceries, and tags walls with artistic graffiti.
I didn’t plan for this troubled character to take over. But a lot of readers fell hard for him and I can’t blame them! As I was writing, I realized that I was giving Eric almost as much page time as Noah and April. It happened that way because Eric’s story intersects with each of the other character’s in a significant way. He’s interrogated by Noah, the gang unit cop hero. He becomes infatuated with Meghan, Noah’s sister. He cares for April, his brother’s ex, and Jenny, his niece.
The scene I’m most fond of, however, is the car crash sequence. I really connected to that chapter because I was in a similar situation as a teenager. I got in a car with a drunk, out-of-control driver. It was a terrifying experience. I thought I was going to die. The ride ended predictably: we crashed. The car flipped over and was totaled. For reasons I cannot fathom, no one inside was seriously injured.
After a few seconds, the dizziness passed. His head was throbbing, his neck wet. Brushing the pebbled safety glass from his clothes, he fled, forcing his way through the thick brush, hopping tree trunks.Soon he was stumbling onto a dark sidewalk.Instead of running, he flipped up the hood of his sweatshirt and strolled at a leisurely pace, his heart thumping against his ribs. He had no idea where he was, so he concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other, distancing himself from the scene.Now he was a block away. Then another. And another.Finally, when he felt sure that stopping wouldn’t result in his immediate arrest, he collapsed on a bus bench on a deserted street. Although the cut on his scalp still hurt, it was no longer bleeding. A deeper laceration on his calf probably needed stitches, but he didn’t dare go to the emergency room.Fighting back tears of pain and exhaustion, he leaned against the bench and closed his eyes. He couldn’t believe he was alive. Alive, and relatively unharmed, and free. He’d walked away from the accident.He wasn’t in jail.It occurred to him that he didn’t want to live this way. He didn’t want to die this way. He was lucky to have escaped and grateful for this second chance. For the first time ever, he felt as if his life was worth something.He took the crucifix out from beneath his T-shirt. “Gracias a Dios,” he whispered, touching it to his lips. Tears streaming down his face, he looked up at the night sky, seeing an endless expanse of stars.
Jill generously offered a signed paperback copy of The Edge of Night to one lucky commenter.
How do you feel about happy endings in YA? What about gang member heroes? Do your experiences growing up impact your reading choices as an adult?