LJ Greene, Author Spotlight

What could be more terrifying than falling in love with the person who is your good place? Maybe realizing just a smidge too late that there can be dire consequences to becoming your best friend’s lover.

The lives of Keir Stevens and Selene Georgiou serendipitously collide midspan on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, one jarring step ahead of fate. He’s a temporary transplant from Seattle; she’s facing the biggest career opportunity of her life. They have no notion of the common thread that connects them. 

As they come to discover they share a similar adversity, their relationship evolves from a fun and frivolous infatuation with nowhere to go into a true friendship with sincerity, humor, and respect at its heart. 

It’s awfully hard not to fall in love with that—even if you’re pretty darn certain you shouldn’t.

But when love and friendship suffer their own devastating collision—their interests brutally conflicting—the consequences of blurring the lines between the two suddenly become real. In the end, which one will be the stronger? And more importantly, can either survive?

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author LJ Greene whose book Aftereffects captivated me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love romance but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for LJ Greene, a biography of the author and an interview between us both will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful LJ Greene!

LJ Greene is a self-professed obsessive multi-tasker who writes really boring stuff by day and lets her inner romantic fly by night.  This California native is married to the most amazing man and has two beautiful children, not old enough to read her books.   (They probably wouldn’t want to anyway on account of the “Ew, gross” factor.) She’s an avid reader of all genres with an embarrassingly large ebook collection, and a weird penchant for reading the acknowledgements at the end of a novel.  She’s also a music lover with no apparent musical talent, a travel enthusiast, and a cheese connoisseur.

Now, how wonderful does LJ Greene sound?! The author is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between us both, I hope that you enjoy the author’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!

Could you please tell us readers about your book?

Aftereffects is a highly relatable friends-to-lovers story about two people who meet in a random way on the Golden Gate Bridge and, through a serendipitous twist, find that they share a similar adversity. As a result, they forge a true bond of friendship and that evolves into a very endearing relationship. But things go a bit amiss when the interests of their friendship clash in a rather heartbreaking way with the interests of their relationship. They truly want the best for each other, so the choices become tough.

What inspired you to write this book?

Two things: First, I always wanted to write a friends-to-lovers story. I think the friends/lovers theme is so enduringly powerful because the risk/reward ratio is so high on both sides. How amazing is it to be loved by the person who knows you best – knows all your flaws – and thinks you’re perfect anyway? But if things don’t quite go as planned, how difficult to lose both the love of your life and the person you most want to call when you lose the love of your life? There are tough choices to make in that equation and they’re very real for a lot of people. In reading the reviews of this book, it’s incredibly gratifying to see how many people relate to that in a very personal way.

The second bit of inspiration came from my dad, who I lost just as my second book, Sound Effects, was being published. This book honors him, and so many men like him for whom the call to parenting is nothing less than sacred.

What would your advice be for aspiring writers?

The best advice I ever received for writing came unwittingly from The Fray, who said about the song-writing process that they live by the motto, head down, chin up. I’ve thought about that so many times through the years as I’ve struggled with all the things writers struggle with. Because let’s face it, writing of any kind is hard. It’s like an angsty teenage romance. One minute, it’s all sweet, sweet ecstasy and you swear you’ve landed Thor himself (the movie version!), all perfect and beautiful, and muscles on top of muscles. The next minute, you’re kicking him to the curb, drinking boxed chardonnay to the music of Adele and planning your satisfying life with cats. Writing often gives you those high highs and low lows, with very little in between. It’s something you have to be willing to truly work at. And it should be that way. After all, earning even one reader is a privilege. But at the same time, you also have to be kind to yourself. You have to believe in the value of your words. And most of all, you have to trust that your voice is worthy to join the chorus.

I’ve written three books to date, and I can honestly say that at one point or another in the writing process I have despised them all. My search history will attest to the fact that I actually once googled ‘what to do when you hate your manuscript.’ (Who knew there are actually websites for that!) But the longer I’ve been doing this and the more I interact with other authors, the more I’ve come to realize that we all go through this. It’s normal. Even Bruce Springsteen has said about the song-writing process for some of his most iconic work that he simply failed until he didn’t – that certain songs were crap until they weren’t.

So when we sit alone in front of our keyboards and expect ourselves to be Hemingway the first time through, we should probably keep in mind that even Hemingway scrapped certain scenes, rewrote entire chapters, and compared himself unfavorably to others. It’s just the nature of the angsty romance that every author has with writing. The trick, I think, is to not give up on what you’re doing until that thing you’re writing becomes the thing you intended it to be – to believe you have it in you, and then make it so. Because when that happens, it’s magic.

What is your writing process like?

It’s so great that you ask this question because creativity and the creative process are central themes in my second book, Sound Effects. I had the great fun of exploring the creative mind of an artist, and comparing (or revealing!) my own process through the writing of that book.

So to answer your question, for me it’s more of a mindset than a routine. Inspiration can come at any time. It often comes in chunks, particularly when I’m in the shower or lying in bed at night or driving in traffic. I try to jot things down on my phone, a sticky pad – whatever I have handy – so that I can come back to these bits and pieces when I’m ready to put the scene together.

I typically write scene by scene, in a very serial way. And I don’t move on until I’m satisfied with the scene I’m crafting. I imagine my process is much like that of a painter; I write in layers, building up a scene over and over and over again until it has just the right tone. A lot of times, I’ll absolutely despise the scene I’m writing – feel completely frustrated and dissatisfied with it. And then I’ll add something small, usually some sort of emotional connection that was missing, and – bam! – it just suddenly works! It’s like a magic trick! So for me, the key is to never give in to the temptation of ‘good enough.’

How do you approach character development?

Some of my best characters are the ones who’ve gone totally rogue! They start out as one thing, and end up as something totally different. And I think that’s because you have a sense of your characters when you start a project, but, just like real people, the process of discovering their complexities is very much an ongoing thing.  They don’t reveal themselves all at once. Nor should they.

My job as a writer is to discover the humanity in every character, no matter how distasteful (or perfect, for that matter!) they may seem, initially. Characters who are all of one thing and nothing of another are not interesting.

People watching can sometimes be helpful in that way. But more often than not, I find that character development comes from my being truthful with myself about my own complexities, and being willing to examine them in an honest way through my characters.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I read incessantly! I honestly think it’s the most important thing any writer can do. I would say the first author who really changed my perception of what reading should be like was Marion Bradley. Her book, The Mists of Avalon, was one the first books I read as a (young) adult, and it fundamentally altered my perspective on reading for pleasure. That book instilled in me a love – a passion, really – for reading, for strong female characters, and for the power of the written word. I still own the paperback I bought more than 25 years ago. In addition, many authors have left an imprint. I suppose I would have to say Leon Uris, Pat Conroy and Diana Gabaldon rank among my all time favorites for the beauty and complexity of their characters, and Jandy Nelson for her gorgeous prose. In my genre, Christina Lauren for the humor and heart that lie at the core of every great romance. I love a happy ending. And I love real characters that reflect and echo the realities – good and bad – of world that we actually live in.

Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with LJ Greene! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more about LJ Greene, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.

Goodbye for now book lovers,

Amazon U.S. – Amazon U.K. – Goodreads

L.J. Greene: Website – Twitter – Facebook – Barnes & Noble – iBooks – Kobo

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